Today I found the words that I spoke at my Mom's funeral. It's quite long but I thank you for hearing my heart. Also remember, I was quite a bit younger and in emotional turmoil. Any quotes from my Mom are in italics. I will write a response to this later...
My mom put her whole life in God's hands. Much of what I will try to say today is from the journals she wrote in. Shortly before her surgery in April, she had written:
“How could I leave? How could my family make it without me? All I could do was hang onto my faith that night and over the next few days. God took me through the valley. His answer was simple, 'I love you and I love your family and no matter what the outcome, I will take care of all of you.'”
She continues to write:
“God will help John and the kids through and I have to trust Him to just that. My mom died when I was 29 in 1984 and I felt I was much too young. My kids are younger and I can't even think of what it would be like for them. My greatest fear is that they will turn away from God in anger.”
I truly believe the opposite has happened. My faith in God has become much stronger since her illness began in December of 1997. She was a light that shone to me and helped me get through the storms. After reading numerous journals, I know that it was God who helper her along and it is God who will continue to help me along as well.
The next thing I want to say came from a piece she wrote titled On Being a Mom. It is too long to read entirely so I chose some special lines.
“I love my children and it has always been important to me that they know it and feel it. I hugged and kissed my babies, they often fell asleep on my chest. I tried to tell them I loved them. I used words, actions, and connections. I tried to listen and really hear them. I tried to make each feel special, protected, encouraged and obedient. I tried to mold their behaviour so they would be likeable children. I tried to teach them clear moral standards and the meaning of loyalty and sharing. I encouraged them to be their own person. I taught them to work hard and do their best. To live with gusto and enthusiasm.”
After reading that, I realized that I want to be the mom to Joshua that she was to me. I feel that those are a set of guidelines that I need to follow and raise my own son by. I hope I do a good job. The last thing I want to quote is a prayer Mom wrote on August 4, 1998.
“Father in Heaven, I ask in the name of your Son Jesus, that through the power of the Holy Spirit, that I may be healed completely. Fully and totally healed and restored. I long to be whole and physically strong. Please hear my prayer O God.”
The first time I read that, I was angry with God. Why didn't He answer her desperate plea? Why couldn't he have done that for her? Then I began to realize that He did. Maybe not the way we would have wanted – to have her earthy heart healed – but I know her Heavenly heart is beating in perfect rhythm. She is running down the streets of gold praising the God she fully trusted. She is a witness to me and I have learned a lot from her and her personal testimony. I thank God for the special times I shared with her after Joshua was born and I will treasure those days forever. I would just like to add:
Mom, you taught me everything I know – how to cook, clean, and bake; how to be a good wife and mom. You were the best teacher in the world, and as my role model, I hope I continue to live the way you would have wanted me to. I will never forget the many talks we had and any time I have a cup of tea, I'll be thinking of you. You were my best friend in the whole world and I wasn't ready to say good-bye. We are both too young to lose each other and I still need you more than ever. On Tuesday morning, I promised I would take care of Joshua for you, and I know you'll be watching out for us. I love you Mom and will miss you always.