July. 13. 1999. The date that will be forever etched in my mind. The day that my mom took her final breath on earth and went home to be with her eternal Father. As I've put her memories in the forefront of my mind the past few days, I find it hard to create, yet another blog post. So I'm using the one I wrote in 2011. Very little has changed. I've gotten older, the kids keep growing and time doesn't stop. In fact, it's hard to believe she's been gone for 14 years already. There was a time where I was sure I wouldn't be able to survive. But I have. This is what I found that I wrote two years ago:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~July 13, 2011:
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.
"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."
When we had these family pictures done, my dad had requested
one of just my mom. The photographer did an
amazing job of capturing her beauty, inside and out.