In 1977, less than (2) weeks after my 18th birthday I lost my mother after a long and devastating battle with cancer.
I was at peace because she fought through & lost every ounce of dignity a woman could have; loss of hair, extreme loss of weight, loss of teeth, loss of her voice & loss of the use of her legs.
What she didn't lose was her spirit, her mind, her purpose & most importantly her faith. The last part would serve us all the rest of our lives because she taught us "perspective" & even through the very darkest days, somehow she could rally us with her ability to keep it all in perspective.
At that point the concept of my dad ever getting married again & us having a "step mom", seemed foreign, almost "odd"...
The day we met Alberta Williams, I had borrowed my brother's brand new car (literally he just drove it home & didn't have insurance), drove it to the only place he told me not to, a hit & run driver smashed it up good & I was in the process of him beating me up... She walked in & had to be shocked, but it didn't scare her off & for some reason that didn't seem odd.
She attended my High School games as my dad's date just a couple months after my mom died, but that didn't seem odd.
She attended my mom's family reunion less than 7 months after her death but that didn't seem odd.
I went to their wedding almost a year to the date after my mom died, with many of my mom's brothers & sisters there & that didn't seem odd.
I flew home from KU & gave them the only gift I could afford, the key to the city of South Bend, awarded for being Mr Basketball in Indiana, she seemed thrilled & that didn't seem odd.
My freshman year she met my girlfriend @ KU & didn't flinch when my future wife, walked in the room a different color than they had expected & even though she was in her 60's, that didn't seem odd.
She came to many of my KU games with Jayhawk gear that had "David Magley's Mom" on it & that didn't seem odd.
When we had our first child they flew to KC, (after I returned to the team I was playing for) to spend a week "loving on the new grand-baby" & that didn't seem odd.
As more babies were born her name changed from Alberta to Grandma & that didn't seem odd.
She handled my emotional & tough to manage father like a seasoned lion tamer but without the comfort of a chair & whip, just love & tenderness & that didn't seem odd.
When my father died, she was devastated, which quite frankly was perplexing because my dad could be mean at times, yet she would explain, "I've never felt love like I did from your dad, because he would never let anyone disrespect me". A unique definition of love but for some reason not odd.
Over the past 19 years, since my dad died, we speak weekly, we see each other in person annually & when she's at our home, my girls pamper their "grandma", giving her pedicures & putting loving on her, which doesn't seem odd.
This week she fell & had not opened her eyes in (7) days. When I finally got to her I was devastated to see her in a neck brace & swollen. Yesterday. after sitting with her for the morning, I came back from lunch, grabbed her hands & said, "hey grandma I'm here, it's David". To my surprise she opened her eyes as wide as she could, grabbed both my hands & brought them to her chest. Which was surprising for her nurses, but to me it didn't seem odd...
Soon, she will take he last breath & go to a place that has been set aside for her, John 14:2 "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." She will meet my mom & they will rejoice, which doesn't seem odd.
Even though Alberta was technically our "step mom", I always felt odd calling her that. She loved, cared, cried & shared as passionately as my own mother did & for that I am GRATEFUL!!!