Sunday, December 9, 2018

When Life Changes in a Moment.. by Christine Bush

 My mother in law, Amelia is101 years old. She was born in 1917. Can you imagine the changes she has seen in her amazing lifetime?

Think about it. Cars. Phones. Air flight. Medicine. Television. The internet. The list is endless.

Amelia lived through World War 1, World War 2, The Korean War, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, praying for many soldier family members through the generations.
She raised six awesome kids, and has a ton a grands, great grands, and a few great-great grands.

Life has had its ups and downs, its gifts and challenges over 101 years, and she has embraced every one of them as they came her way, flowing with the change.  She’s an amazing lady.

But a few weeks back, Amelia was dealt a gargantuan challenge.  She has lived in the Paradise, California area for 47 years, in her tidy little house amid the trees and foothills of the mountains that she loves. Her daughter, my sister in law, Carol, has lived with her as her caretaker for the past few years.

Then the Paradise Camp Fire struck. The devastation was immediate, fierce, and all encompassing. Choking smoke filled the air and stung the eyes.  With God’s grace, Carol and Amelia successfully evacuated from their blazing neighborhood. Some neighbors were not so fortunate.

Amid the joy and relief that they had escaped came the heartwrenching realization of all they had lost. Many possessions,memorabilia, pictures, familiar surroundings. Their church, the school, the whole town. Life changed in a big way.

They are safely with family, until decisions are made for relocation. While Amelia is sad, of course, she is handling this like she has handled so much in her life. She is a woman of dignity and grace. Awesome and strong.

I watched this acceptance as we celebrated Thanksgiving, communicating from across the country.  It humbled me.  I can take so much for granted. Little problems can loom large until I put them in perspective. Right now, I am FILLED with gratitude for all I have in my life, especially the people I love.

I am so proud of Amelia and Carol, and the thousands of others who face the tough changes from this disaster, choosing to look forward with a smile.  And I am so proud of the many people who have (and are) stepping forward to rescue, help, encourage and share with those in need, showing us all the heartwarming side of human nature. We're all in this thing called life together!

At 101, Amelia is thriving and loving, even with this difficult loss and change.  And my husband and I are very, very grateful.  May we all face the challenges that life brings with such wisdom and strength.
Have you ever faced tragedy? What helped you get through?

Christine Bush is a USA Today Bestselling author of romance, romantic mystery, and suspense.  She can be found living in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania with her husband and 2 lazy cats, and spending time with her 12 grandchildren.   When she’s not writing, she’s teaching Psychology at a local college, and working with clients in her private practice as a Marriage and Family Therapist. She loves to hear from readers and writers!

Christine's  “Sunny Smile” is a sweet romantic mystery set on the Navajo reservation!




  1. What a beautiful tribute to your mother-in-law, Christine. I am joyful and relieved along with you. Sending prayers for a smooth transition during this challenging time.

  2. Amelia is such an inspiration for everyone!!
    Merry Christmas,
    Margaret Daley

  3. What an amazing story! Thanks, Christine, for sharing that.

  4. Christine, thank you for sharing Amelia's very inspiring story!