A FEATHER IN HIS HAND - A Tribute to My Mother

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God lifts us up. We aim high in life. But if we are wise we know to yield when the winds change. We set goals but sometimes the Holy Spirit has other plans. When we mature we learn to continue to be determined and persevere without white knuckling our journey. If we are wise we learn how to float… When we learn how to swim we are taught first how to float in order to save our lives and not exert our energy needlessly. We learn to be effective in the way we swim through life. It isn’t that we float aimlessly. We float in between the treading and the fast dives through life. We still set our sights and efforts on winning the race but as we mature we learn to maneuver the journey wisely. We persevere. We know our destination. But we also yield to the wind (the Holy Spirit). We float at times. We learn how to waltz perfectly through life when we discover the balance of great strength and power in partnership with the nuances of vulnerability, yielding and simply being present in the hands of God. It’s called balance. And my mother lived her life knowing how to freely move through the ebbs and flows of the intensities of life - balanced.


My mother published my first book when I was 8. When my parents divorced I was wrecked with internal sadness but I survived the pain by writing my feelings down in the form of poetry. I placed the poems on my mom’s jewelry box. I wanted to encourage her without making her cry in front of me. And I wanted to reconcile the feelings within myself as well in my private “well considered” time and space. She was so proud and delighted , typing my poems out and stapling them together into books without my knowing it. She went so far as to submit them in contests without my knowledge. During the saddest part of my very young life I learned that I had the power to encourage her through my writing. She in turn encouraged me as I was delighted to receive blue ribbons and 1st place trophies for writing poems. She gave me confidence and courage during a time when I felt the most alone, confused, vulnerable and sad.

My mother was great. My mother was successful. I’ve learned from watching her through the years, the power of unrecognized greatness in this world. If you think about it we are surrounded by unrecognized greatness everyday. These are the people that you don’t hear about in the news, television or as breakout influencers in social media. These are the people in the world that live outside of the spotlight and inside of the core of truth that most of the world misses… most of the world’s most inspiring stories never get told through blaring amplifiers online . There is unrecognized greatness all around us, in our homes, work places and small towns. But this greatness although not spotlighted can make huge impact in the world, through inspiring others, saving others, encouraging those who do move on to blaze a trail and impact the world publicly. After-all, Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln all had mothers. Shirley (my mom) wrote her legacy down in a spiral bound notebook much like the stapled up books that she made for me. She was her own author, editor, publisher, manufacturer and promoter. Shirley was a writer..

When I say my mother was successful I say this because she carried herself with a deep happiness in spite of the struggles and pains in her life. In life she was bold. She raised, 4 daughters as a single mom when it was not the norm. She taught us with her poise and confidence that everything would be fine. She taught us to love and forgive, but also to have courage and boundaries. She ended her life surrounded by love. Surrounded by adoration. Surrounded by a family who looked up to the quiet giant who powerfully navigated this life like a dancing ninja softly yet brilliantly knowing all the right moves…including how to make a grand, sweet, silent and strong exit from this world.

After discovering that she slipped away, I had a supernatural experience (some of you may think I’m crazy) where I was with my mother in heaven. She was super excited and impressed by a library in heaven. She then handed me books that were mine to write and carry into the world. They dissolved into my body. She told me they were mine to bring to life to encourage others. I didn’t think about it until a few days later that she knew, writing would be a comfort to me, in the same way it was when I was a sad little 8 yo girl. She gave me a gift even in death and a sweet gentle nudge and reminder to persevere to write and document the beauty of life, inspiring others still trying hard to learn how to float through the wild winds of life.

I am singing this song at her funeral because she wanted it. She knew she wanted it at her funeral when I wrote it almost 20 years ago. She asked me after hearing it once, if I would sing it at her funeral. I laughed and said “Mom, its a hard song to sing. It might be really hard for me.” She said, “Oh, you will be great!’ She asked us often to do the impossible and she loved this song. Singing a song at your mother’s funeral is not easy but she liked to challenge us.

I hope the song challenges you too. I hope when you hear it you realize that it is important and necessary to aim high in life. It is always okay to aim high when you know you have a safe place to land. For her it was her faith in Jesus. She lived the scripture “I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST.” She was quiet about her faith but strong nonetheless. I hope these words challenge you to know your destination like she knew her destination. She knew ultimately she would find her way back to her eternal home in the hands of God.

Her message and life motto is clear and in this song - AIM HIGH..TAKE THE CHANCES TO LOSE…FLY HIGH….RISK FALLING HARD in ORDER TO BE UPLIFTED…ULTIMATELY KNOW WITH FULL CONFIDENCE that there is a God who will catch you . But living life as a static feather on the sidelines is not an option. Move! Go forward somehow and somewhere. Reach! Travel! Write! Sing! Swim! Dance! Play games!…Live life full out! And if you know whose hands you are in, you have nothing to worry about. Participate boldly in the sweet dances of life. You may find that your greatness goes unrecognized too but that is irrelevant…

Learn the balance of floating and paddling.

At the end of the day God knows and sees you and you will be recognized and magnified in heaven held safely in the hands of God who is incapable of ever letting you fall.

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It’s in reaching high that I take the chance to lose,

I pray I’ll find the path that leads me to,

Where Heaven opens,

I’m floating in the air,

Not sure of what’s out there for me…

 

And then I land, a feather in His hand,

I know now I’m safe captured by God’s grace,

A feather in His hand,

Even as the wild winds blow,

He’s there to lift me up,

Hold me high on faith is where I’ll stand,

In His hands…

 

So I’m letting go,

Though tomorrow I could fall,

Flying low,

I pray I’ll hear the call,

To be uplifted,

Floating high above this world,

Not knowing where the air is taking me,

 

And then I land, a feather in His hand,

I know now I’m safe captured by God’s grace,

A feather in His hand,

Even as the wild winds blow,

He’s there to lift me up,

Hold me high on faith is where I’ll stand,

In His hands…

 

It’s in opening up,

That the angels let me go,

Out from their wings,

Back to the arms that love me so,

I’m just a drifter,

Floating back to His embrace,

I know now there’s a place for me….

 

And then I land, a feather in His hand,

I know now I’m safe captured by God’s grace,

A feather in His hand,

Even as the wild winds blow,

He’s there to lift me up,

Hold me high on faith is where I’ll stand,

In His hands…

GOODBYE SWEET MOTHER…I’ll see you in the library.

 

 

 

 

Deanna Falchook