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Before I Exceed To Glory
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Before I Exceed To Glory
[850 words]
Renee Zeno
[July 2001]
Before I Exceed To Glory
Renee Zeno

In 1993, my mother was diagnosed with a disease called sclaradermia. From that day on my mother life was no the same. This disease cause my mother to lose weight profusely, it took the pigment of her skin, caused her to lose her balance. My mother went from a healthy strong woman to a woman who could hardly do for her self. Day in and day out my mother struggled in every step she took, but she refuse to give up. Year after year my mother started to get sicker, by this time she didnít even look like the same person, literally.

The summer of 1999, I graduated from high school, determining if I was going to go to college or stay at home. Also during that summer, I ran AAU Junior Olympic Games. I had a few problems with the coach where I lived in Knoxville, TN, he told me it was too late. My mother refused to leave it that way, so she made a few phone calls and I started running for a track team in Johnson City which was two hours away. This summer my mother had as much energy as I did and even more. God gave my mother enough energy to make it possible for me to run because she took me where ever I needed to go such as Johnson City, Alabama, and Savannah, Georgia. If I had not let my mother make that call, I would be at home at a community college or not in college at all.

One month later my mother got real sick, that she wound up in the hospital because she couldnít breath. I had to leave her because school was starting. A few days after school started, I came home to visit her. Every time I am faced with my mother being sick like this I tend to run away, not saying very much or staying long. This time I said one day that day might be this day the last time I see her alive. So that day I stayed with her as long as I could bear, I laid in the bed beside her and held her hand and prayed with her. The next day I left, back for school, leaving her with the words that I love you and that everything will be o.k.

September 5, which was on a Sunday, I started to have problems with getting a fever and breaking out in cold sweats, and this happened two nights in a row. On September 7, I could not stop thinking about my mother, which was a sleepless night for me. The next day while going to class I felt that I had been deprived of something, or something had been taken away from me. I only felt like this for a moment not thinking that something could have possibly have gone wrong. Later on that evening when I got home I checked my messages, to find that my boyfriend had left me several messages. I returned his call, and asked him was something wrong because it was unusual for him to call that much, he said nothing. Finally, he came out and said I donít want to be the one to tell you, at that moment I started shacking and then I knew something was wrong with my mother. I called my father and said, "how is mom" he repeated me at that moment I knew that my mother had past. I thought to myself never will I see her, hug her, or hear the sound of her voice giving me advice in flesh, but I will always have her in SPIRIT. Still in shock, I was happy that she had to suffer no more, as she had been suffering for the past six years. On September 11, 1999, we had my motherís home going service, as my dad called it. My mother asked my dad to do one thing when she passed, which was to preach at her funeral. She also requested live gospel music, no mourning songs. She said look at this as a church service not as a funeral. Even though it might have been hard for my dad he preached as if it was a normal Sunday. Before my mother died she said "Donít cry for me be happy for that I can rejoice and see his face.

Everyone has a purpose on this earth. One of my motherís purposes was to see me through high school. My mother said she prayed everyday to see her graduation, and God blessed her with 36 more years living to be 54. On September 8, 1999, that morning before she died my dad laid with her holding her in his arms, he dosed off and when he awoke, she was already through with this life going on to a better life. My dad said that he was glad to be with her during her last breath.

I feel comfort and happiness that my mother left here knowing and sharing her knowledge with me so that I could continue on and succeed as she did.



"This is amazing how true to life this story is to one very similar in my home town. One of best friends has this same disease and has a son who is a very good basketball and she wants him to go on to college and play at the next level. I think that you were reading Denese and Adam's mind when you wrote this story. It made me cry." -- Vicki Roberts Bowen, Metter, GA, USA.


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© 2001 Renee Zeno
July 2001

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