I really wish I could paint a picture to illustrate what I am feeling right now. There is obviously a lot of pain and grief that my family is feeling right now. But knowing that I do not want to focus on the grief – not right now. Rather, I want to focus on my mom and how she impacted those around her. To try and show you what mom’s life meant to me, and so many others along her life’s path. Not a single word can explain who she was, or how she impacted any one person, but the series of words that come immediately to mind include – unparalleled love, compassionate, faithful –both to us and to God, jolly and humorous, full of life, wife, mom, sister, and grandma. These words are just the beginning, and as I think about it there really is no end.
Over the past few days I have been thinking through mom’s life and how she touched so many of us. I have tried to put into words the impact mom had on my life, and each time I tried I realized that I just couldn’t. Words continued to fail me. She was more than a series of words to me – mere words just couldn’t capture her life fully enough. Mere words just couldn’t capture her love fully enough. Mere words just couldn’t capture our love for her fully enough.
No – words are not adequate enough to illustrate the feelings I have for her. There are so many memories that continue to flood through my mind and heart. Memories ranging from the compassion she had for others, the love she offered that was never ending, the example she set daily with regard to our family and life in general, her ability to touch each life she ran into and offer them a unique touch or caring word, the faithfulness in how she lead her life, the humbleness in how she carried herself – these memories, these “feelings” if you will, are just the beginning of what she meant to me. These memories, these examples of how to live life, are what helped shaped my life.
So with that said, I wanted to relay this one story.
As I was driving up to the country after hearing about mom passing away, my senses were in complete overdrive. I was seeing everything. Pulling it all in –wanting to remember everything. I wanted to remember the tons of flowers that lined the highway as I raced to see dad, the splendid red sunset that we were blessed with off to the west, the near total darkness – laced with fog – that took over a piece of the drive, to the ultra bright moon that appeared to light the country side the rest of the way.
Each of these pieces of the drive reminded me of mom and her life. The beautiful flowers that lined the highway illustrated how she brightened up our lives for so many years. The splendid red sunset illustrated the way she ended her life with God quietly calling out her name. The total darkness illustrated how I felt immediately after hearing “Mom didn’t make it.” And finally the ultra bright moon illustrated that her memories I carry with me daily are still as bright today as they were yesterday.
Also, to me the drive up to the country was a nice illustration of her path through life. The path was straight at times, curvy at others, there were hills and valleys, fast spots and slow spots. But the constant that was there was mom’s compassion and love for her family and friends – the colorful flowers, if you will, that she planted along the way to make our lives more bearable. All of us flourished just because she touched our lives with her sense of humor, and her wit. All of us flourished because she showered us with her love and affection. Whether that person called her honey, mom, grandma or Virginia, she cared for each of us in a unique way. Looking back at her life, I realize now that her heart was larger than any of us knew. Each of us felt special. Each of us felt loved.
When God made a final appearance in her life and asked for her to join Him, she exited this life much like the splendid sunset I saw. So stunning. So beautiful. Holding on. The wit and humor that we saw each day continued to tease the landscape until the very end. Wanting to shed her light for just a few more minutes. Slowly exiting. She exited this world surrounded by loving hands to another set of expecting, and loving hands – God.
Mom was a woman who touched the lives of so many, yet in a lot of ways she did it quietly. She did it personally. She did it without thought. She did it only with the love in her heart. There are so many people who will miss her passionate love, her motherly love, and her Christ like walk.
These past few days have afforded me the opportunity to reminisce and hear about all the ways that mom has touched those around her – her own little world if you may. I know that on Sunday evening, when she stood in front of God, He looked at her with His tender eyes and said, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Well done.” and He took His big carpenter arms and threw them around her and said welcome home.
Mom, we will miss you dearly.