Three years ago today my Mom went to heaven. Today's post is partially composed of what I posted the day she left us. As it was then, I am experiencing a great bundle of different emotions. It is hard to believe in one sense that it has been three years and in another way I cannot believe how much has changed in the span of only three "short" years.
I helped my Dad take care of my Mom in the last few years of her life. My siblings were also of great help, but because I didn't work a traditional job I was most available and spend considerable time with my parents at doctor visits and later on when hospice became involved.
From January 13, 2009:
My desire in all this from the beginning was to glorify God in caring for and ministering to my mom. I made her certain promises along the way, and by God's grace I kept every one. I already miss her, but I have been missing her for a long time already. What was left of her in the end was not at all who my mom "is" but just remnants of her. In spite of the misery she experienced daily living with emphysema and COPD and arthritis, occasionally we would be treated to a little of the old mom. She would pop off a one liner that really cracked us up! My mom had the greatest sense of humor!
My mom taught me how to be a wife and a mom, and I think that is her lasting legacy in my life. It was because of what I saw in her that I really only ever wanted to be a wife and mother rather then pursue college or a career. I watched how much she absolutely loved everything about both of those things and it made me want what she had. Mom loved to cook and bake and clean the house. She loved and excelled at the tasks many women frowned on. To her they were not drudgery, they were love. She fussed over the details of meals, making sure all the colors were on the plate. She loved to make the food look nice on the plate. When it was time to plan the Christmas or Easter meals, she would plan out every detail. She had a pile of cookbooks and would pour over them looking for ideas.
She loved gadgets and had just about every one there was. Not many people can boast they have an electric potato peeler! Sometimes she would buy something for the kitchen just because it was cute!
My mom was sacrificial. I remember her buying something for me that I only wanted and forgoing something for herself that she may have needed. Many people have commented on how we have cared for our parents during mom's illness, and this too is a testimony to things that were instilled in us.
My mom was one of my best friends. She and I just hung out together. We enjoyed many of the same things and until the past few years we spent many hours a week together. We made Christmas ornaments, cookies, painted things, shopped together and ate at our favorite Red Lobster whenever we could.
She is a part of me, in more ways than the usual mother-daughter relationship. I valued her opinion and perspective and I learned so much from her. Her influence in my life cannot be overstated nor can it be replaced.
I will miss you Mom...as I told you (today) as you were taking your final breaths, for you and me this is not "goodbye" it is "see ya later." Because you chose to trust Christ as your Savior we will meet again in His presence one day. Tonight as I write this, you have been with Him for 12 whole hours. The first 12 of eternity! I know you know now that I was right about all I taught you from the Bible about salvation. That brings me more joy than you can understand! It makes the loss of your presence more bearable to me.
My kids tell me all the time that I am the best mom ever...if that is the case, it is because I learned it from you, the best mom ever.
Three years later, I still miss you Mom. I know we will see each other again one day.
I love you,