Four and a half years ago, my family made an impromptu trip to Kansas to help move my Mom into a nursing home. It was a somber trip, one that we were not quite prepared to take. One day, she had been full of life. The next, we thought that we would likely lose her.
She doesn’t remember that we came to be with her that weekend. She was unaware of what was going on in that time due to an issue with medications and not being treated properly. Instead of losing her at that time, we discovered that she had metastatic cancer. And it was terminal.
It was hard news, but what happened after that weekend was truly remarkable. Her doctors were able to regulate her medicine and she began treatments. What we thought was a goodbye trip turned into a bonus of four years with my Mom. Those years would become incredibly precious for our relationship. We were able to work through challenges in our relationship and develop a closeness that I had not expected. What a gift! My Mom had always been one of my biggest supporters, but in those years, I grew to appreciate her more than I had ever anticipated. She prayed for me, she cried with me, she listened, she encouraged, she pointed to Jesus. And I was able to do the same for her.
We thought we would lose her four and a half years ago, but God knew we all needed her a little bit longer. She was able to be at many of her grandchildren’s special life moments, most notably her oldest granddaughter’s wedding. My sisters and I were able to celebrate special occasions with her- a Mother’s day all together and then my sisters and their families celebrated her 80th birthday.
This past October, her prayers were answered and she went home to be with Jesus. Rather than the abrupt loss we anticipated at one time, we were granted the long goodbye and the opportunity to say all we needed to say. This too was a gift!
My Mom leaves a legacy behind that I am reminded of every single day. Every time I cook or bake, I think of her. When I read scripture and pray, I think of her. My kids are having their own significant life moments and I want to share them with her.
When God wove me together in my Mother’s womb, He was also weaving my life together with hers.
My oldest daughter needs to have a dress altered and as our friend was pinning her dress together the other day, I was reminded again of what a treasure my Mama was. She was a seamstress and made countless dresses for my sisters and I. She completely altered my wedding dress, a painstaking job that she took on with love. I missed her so much in that moment, knowing that she would have loved to see her granddaughter in her beautiful dress. And she would have had plenty of advice to share!
Fifteen years ago, my Mom made matching Easter dresses for all of her granddaughters. A few years ago, my sister gave me one of those dresses to use for my youngest daughter some day. I hung it up in my closet knowing that it would be awhile before my girl would be able to wear it.
As I was preparing for my Mom’s funeral and considering what everyone would wear, I remembered that dress. And of course, it fit my girl perfectly. Of all the dresses Mom made, this one was her favorite color, a soft shade of blue. It was meant to be.
My Mom had no idea when she made that particular dress all of those years ago that it would be worn in celebration of her beautiful life at her funeral. But that’s how life works. We never know how our faithfulness, our diligence, our hard work, our persistence, our loving kindness, or our thoughtfulness will be used to bless the lives of others some day in the future. Seeing the blessing that my Mom’s life continues to have inspires me to live my life well, to serve others and to bring glory to our great God. Just like my Mama.