Oh, love while you can love.
Oh, love while you can try.
The hour may come, the hour will come,
When you’ll stand at the grave and cry.
Will it lighten the burden on her heart, will it make the sting of constant accusations sting less, when she transforms the grave of that elderly woman, who lived across from her for many years, into a true mound of blossoms? She carries out the first spring flowers, the last autumn asters. And yet, her heart does not find peace and rest. The wound she has inflicted on herself has not yet healed. I don’t think it ever will.
It was around Pentecost when Mother Jordan sat in her armchair by the window and nodded in a friendly manner to the young woman who was just passing by. But the greeting was not returned. – “Why not, I wonder?” Mother Jordan, with her kind, soft heart thought about it. What could have happened? She was not aware of anything. But that did not reassure her, because she loved the one who had just passed by without greeting. She had known her as a child, and been like a mother to her on her wedding day, as she had been orphaned. She was “grandmother” to her young children growing up. And now?
Mother Jordan rose from her chair with difficulty, took her cane in her hand, and walked over to the young woman’s home. Walking was quite difficult for her because her old limbs had become stiff. But she reached her destination. She had to wait a long time at the door before it was opened. Of course, she had no idea that the woman inside was debating whether or not to answer the door. Finally, she came.
Mother Jordan entered and held out her hand to the person who opened the door. “Martha, I have come, my child, to ask if I have done you any harm. You passed by without greeting me.”
“You need to ask?” – She did not even invite the elderly woman to come in. “Is the discipline of my children your business or mine?”
Mother Jordan was perplexed by this question. “Martha! Have I ever interfered in your parenting?”
“Not openly to my face, but….”
Then Mother Jordan became incredibly sad. “Nor behind your back, Martha. That would be slander.”
“The person who told me doesn’t lie!” Martha was almost taken aback herself by her bold statement, for she knew that this other woman had caused many a quarrel by her gossip. Now, however, she continued in her defiance. She had been greatly annoyed and did not have the inner courage and will to get to the bottom of the matter, because she suspected that she might be in the wrong. Her pride made it difficult for her to admit that she had made a mistake.
Martha already had the door handle in her hand again, and Mother Jordan understood the sign.
“Goodbye, Martha!” She looked at her once more, full of deep sadness, and then, with a heavy heart, went home again.
Three hours later, Mother Jordan was helping her daughter prepare dinner. There may have been something slippery on the floor. Suddenly, Mother Jordan slipped and fell.
“Mother, dear Mother!” – The daughter tried to carry her mother into the bedroom, exerting all her strength. Her father came to her aid. Mother Jordan had her eyes closed.
“Does anything hurt you, Mother?”
“No, I’m not in pain; I’m just startled and need to rest.” She breathed heavily. “Lay me on the bed!”
Gently, they carried Mother into the bedroom.
“Should we get the doctor?”
“It’s not necessary; I’m not in pain.”
She lay there for probably an hour with her eyes closed. Then, suddenly, she straightened up and raised her arm. “Pray!” she cried and sank back again. While her husband and daughter prayed at her bedside, her soul departed to God.
The news quickly spread from house to house that Mother Jordan was dead. Martha heard it too. She didn’t want to believe it and rushed over. She threw herself on the ground and wrung her hands and screamed so that they had to remove her from the room.
“She is not dead; please say she is not dead!”
With confused, furious eyes, she looked around her. Again, she screamed and wrung her hands. But it was in vain. Mother Jordan had departed from this life.
Agonizing hours began for the young woman. She would always go to the garden gate with the elderly woman and cut one of the beautiful roses for her. – But today, she had closed the door behind her back. And today she had to die!
As if her heart was bleeding from a thousand wounds, as if her head was no longer capable of clear thought, she wandered from one room to another, wandered back and forth through the night and found no peace! Too late!
That terrible moment of truth left its mark on her life: she was depressed and introverted, no longer able to laugh or joke. The faithful visits and flowers at the grave in the cemetery are a silent apology. And still the wound does not want to heal. I don’t think it will ever heal.
Oh, love while you can love!
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