We had planned for another trip out near the end of October, but on Monday, October 16, we were told that it wasn't looking very good and we should accelerate our plans. So my brother Don and I left on Wednesday afternoon, but when we arrived in Birmingham we learned that she had slipped away quietly while we were still in the air.
I am grateful that my sister Kay, who lives near my parents and was able to help care for my mom during those last difficult days, and my youngest brother Lee, were at my mom's side when she went to be with Jesus. I am also very grateful that the time when she was most sick was mercifully short. The last time I spoke with her, less than a week before she died, she was feeling good and hopeful for recovery in spite of the dire prognosis. As usual, she was thinking of others and not herself.
I don't want to put my mom, or anyone else, up on an alabaster pedestal. She was human, and had her faults, like everyone else I know. But how do you summarize the impact on your life of the person who has known you longer than anyone else? A person who, while having seen them at their worst, you still know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have an authentic and abiding relationship with the eternal God?
At her funeral, someone was telling me that in about four years of knowing my mom, they had never heard her speak a word of criticism against someone else. "In forty-three years of knowing her," I replied, "I never heard her do that either." That's when it hit me: 43 years? How many people, other than my mom and dad, have I known for 43 years? Not one.
In one sense, it's a stunning blow to lose someone you know and love and respect so well. In another, it's a reason for rejoicing. I know my mother longed to go home. She spent time with the Lord daily, was a warrior in prayer, and had great faith and hope in a better place to come. It's wonderful that her suffering has ended and she is walking on the soil of heaven. But naturally, we who are left miss her a lot.
Anyway, that's the tension that we struggle with. Rejoicing and grieving, both in the same cup.
I'll spare you further rambling. The main purpose of this page is to present a selection of photos from my mom's life. Most are relatively recent. I have more at home, so I will continue adding to this page when I get back.