Tuesday, December 29, 2009
A Life Well Lived...
Hard to believe that three months ago yesterday, my almost 100 year old Mom went home to be with the Lord.
After 10 days in an unresponsive state due to a massive stroke, Ana K. Brozek Reddy breathed her last on earth and stepped into heaven.
What a full and colorful life she had!
Born in Chicago of immigrant Slovakian parents, she grew up during the roaring twenties, the depression and both WWI and WWII. Knowing at least three languages due to the multi-ethnic community she lived in, Mom decided to "travel the world" once with her own mother, and another to attend Charles University in Prague. Along the way, to finish her degree, she attended the U of I, U of Chicago, and U of Minnesota. She ended up with a degree in social work which was a blessing as she had to raise me when my dear father passed away...I was only four.
Mom met and married a Czech immigrant, Yaro V. Brozek, in 1953,whom she met at an art exhibit the year before. Yaro was a commercial artist at Montgomery Wards, and also a watercolorist in his spare time. He left over 400 European style paintings each designed to "work out a problem" in painting technique. Dad had a unique sense of humor, and kept my Mom laughing.
We were both devastated when he died, but we know that God works all things together for our good.
As I was growing up, I remember Mom opening her home to friends, family and missionaries for a meal or Bible Study. We were both active at Norwood Gospel Chapel, and grew steadily in the Lord. She was always willing to help or counsel someone, and gave both money and clothing to those who had need of them.
Mom was never ashamed of her faith in God, and would ask others if they knew Jesus as their Savior. She would pass out tracts to those she met and share God's Word whether they wanted to hear or not!
She was bold and unafraid, meeting joy and trials with the same strong spirit. At times, it was tough to live with her as a child, but I now see the benefits of doing so. I never questioned her love for me, even tho' she may not have verbalized it much. "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" and "Never, never, never give up" are two quotes that characterize her. The last 10 years of her life were spent with walkers and in wheelchairs, but she always desired to do everything she could for herself.
I am thankful for the heritage I received from her influence...it has made me a stronger person. And most of all, I am grateful that she lead me to the Lord at an early age.
In many ways, she was God's gift to me, although at the time, I would not acknowledge it. May the Lord help me to be strong and steadfast as I raise my own children for God's kingdom.