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A Tribute to My Mother

Thirteen years ago today, my mother entered into glory….

After two years of battling brain cancer, she finally went to meet our Savior…

I was thirteen when she got sick and was unable to function as my “Mommy” any more. She didn’t know it when I was young, but she was only going to have thirteen years to instill in me the things I needed to know. Those first thirteen years were her chance at “filling my cup”,nurturing my heart, mind and soul, and impressing upon me eternal values. For my young brother, he only got 5 years of that. It is sobering for me, as a mom myself now, to know that I cannot presume upon a long lifetime of pouring into my children.  I must be faithful in the years, the days, the moments that I DO have to be planting those seeds in my children.  I am so thankful that my mother was faithful in these areas.  I am so glad that she made the moments count.

Thank you, Mama, for loving Jesus so much.

Thank you for rising early each morning to make your coffee and study the Scriptures at the dining room table, so that my first sight of you when I walked down the stairs each morning, was you at the feet of Jesus. I’ve learned to run there myself.

Thank you for loving, cherishing, and respecting Daddy, I didn’t realize then that you were teaching me how to be a wife.

Thank you, Mama, for being quick to laugh…that contagious, fun giggle…and that you always laughed with us and not at us. When I have a giggle session with the kids, I think of you…

Thank you for always having people into our home, even though it stressed you out at times.  You taught me how to be a hostess.

Thank you for the ways you encouraged and complimented us.  “You’re such a sweet girl” “You are so beautiful” “What a smart kid you are!” now come to my own lips as I speak life into your grandchildren.

Thank you for enjoying us as kids.  You came down on our level. You helped us create make-believe worlds…Like playing “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” when we were on walks in the woods, setting up “library” or playing “make way for the princess!” when we were suppose to be sweeping the sidewalk…my prayer since I got pregnant with Daniel Josiah was that I would truly enjoy my kids the way you enjoyed us.  Kids know when they are treasured or when they are just a chore.  I know I did.

Thank you for always reading to us, even when we were older and could read for ourselves…reading time is now one of your grandbabies’ favorite activities in our house.

Thank you for spending yourself on others and dragging us along with you.  Although we weren’t much help, little principles were being impressed upon us as we watched you feed the elderly, teach Vacation Bible School, and lead people in prayer.

Thank you for exercising and enjoying it…Trinity tries to do workout videos with me just like I tried to do with you when I was five.

Thank you, Mama, for being so faithful to get me to places where I could learn the truths of the Bible even when I sometimes didn’t want it..all the Advent Clubs, Pioneer Girls, Choir Practices, the Christian schools, the camps, and Vacation Bible Schools.

But also, thank you for the long uninterrupted hours of play that you didn’t fill up with constant activity…Betsy and I learned so much from “setting up house”, building forts, organizing stuff for “school”, and playing different games together.

Thank you for gathering us kids together to pray when we couldn’t find the keys, or the car wouldn’t start…I learned that Jesus is ever-present because you treated Him like He was.

Thank you for prioritizing family time, and seeking to build traditions.  We’ve carried on some of yours, but we’re also building new ones…

Thank you for taking the time to make baby books for us…I treasure it so much, Mama. To see your handwriting, to know your thoughts about me when I was one and two and three…I’m blogging now, so that my kids, too, can know the thoughts that I have had about them in years to come.

Thank you, Mama, for praying for my sister relationship with Betsy.  Those prayers have been answered a hundred fold and now I’m praying them for my two girls. (I think its so fun that I’m following in your footsteps of having a boy, two girls, and another boy…although what you did in the course of 15 years, I managed to cram into 5  years)

Thank you, Mama, for embracing motherhood so wholeheartedly….for pouring your life into your children.  I’m so glad that those brief years with you were not split with an outside job.  Thank you so much for giving yourself to us.

Thank you for being SO FULL of LIFE…now that I’m older I know where that LIFE came from…it came from the LORD of LIFE…I know where the energy came from…you were laboring with all His energy.  But when I was a child, I needed that Lord to have arms to hug me, hands to hold mine, eyes to look into, a mouth to smile upon me with, a voice to speak words of encouragement. Thank you, Mama, for showing Jesus to me…by letting Jesus live in you.

My sweet husband, who you never got to meet, but you prayed for even when I was a baby, wrote you a song, Mama. He wrote it for you when he asked me to be his wife…a wife that your example molded..a wife that CAUGHT far more than she realized or could have been TAUGHT if you had lived longer. He is thankful, too, for the seeds you planted, the investments you made.  They are eternal.  And they are now being planted in your grandchildren.  And Lord-willing they will be planted in the generations to come.

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  • Jerrie Rutledge on March 10, 2011

    My dear Kimberly—- Have just read your BEAUTIFUL tribute to your mother. My eyes were filled with trears as I read it–for several reasons. I wept wishing she had lived to see the beautiful wife and mother you have become and wishing that I had been a better mother. You are the person that you are because of her love for Jesus and for you. What a precious gift she gave you!!!!!! I know there must be days you are VERY tired, but He gives you the strength and patience you need for that day. God bless and keep you—Jerrie

  • Diane Jones on March 11, 2011


    What a lovely tribute to your Mom. Made me smile and cry. I see her in you all the time, especially when you are interacting with your children. The bond between mother and daughter is strong, even though you only had each other for those 13 short years.

    I also wish I had been more like your Mom as far as raising our boys. My faith walk hasn’t been nearly as straight and true, but I’m getting there. Ironically, this morning I was out walking with my “Circle of Sisters” from my small group at church…walking along the same Lower Road and up through Brewster Park as your Mom and I used to walk all those mornings when you visited us here on Cape Cod. Back then, I didn’t even belong to a Bible Study. Now I belong to two and treasure those moments of discovery and comfort and strengthening in my faith with these women. I have a long way to go in my faith walk, but I have realized for the past 13 years that the reason I am on the path at all is your Mom.

    Thank you, Jesus, for the gift that was Katy. And thank you, Kimberly, for sharing your thoughts with all of us today.

    Aunt Di

  • Anne Valentine on March 17, 2011

    Hi Kimberly,

    I hope you remember me from the Daniel Bible study at the Salvatore’s home in NJ several years back. You were very pregnant with Trinity at the time. I came across your updated blog this week and have been overwhelmingly blessed and encouraged reading through it. Now I just listened to this song and am bawling my eyes out! I never knew you went through all of that but what a legacy your mom did leave behind, all the ways you can see that she lives on in you in the many things she instilled in you over the years she had. Beautiful. Keep sharing your life, your calling and vision is catching and has helped me this week to see into my own life.

    Many blessings to you as you continue to live out God’s call on your life. I’m praying for you all as Danny heads to Japan!


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