GRACE MY MOTHER'S NAME
Whenever I read in the Bible the word "GRACE", stated over two hundred times from Genesis to Revelation, my mind always turns in thought to my mother's name.
First spoken of Noah in Genesis 6 verse 8, "Noah found Grace in the sight of the Lord". To the last verse in the Bible, Revelation 22 verse 21 "The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." The most famous verse from Numbers 6, the Prayer of Aaron: "The Lord Bless you, keep you, be "Gracious" to you." Yes, God's Grace is offered to all who would willing receive it.
For me, "Grace" has led me, facing all the realities of life, the good, and the bad, it has always been God's Grace.
In the same manner, it has always been "Grace", my mother. Let me explain.
From the start, long before I was born, the life we celebrate today, my mother "Grace", as her son, she led me in many ways, the details and events, choices and paths of life, than time would permit me now to state. From her birth in 1924 in New York City, her fathers death, in Casablanca, Morocco. Her move to New York's Gravesend, the city of my birth. She often told me that she knew the night I was conceived. She and my father Joseph went to a Tony Bennett concert. I met Mr. Bennett once at a United Airlines Mile High Club, waiting for a flight. We had a nice laugh together.
It was those choices in her life, which, had she made another choice, I would never know the love of my sister's Marie, Christine, Renee, my step brother Matty and step sisters Peggy and Frances.
I would have never met a dear southern lady, Mary Seymour, which led me to Calvary Baptist Church.
I would have never met Ruth, my wife of 45 years. I think mom loved Ruth more than I.
I would have never been able to travel the world, those first ten years, because my mother, took care of all the letters, telephone calls and messages for three weeks out of every month we traveled.
I would have never met Billy Graham, would have never been asked by him to work in his evangelistic ministry, which would take me to 40 countries of the world.
Always my mother would tell me she was praying for Ruth and I. Only once did she ask us not to travel to South Africa because of the violence and killings at the time.
Yes, it was "Grace", a mothers grace, which has led my life in so many ways.
In these later years, when I would speak with her, she often, really more times than not, she would call me "Sal". The name of her only sibling, her brother. It was only a few years ago, I learned of how my uncle Sal met his wife Rose. He of all, would agree today, it was because of "Grace".
People always tell me I have my mother's eyes and lips. The one thing she always had was a "Smile".
I pray that though she is gone from us now, we will remember her Smile and soon be able to Smile again.
We are all sending our deepest sympathies to you, James, Kyle, and Katie. Grace was a lovely woman who will be fondly remembered for her smile, humor, and love of family.
All our love,
Elizabeth, Rich, Megan, and Leah