The Anniversary of her Departure
This weekend we celebrated the nineteen year anniversary of her departure from this world and her beckoning into the next. And what a way to remember and rejoice in her life, but with the newness of her eleventh grandchild and her widowed husband bustling about, helping care for seven of them, just the way she would have if she were here.
The fact that one of her daughters flew down from NYC to help welcome her sister’s seventh child into the family, and the fact that those sisters relished every moment together and prayed together and laughed together, is a testimony of that mother’s prayers for her girls.
And so, here, I post a tribute to my mother….a letter I wrote several years and a couple of children ago, but one that still rings true. A letter I need to reread at least once a year, to be a reminder….
a reminder of the gift of now, a reminder of the gift of my children, a reminder to not take for granted one second of life or the opportunity that life allows for pouring into and praying over my little ones.
Thirteen nineteen 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.