Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tribute to Mom…9 years ago today…


Around the House, Abby's Birthday, etc 023

…Mama went home to be with the Lord.  Home.  Truly Home.  As I’ve walked these 9 years hence, this day has brought a mix of emotions, sentiments, longings.  A couple of years ago I believe the Lord was directing me to take on more of a spirit celebration, although our grief is real. profound. at times overpowering, the realities of her life forever face-to-face with the Savior she loved and served are indeed beautiful.  Our hope.

For, we do not grieve as those who have no hope.

In the sorting with our big move, I found the tribute I shared at my Mom’s Memorial Service.  As I re-read it, it was like a vision that has been deepening without my even realizing what it was that came to me in the freshness of the loss of her.  I wish I could share the beautiful things each of my sisters, aunt, her friends and family said, the gorgeous rendition of ‘Be Still My Soul’ that my brother sang, it was truly a celebration of her life!  But, I do have this, so this I share:

Even youths grow tired and weary,
   and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
   will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
   they will run and not grow weary,
   they will walk and not be faint.

~Isaiah 40:30-31

{Mama’s favorite verses}

Reflections on Home

When I think about Mom I think about Home—the houses of all shapes and sizes and farmers’ crookedness that she touched and forever changed into true homes.  From bright, cheery curtains adorning each window to the array of plants and flowers varied and blooming to Wednesday night ‘sketti’ dinners and homemade marble brownies to big, warm hugs and tears shed together and mostly a love that was ever-present, never ceasing, constant as the dawn of each day lived under her care—Mom embodied Home.

As I think further on the little things that made everything feel “touched” I am taken to the very center of Mom’s heart from which each little action sprang.  Her heart of hearts was a warm and vibrant place alive to every pang to share, give and embrace the needy souls placed before her.  Young and old, male and female—whomever the person—they evoked her care.

But beyond a human caring, Mom was an ambassador of God’s love and care which is each person’s truest Home.  She gave out of what she knew—never remembering a time when she didn’t believe in the God who created her, redeemed her and was constantly at work within her through the power of His love.  As her understanding of His love deepened, so did her love for others. For Mom, love for God and others was a seamless whole.  Whether a card sent at “just the right time”, a dinner whipped together for an unexpected guest, a “just because” gift—Mom’s touches of love created a Home for God and His children to meet in the midst of this broken world.

However, to say all of these wonderful things, we also know Mom wasn’t perfect.  At times, she lost her way, but she always found her way back to God’s love—never, ever giving up!  Most often her way home would be the path of encouragement of another who was discouraged.  This is what I remember most as her daughter—whenever I was down, no matter how Mom felt, she would always be my greatest cheerleader.  Her solidarity with and desire to bind up the brokenhearted and heal their wounds was a constant fuel to live and love and bless.

So many of you know this first hand and are welled up with emotion—some know it second and third hand and still feel deeply the immense power of Mom’s care.  What a life lived!! and deepest impression made even and especially in her months of deep physical weakness—how we all have been drawn to her peace and love—her, unceasing, unyielding embodiment of Home.

As I feel the overwhelming sadness of having lost one such as Mom from this life, my sadness is profoundly punctuated with a charge.  It is a charge to continue—to let bloom the innumerable seeds of her love within me and to be given over unreservedly to creating and embodying Home for those placed in my own path.  I also believe this is not only a means of healing for me, but our collective healing can come by going on from this day living lives that are inspired by her example.  Yes, may we all be sparked to live as the hands, feet and heart of Jesus Christ.  For we know that this hurting, broken world needs more Mom’s, more Susies, more of this kind of living.

I am so blessed when I think about how God knew the specifics of the time and space within which he would place one of such depth, character and will to live and love.  We each have been the benefactors of this blessed life—none more than my father, siblings and myself who have so clearly etched within our very deepest selves the Home created by God’s love. In Mama’s smile, embrace and myriad of other remembrances we rejoice, this day, as the truly rich king, prince and princesses we are!

I’d like to close with a poem I wrote, but the words are what I imagine Mom might say to us all right now could she speak to us:

Were you to see me now

You’d see the rest I know

The warmth of sunlight

Upon my face; peace bestowed.


No more wandering away from Home

Yielding ever to His call, “Child, come.”


Many days when tired and worn

I longed to be at rest forevermore.

But happy yet remained

My heart to stand life’s test.


Delight I knew in knowing and showing

All other weary, tired pilgrims

the face of Home.


For to know is to give.

To see is to live.

And days lived preparing, making ready,

and welcoming Home all you know, take

you right to the door of Heaven--

our True Home.


So find the way soon,

Don’t miss days there,

nor eternity here.


Come Home with me one and all

I long to see you again,

in our Forever-Home.

But know I will rest

In deepest joy until then.

AWK 5/2002


Sharing with the wonderful SDG Sisterhood at Jen’s 


also with Laura at the Wellspring and her Playdates with God:


finally with Emily’s Imperfect Prose:

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1 comment:

  1. Such a beautiful tribute to your mother, a celebration of her life for certain. Thanks for sharing those special words with us :)


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