Pick up the Mantle

Flowers, A Card, Money just to me was not enough!
The hurt is deeper than anyone could touch!
But God!

First, can I get an Amen

I was deeply concerned and saddened by the news from friends and family that loved ones had passed on in the recent months and as I consulted God on how I should approach such a subject that still tugs at my soul once in a while each year.

He shared with me ….

You see the spirit holds to loss and we don’t even realize. Suddenly, we are feeling an emotion from a memory of a lost one. A pain so deep we feel as though we have been kicked in the gut.

As I stood in the line waiting for a teller, a man turned to me and said, “The holidays are just not the same anymore. You see my father died around Christmas a few years back and then just recently I lost my mother.” I asked him if he had any children. He told me he did and suggested sometimes we are thrust into growing up and becoming the generation to carry the mantle to be the glue that holds everyone in line. It is not easy task, but we become the ones who are charged with keeping the remembrance of the love and faith of God that saved us from bondage. I explained, that now, he would have to be what his father and mother were to him. Your spirit will never forget the loss, but make it a happy, joyous memory and celebrate the life not the death. Write the stories they told and the life they led so that the future generations know how far they have come.

In telling him, it helped me to remember what I had done in the past, how I had survived loosing the people who kept me safe, who taught me how to be strong, who showed me what it was to be a good woman, a saved woman, a great mother. This was lesson for me as well, because I truly had forgotten how strong I could really be. I was truly in bewilderment as how I was going to provide for my family. I had been feeling washed up and useless. I had just at that moment remembered that what I am going through is nothing compared to what my ancestors had to endure. Nothing has more power than the hand of God!

A few days later, God gave me the example of Elijah and Elisha and how the time they spent together before Elijah died was preparing Elisha to pick up the mantle of Elijah.

Though you are grieving, I pray you do not grieve hard. I pray you grieve and then find out what it was that family for friend gave you in your life. Though they have passed on they touched each of us in their lifetime with something different. So, pick up their mantle and carry it as you need to touch the heart of the people you meet. The mantle is the thing they did for you or with you. Bring to your remembrance why you are sorrowful that they will not be there to spring forth that special part of them. The part of them they shared with you and only you. What was that special thing that represented how they touched your heart and made you a better person?

My thing was cooking food with my grandfather, my aunt, my uncle and even my fiancé. We had our best memories when we cooked together as we created great feast and sat around the table smiling. We were enjoying the look on others faces as they enjoyed our cooking. I remember the way the air filled with smells of sweet and savory dishes. The recall in my mind of a big blue Buick car my Grandfather used to get us all to the park for Easter egg hunting and back home for Passover dinner. The vivid remembrance of all the women in the kitchen cutting and chopping food for a wedding receptions and the way we all just kept going until it was done. This is why I always want to bring food to whatever gathering I attend. I want to make sure no one is hungry. I want something in their senses to grab hold to this event and make it memorable. Sometimes rules don’t permit, but just as Jesus healed on a Sabbath day and was chastised by the high priest for breaking the rules. I too, sometimes have to say that feeding the hungry would take a front seat to man’s rules.

Good home cooking comes with a lot of the stress of lifting and standing and I suffer from bone and back injuries from when I was younger. I deal with 24 hours a day none stop pain and had to find a way around it. Now, I just buy quality food and bring something good to eat with me. You never know if this food is the only food that person may receive in that day. You see you can always get it done someway, somehow.

I even remember what Grandpa Henry looked like while standing at the stove in his kitchen with walls of cement block painted over by the wards light cream color. All of his grandchildren and younger children would be gathered around the table waiting for his rice pudding, pot of spaghetti, or bread pudding. He made it stretch to feed us all.
I even remember the wrinkles in Aunt Gracie’s hands as she stirred her big pot of oat meal and set the table. She carefully cut my cantaloupe slices into crescent moons and then sliced eat crescent moon into little bite sizes. Her eyes twinkled as she watched me eat every bite. While she washed the dishes I would run up and try to squeeze her so tight, but my little arms were too small to go all the way around so, she would bend down and give me a squeeze and a kiss.
The fun Miles and I had as we baked chicken to surprise his family when they came home from their trip. The joy in the air gave a midst of true fun as we danced in the kitchen. I cherish the memory of the oysters deep frying and how the smell filled the house. Our late night cooking a ritual we had after a long days work; we would wake our son from his sleeping bed and have him join us in his high chair. I can picture him in my mind so well with his plump little legs and hair all chaotic about his head, but his laughing and giggling as he watched us dance was the best memory of all.
Then there were the mornings we spent in the kitchen when we lived with his mother and father, we would awaken mid morning and all of us trickling down to the kitchen to spend time in the gathering place each of us preparing a tasty part of a master piece breakfast. We were twisting and turning around each other. The jazz music playing in the background; we were like a symphony with dancers slowly making it to the finale. We’d all sit down together to eat. Miles would have a tall glass of water, milk and juice to close out the production. I miss that. Every time I crack a hard boiled egg I think of his father because he is the one who showed me how to do this and have all the shell come off in one piece. He passed this little trick on to me while making potato salad.
Though these people have passed on I carry a piece of them to the next generation. My sons, they too, love to cook and enjoy cooking together most of all. Though they never met some of these people they have the best of them shared through an experience of a mantle carried in love through time.
Well, this is my card my flowers to you if you too are in a state of mourning!
Pray to God
Worship God
Praise God
Give the Love of God

Who I am is not important, when you read this, I pray you see what the Holy Spirit wants you to see.

Rosalind Allen

Pick up the Mantle

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Joined January 2008

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