The End of an Era
As 2019 winds down I wanted to do a blog post about the recent passing of my adoptive mom, Carolyn Kenney. The only phrase that seems to fit is "The End Of An Era" and it's still a bit surreal.
Back in October my adoptive mother who raised me passed away. I know my adoptive father is probably not that far behind her. My sister (their actual child) has been an instigator for years now trying to create trouble in the family telling lies about me to them and with my mom's passing, any real family reconciliation has likely died with her.
I was adopted at 3 days of age and they had me in the Church of Christ (with instruments) three days a week for the first eighteen years of my life. Every Sunday morning, every Sunday night, every Wednesday night, every youth group function, every special event, the church was our second home...and when we weren't attending church, whatever else we were doing was being done with people we knew from the church.
At 12 years of age, I got saved meaning I understood that I was a sinner having no way to get to God by myself and I needed to accept what Jesus did in my place. I also felt the Holy Spirit come upon me in call me personally to Himself and the way that the church I attended at that time handled that was to have you come forward at an altar call and be water baptized...so that's what I did.
I was taught The Bible from the time I was a little boy but in my later teen years I began to read The Bible for myself and the more I read the more it began to consume me. A few verses were never enough as I read several chapters a day everyday for months on end. It was the first time that the book came alive to me and I realized I could read the same thing 10 times in a row and the Holy Spirit would reveal something different about it each time. It's also when I 1st began to figure out the Holy Spirit's touch and voice in my life but it was in those early years when mom's input was most valuable.
When I was in my early teens I was always on my church's bible bowl team. Bible bowl was a game show style contest of questions where one youth group would compete against another local youth group for prizes and bragging rights. My mom would scour over the relevant chapters hand writing out hundreds and hundreds of questions on individual index cards for us to use and then after working during the day she would spend her evenings working with all of us on the team. Thanks largely to her efforts, we usually came in first place... of course the real rewards would be felt for the rest of our lives as the word of God had been planted in our minds and hearts.
Mom carried a lot of hurt from her own upbringing. She was abused by her brothers and was an eyewitness to her father's untimely death in the mid 60s. She would often recall those stories and how she knew she would see "daddy" again someday. Her mom (my grandmother) had a rocky relationship with her at best with a nasty legal battle unfolding over money a few years before grandmas passing and mom never forgot about that, mentioning it often in later years.
Mom's body is in the same cemetery as my grandpa’s up in Delaware County. My Grandpa whom I loved dearly passed away in 1982 when I was just 12. Now their bodies rest in the same location along with several other extended family members and others I knew while growing up.
Mom and I had our differences as I was growing up too. She had some ideas for how I should turn out that didn't quite go how she wanted them to. For example, she always wanted me to play southern gospel piano so she had me in piano lessons from the time I was about 3 years old. Instead of going Southern Gospel, I went into Rock keyboard, Christian music and Worship stuff.
She had no way of knowing the incredible mental struggles that I went though as my prophetic giftings began to surface...and I sure didn't know how to communicate them to her, or to anyone else for that matter, but she stayed consistent in her support of me through the years.
When I learned of mom's inevitable passing, I immediately went to be with her and dad. I spent about four hours with them both and she had already deteriorated to the point thats she no longer spoke and rarely moved. I talked to her as if she could understand every last thing I was saying even though she showed no signs of that. FInally when the time came to leave, I knew I would not see her alive again so I leaned in extra close to her ear and said "Mom, I have to go now but know that I love you and I believe you hear and understand me just fine. Thank you for everything over the years".. she brought a tear to my eye as she tilted her head up and over about an inch toward me and cracked a small smile. Then as soon as she did, it was gone again but that was ok, that was all I needed to know beyond a shadow of a doubt she heard and understood.
The preacher at her funeral said it best... we didn't lose her, we know exactly where she is, and one day we will all see her again.
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