Lacoochee – Tribute to mom



My Tribute to Mom

John with his mother Myrna on her 90th Birthday

Since Mother’s Day has passed, we wish to honor all mothers and hope that they have a Happy Mother’s Day all year. There are many happy memories of times spent with our mothers and though some are no longer with us, those memories keep them in our hearts.

Some of us who have lost our mothers wish we had given them a tribute while they were still with us. Following is a tribute from a son who did not wait.

By JOHN OSBRON, to his Mom, Myrna Osbron

Hi Mom,

I have been thinking about doing this for longer than I want to admit. My intent was to record it on a CD and send it to you, but I still cannot figure out how to do it on the computer and kept putting it off and off and off.

Then one day I decided to write it out and then, at least I would have something to go by when I figured out how to record it onto a CD.

I’ll be 65 years old in two days. Didn’t think that I would ever see this age. I am sure I will not see it again.

I want to thank you for the greatest gift you have ever given to me.

As I look back over the years they seem like a blur and I have to think and try to pull memories from the past. As I think, and let my mind wonder, a number of events, or series of events, come out of the fog and I can see how my life took a small turn here and a little bigger turn there. I have never given much thought to how my life may have turned out if I had done something a little differently. Just not my nature to cry over spilled milk. Besides, I believe the sovereign hand of Jesus was forming me into His image, even though He still has a long way to go. But He promised that the work He started in me, He will complete and then He will present me spotless, perfect and holy to His Father.

As I look back I see how He brought about people, things and events to guide me one way or another. I remember Sunday School at Lacoochee, the Bible stories, the sword drills and other influences there.

I remember WJ’s positive influence on me and I admired him for being a preacher. His Navy stories influenced me to go into the Navy instead of the Army or Air Force. My desire to work on riverboats also affected my choice for the Navy.

I was in the Navy two years before coming into contact with Missions to Military, which had a major impact on my spiritual growth and desire to live for Christ. There I attended Bible studies and churches with a group of servicemen and had great fellowship with Christian men, the like I have not had since. While in the Navy I met men who hated Jesus Christ with a passion and ridiculed anyone who was so ignorant as to believe in such a fictitious person. I have met many since with the same hatred and ridicule.

From the Navy I went to Chicago to attend Moody Bible Institute. My goal was to learn as much of the Bible as I could. I got married and things went downhill from there. The marriage lasted about five years. I left the church, but my belief in Jesus Christ did not change. I was disillusioned with the local church and did not attend church for about seven years. I moved back to Florida in 1980 and joined Buddy in partnership at Dixie Precast. That went fine for a couple years and then we split up after about three years. In 1982, Lori and I got married, and we are still together and very much in love. The day after we got married we attended Jefferson Street Baptist Church in Brooksville where Fred Templeman was the pastor. That day was a turn around point for me and my desire for spiritual fellowship and Bible study was renewed with a vigor.

As I have looked back at those seven years a number of times since, one good thing that came from those wandering years is that all the so-called Bible knowledge that had been pumped into me by so many teachers and preachers was wiped clean. In 1982 I started with a clean slate and set a goal to be like the Bereans of Acts 17:11 and take everything I hear and read to the Scripture to see if it is true. I am amazed at how much of sermons and lessons have no basis in the clear teaching of Scripture. I call it “flippant phraseology” others call it “bumper sticker theology.” Isaiah 8:20 “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” There is nothing I would rather do than teach and study the Bible. As I immerse myself in the Scripture, I come face to face with my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Mom, you took me to the Sunday School at Lacoochee. You took me to church when I was a child.

I remember as if it happened yesterday, the day you gave me a brand new Bible. It was black with a zipper and was a red-letter edition and had my name on the front. I just pulled this Bible off my shelf and looked at the date, May 1, 1954. This book is the only artifact I have from my childhood. I think we all got new Bibles that day, but not sure. I remember opening the box and being awed at the new Bible. I immediately set down and began to read. I don’t remember where I started, but after some time I finished a chapter and jumped up and ran into the kitchen to tell you that I had read a whole chapter. You encouraged me to go and read some more. Maybe to get me out of the kitchen so you could finish cooking a meal, but I did.

Mom, I have continued to read and study the Bible ever since. Thank you for that Bible and for starting me on a spiritual journey that one day will end in eternal paradise, where you and I will sit at the feet of Jesus in indescribable joy forever and forever.

Another major influence you had on me was to give me games that taught me the Bible when I played them. Card games and board games. I do not remember any of the games or the dates, but I remember enjoying the games and learning the Scripture. Mom, you were instilling in me a pattern and joy of learning Scripture that would endure to this day, and will carry me from here to Heaven. Thank you from the depths of my soul for caring enough to start me on a path of Bible study.

Another thing you did that has stayed with me to this day was a single act of generosity for another family. I do not remember the date or even the year. Some of the details are fuzzy, but I remember very clearly what happened and the impact it had on me. We had a car and a cow. One day you came home from wherever, and went into the kitchen, put on an apron and began to fix up a batch of corn bread. Robert and I were home, but you did not say a thing to us when you came into the house. You just started fixing the cornbread. You put the cornbread in the oven and went out to milk the cow. Robert and I figured we would be having milk and cornbread for supper. I have no memories of where Buddy or Theresa were, or even if they still lived at home.

After milking the cow you came in with a gallon of milk and set it on the counter. You took the cornbread out of the oven, turned it onto a plate, put it in a sack and handed it to Robert. Then you handed me the milk, took off the apron and told us both to go get in the car. Those were your first words since coming home. We sensed that something was up, but your appearance kept us from asking questions. We did not even ask where we were going, we just went and got into the car. And probably the first and only time of our childhood we did not argue over who would ride shotgun. Robert just got in and I followed. I do not remember which car it was.

You followed us to the car, started it up, backed around to the right and took off. You took a left onto 301 and a left toward Lacoochee. Maybe we were going to Grandma’s for dinner? We passed the road to Grandma’s and continued to Lacoochee and turned right towards the church. Oh, maybe a church dinner? We passed the church and turned left towards the school. A school dinner? We passed the school and headed out the gravel road. No clue where we were going. Neither Robert or I asked where we were going and you had said nothing since “Go get in the car.” I have no memory of where we went after passing the school. It was getting late and was almost dark when you pulled left into the yard of an old house. There were no lights shining through the windows. You got out and we followed you to the door. You climbed up three or four steps and knocked on the door. The door opened just a little and a few soft words passed back and forth. The door opened wider and you turned and took the milk and passed it to the person in the doorway, who passed it to someone else, then the cornbread. Through the open doorway I saw several people sitting at an empty table with a single candle, and no food.

We got back into the car and went home. No one said a word. When we got home, we went to bed without supper. We knew where our supper had gone, but neither Robert or I said a word or asked for something to eat. We seemed to know that there were others much worse off than we were. We had a home, a cow and a car. We would eat tomorrow, but others may not.

Mom, what a tremendous example of self-sacrificing love and generosity you set for your two sons that night. Thank you for putting your faith into action and demonstrating what love for the brethren means. I have often thought of that night and wondered who that family was. I have wondered how you became aware of their needs.

Human nature causes us to so readily see all the negative things that happened to us in life. But the new nature given to us by Jesus Christ causes us to see His hand at work in every aspect of our lives and in the lives of others as He conforms us into His image, preparing us for a life with Him in His Heavenly home.

Thank you with my love,

Your loving son, John

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