Sunday, May 9, 2021, marked the first Mother’s Day celebration to embrace the essence of the spirit of my mother, Anna Belle Troy Mitchell, spirit her transition on December 23, 2020 (five months shy of her 93rd birthday, May 2, 2021). After my mother’s passing, I found myself reminiscing about our mother-daughter relationship and the various seasons, engagements, pursuits, experiences, and the likes we encountered. Remembering the combination of relentless and peaceful days, I am mindful of always remaining the “child” irrespective of age. My mother was often adamant about reiterating that she was the “mother” and would say, “I had you; you did not have me.”
Navigating the ordered steps of my new role as “First Child-In-Commander-in-Chief,” my mother and I were called by life with new responsibilities and accountability to address our changing circumstances. Executing my new duties and responsibilities as her conservator and primary caregiver was far from being a piece of cake, especially when circumstances dictated taking the lead and minimizing her input on decisions related to her well-being. With the Spirit of God’s mercy and grace, we were uplifted and positioned to rock-n-roll the solutions of our caregiving experience, one day at a time.
As I increasingly acknowledged “once the mother, always the mother,” no matter what the changing circumstances warranted, a great deal of intentional diplomacy governed the relationship. I wholeheartedly embraced the message from Deuteronomy 5:16: “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that your days may be long and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.”
Participating in classes, attending caregiver support group meetings, researching information, and developing events and activities aligned with my passion played a significant role in my attitude to incorporate my new role as a daughter. I moved forward and focused enthusiastically, welcoming my new season.
Caring for aging loved ones requires understanding, patience, a sense of humor and lots of unconditional love to manage as it manifests in the family structure. One of the guidelines I highly recommend and proved to be valuable in keeping me on track was to follow and cling to the “Golden Rule” – “So, in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you…” (Matthew 7:12).
All levels of hands-on caregiving experiences are in play – be it running errands, providing personal companionship, transportation to appointments, managing financial affairs, offer opportunities to give the same grace and mercy the Spirit of God extends to us. During the latter years, the roles of mother and daughter adjustments became apparent, and we followed suit each passing day with mutual respect.
Some days were characteristic of the tumult of the raging seas. However, in contrast, other days manifested into the calmness and buoyance of the ocean waves with soothing sounds that echoed instructions to abide in peace and be still. The days that beamed and radiated like the sunrise of a brand-new day and sailing ships fading into the sea’s vanishing depts of the sunset brought us joy.
My mother represented an anchor of life attached to a solid foundation that sustained, protected, supported, and encouraged my faith walk leading to open doors of opportunities. With zealous resilience, my mother’s commitment to motherhood modeled “God Spiritfilled Greatness.”
Anna Belle Troy Mitchell, a Proverb 31 woman, was a dynamic entrepreneur, healthcare and daycare provider, tailor, and disciple. She was a devoted disciple who followed the Spirit of God and unapologetically amplified her voice for peace, justice, and righteousness. Even with her fading voice during her last few days, my mother still imparted valuable nuggets for a virtuous life. As a mother to a daughter, she caringly shared her wisdom, knowledge and love in her simple, humble and remarkable fashion. I marvel at her strength to triumph and abide in all seasons.
During my sobering moments – recalling the past and looking towards the future – it is okay if they do not impede my present modus operandi. I must be mindful to stay in the “NOW” and know that living in the “NOW” is empowering. Recognizing I am not alone, I receive the gift of friendship in gratitude for all it is and continues to go beyond what I imagine and desire. In gratitude, I celebrate and honor my mother’s legacy.
Mom, your love and spirit so dear and near
It gives me the strength to face each day without fear,
I cherish your wisdom, understanding, and grace,
That encourages my hope and passion for life’s race.
Mom, thank you for being so committed, faithful, and kind.
I am ever so grateful for the legacy you left behind.
With gratitude and love, I give thanks.