Inexorable- Not to be persuaded, moved or stopped: relentless(Merriam-Webster)
We all face adversity. Every single day of our life. From traffic and fair-weather friends, to sickness and trying to make ends meet. It's how we deal with adversity that defines us as person. It shapes our personality from the moment we are born, until the moment we pass on. Most of the time, we don't even think about it. We are so used to adversity being a part of our lives, that we just move on through without a second glance. The reason for this is because we learned. We've learned throughout our lives, how to deal with life's every day adversity. But, what happens when a serious brick wall is placed in front of you? Divorce, the big "C", major car repair and you don't have a dime to pay for it. Job loss, or the loss of a loved one, watching major dreams die in front of you. If all of the small adversity moments have defined us, these are the moments that reveal our true character.
There once lived a woman name Judith. Now, if Judith knew anything at all....it was adversity. Her whole life was full of it. For starters, she was born with a hole in her heart. Now, you might say, with today's advances in medicine that not that big of deal. Science has come a long way. And they can fix that. Great!!! However, Judith was born in 1946. And the doctors told her parents she wouldn't live past the age of 12. While the doctors gave their best case scenario, based on the science of medicine of the day, they didn't know the will or spirit, Judith would posses. At the age of 12 Judith had her first heart surgery to fix the hole in her heart. 6 months later, she was back in the cooking line with her sisters on the family farm, serving food to the hungry farm hands.
For the next few years, life was normal for Judith. She graduated high school, married a man name Roy, and settled into life as a married couple. Soon they decided they wanted a child. Try as they might, they could not get pregnant. So, once again Judith looked adversity in the face, and beat it back with adoption papers. The year was 1977, and they adopted a baby boy whose parents were very young(still in high school). They began to raise this child the best they could, despite him being all boy(insert sly grin here lol). Life was good for Judith and Roy. They were happy. Judith worked as a waitress, and Roy as a draftsman at an oil flow meter company. All was well until 1986, when adversity reared it's ugly head once again. Judith's doctor found another irregularity in her heartbeat. And after many, many tests, it was decided she needed open heart surgery to insert an artificial heart valve into her heart. This would mean no more work for at least a year(remember it's 1986). Which would mean less income and larger medical bills. "not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped" Judith went forward with the surgery. It was a very hard time. Money was tight...and non-existent. Bills were piling up. And in the midst, a young boy was growing up.
The next few years were not very pretty, by "normal standards". Yet, Judith and Roy got by. They made ends meet. They pushed through. That is until 1996, when the test results came back positive...Breast Cancer. As is with any Cancer, it was serious. However, the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes on both sides under her arms. Judith, Roy, and their recently graduated son, were devastated. Her son took it really hard. Wondering how a loving God could allow so much pain to happen to one person?! Though she was scared, her main concern remained for her family. As usual, she dried her tears, put a smile on her face, and told her family that God would see her through. And if He didn't, she would just be home earlier than she thought.
First came the radiation. Then the double mastectomy and then the limp node removal. What followed was chemo, and more medication than anyone should have to stomach. She lost every single bit of her hair, and chose to wear a wig proudly(it once flew off in a crowd of people, due to a strong wind.....she just walked over, picked it up, stuck it under her arm, and went on as if nothing happened). The shear amount of medication, over time, caused her skin to create these lesions that pussed and hurt terribly 24/7.
In 2001 Roy received a phone call he had been dreading. While he prayed daily that God would not allow Judith to suffer anymore, he also prayed that God would give him as much time on this earth with her as he could have. However, on this morning, God had other plans for Judith's healing and called her home, as Judith would have said it. Roy rushed to the hospital, only to find he was too late. She had passed on only moments before he arrived.
To most, Judith's life would be a tragedy. But what you don't know about her, is the point of this story. What you don't know is that, even though Judith had just had open heart surgery, she was never actually thinking of herself. She would hear about a need in her community, through the Southern Baptist Grapevine(a group of women who would talk daily on the phone), and she would find a way to meet that need. Whether it was clothes, or food, or an encouraging word for someone who was going through a hard time. What you don't know is Judith became known as "Momma Judy" to every local college student who happened across her path. They would come by her house for Sunday lunch. If she was where she could prepare it, she would. If she couldn't that day, from being too weak, she would have the students cook it with her direction. At times Judith would have as many as 15 to 20 students coming by on Sunday afternoon. Her philosophy was that their mother wasn't there to cook for them, so it was now her job. What you don't know is that Judith worked deals with the local super markets to allow people she knew were in need, to have free food. She did all of these things and more, from right after her open heart surgery, through the cancer days, all the way through the end of her life on this earth. And she did it all with a smile on her face. What you don't know is that when it came time for her funeral, there was standing room only. In fact they had to open the doors at the back because people just kept pouring in. This was not a super star, or a musician, or pro athlete. She was simply and extraordinarily, Judith, Momma Judy, Mrs. Judy.....Mom.
The life that Judith led has been a inspiration to me in all that I do, not just my musical career. Not just because I lived it with her. Or the fact that I watched the pain in her eyes, and a smile on her face, day in and day out. Or the fact that she was my mother. The life of Judith is an inspiration, because we can all learn something from her. Can we smile in the face of certain defeat? Can we #TurnTheLoveUpLoud on those around us, while we're in the midst of major trials? If we are honest with ourselves....no, would be our answer most of the time. However, it's something we can strive for. Something that we can work towards in our daily lives. When adversity comes calling....will you be like Judith? Will you take up the mantle of love in a time of hate? Will you look adversity in the face, and stand your ground, no matter what? Will you, like Judith......be Inexorable?