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Don’t Be Too Late

By: Donna Martin

July 12, 1983 was a hot, Texas, summer day.  We spent that day celebrating our oldest son’s 7th birthday at Six Flags Over Texas.  My mother was in the hospital recovering from a hysterectomy that she had undergone the day before.  Everything had gone smoothly.  She talked with us and was in good spirits when we visited with her in the hospital on the evening of July 11.  I thought about going by to see her at the hospital that morning before we drove 60 miles to the amusement park in Arlington, but I decided not to make the call.  I did not want to bother her early in the morning, and we were in a hurry to get to the park by the time it opened.  Mike and I enjoyed a fun-filled day with our sons.  We returned home late that evening tired and exhausted.  After putting the boys to bed, I checked the messages on our phone (those were the days before cell phones).   I had several missed calls from my sister; her only message was, “Call me as soon as you can.”  Since it was nearly midnight I realized it was too late to call, thinking that if it was an emergency she would have left more of a message.  We went to bed.  The next morning I was awakened early by a call from my sister.

“You need to come to the hospital quickly,” she said.  “Something is wrong with Mother.”

I hurriedly dressed and rushed to my mother’s side.  She was thrashing around in the hospital bed. She couldn’t talk to us.  Nurses hurried into her room.  Alarms sounded.  We were asked to leave the room, and suddenly Mother was wheeled down the hall to intensive care, placed on a respirator, and never talked to us again.  A week later we gathered around her bedside as she went to be with the Lord.  She was only 58.

Mother’s Day has never been the same since that day in 1983.   

Colossians 4:5b states “….make the most of every opportunity. 

You never know when tragedy will strike. Live life with no regrets.  Take time to call and visit your parents and in-laws.  Speak words of encouragement to your spouse and say “I love you” often.  Teach your children to love others, and show them how to honor you by honoring your own parents.

The Martins currently present “Happy Together” marriages seminars for churches and organizations.  To schedule a seminar call Michael at 940-735-1515. They also publish a weekly “Happy Together” Blog about family and marriage issues.  You can order copies of their new books Dancing With Death and 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14,610 Days of Marriage, read, and subscribe to their “Happy Together” Blog by logging onto the Martin’s website at


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