A few years ago for Mother’s Day, I wrote the following blog post about my mom. Today my heart is aching and my emotions are raw, as I prepare to say my final goodbye. Her death has left our entire family devastated. My mom was a unique, one-of-kind woman. and it is hard to even comprehend the impact she has had on multiple lives. It would take an entire book to share the kind of life she lived, the kind of example she set, and the kind of love that she showed. She was a mentor to many, an extraordinary friend, and an awesome mom.
She was never afraid of change and never stopped growing. At the age of 85, she asked my sister to show her how to use texting on her phone so she could keep up with everyone. (By everyone, she probably meant her grandchildren and great grandchildren.) She stayed well informed of what was going on in the world around her. She volunteered, she ran a business for 20 years after “retiring,” she was involved in several organizations and and loved the Lord.
She will be missed more than words can ever express. Here is what I wrote a few years ago:
When I was growing up, I thought my mom was a slave driver! When she insisted I do something over because I didn’t do it right the first time, I resented it. When she made me apologize for something when I didn’t see I was in the wrong, I was angry. When she made me learn how to wash windows, clean the floor, iron, and do laundry, I did it because it was better than getting yelled at for not doing it. Yep, she was unrealistic, expected too much of me, and made my life miserable when I was young!
And I am so glad she did.
My mom taught me skills I would need to know as I became older and more mature. She taught me the value of doing a job well and having pride in my accomplishments. By finishing her high school degree as a mother of six in her mid-30s, she taught me the importance of an education and that you are never too old to learn. Not only did she get her GED in her 30s, she went to nursing school for her RN degree, finished a bachelor’s degree, and then completed her master’s degree.
She still is a prolific reader, keeps up with whats going on in the world around her, and is always willing to learn new things–even technology. I read my niece’s comment on facebook one time and she was excited that her grandma was not only on facebook, but was also chatting with her online!
My mom taught me the value of family and taking care of the people you love. As my great Aunt Oreta and Uncle Everett grew older, mom made sure they always had a place to go for holidays, did their laundry, cleaned their house, and took care of –well, whatever they needed. When anyone in the extended family needs to know something, mom is the one they go to. She has stayed connected to all of the various aunts and uncles and cousins and cousins kids through the years.
She is a fighter and has taught me the value of not quitting when things get tough. She has survived the mental illness of a parent, poverty, too many moves to count, raising six children, the death of one child, the stillbirth of another, the loss of a home to fire, the death of my father, cancer, the death of a grandchild, the loss of a business building to fire, and the destruction of a tornado. She has taught me the value of faithfulness, perseverance, thriftiness, and generosity.
She delights us with her garage sale presents each year. She generously opens her home for visitors and family. And she makes AWESOME homemade donuts. Come to think of it, she is a lot like the Proverbs 31 woman!
While my mom is not perfect and I still think I have to do an extra good cleaning job when she comes to visit, I love being around her. She is a woman who has aged gracefully and continues to be a source of inspiration and encouragement to her family and friends.
So mom, if you are reading this–thanks for expecting the best of me, teaching me, praying for me, disciplining me, and encouraging me. I thank God that he chose you to be my mom.
Today, take the time to tell your loved ones how special they are. Tomorrow, they may not be here to do it. Life is fleeting, So goodbye for now, Mom. But soon I’ll be seeing you again. I am so glad that we have heaven to look forward to!