Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Mom's Eulogy--August 21, 2007

As I reflected, I wrote down my thoughts.
With God’s help, here they are:

Volkwagens and Bobby Pins.
Germaine Monteil and Bonnie Bell.
Her hair in a bun and a scarf around her neck.
McClarens and the Jaye Shoppe.
The Ritz Shoppe and Joseph Hornes.
Royal Secret and Royal Oak.
Puppies and Pretzels.
Her hair in a bun and a scarf around her neck.

These are the things I think of:

Lonely, dreary days.
Waiting for my mom to come home.
No neighbors, no friends, just my mom.
HeeHaw, Lawrence Welk.
Mister Rogers and Sesame Street and Zoom.
Waiting for my mom to come home.

My mom was beautiful. She was fun and she was strong.
She spent as much time with me as she could.
I lived for her time with me.

Papap and Gramma.
A trapeze swing and a tractor.
Playing cards and Myron Cope.
Digging for worms and digging for potatoes.

If I was with them, I wasn’t with her.

As I grew, Papap took me to church.

I sang in the choir, endured boring services and knew Jesus was Lord.

Through my mom’s journey and hopefulness for better things for our life, she met my dad—the only dad I ever knew and from the first day of our new life—he was MY DAD.

Expectations aren’t always met and life is often NOT what you plan….we ALL know that to be true.

My mom struggled with unmet expectations but maintained steadfast devotion to the one who loved her most.

During her battle with cancer I watched God transition her mind from earthly concerns to eternal perspectives.

The sorrows she had turned to matters of trust to the one who saved her.

He doesn’t disappoint.

Her biggest concern was for my dad:

She told me a few months ago, “if I had to get cancer so that your dad could come to know the Lord, then it is worth it.”

She truly lived out the scripture, “My grace is sufficient and my power is made perfect in weakness.”

So often we came to console and found ourselves being consoled. And convicted.

Watching her suffer was hard for all of us, but seeing the peace that surpasses understanding that was upon her enabled everyone that looked on to know that this was not the woman that entered into this battle. She wasn’t going to let this disease take her life and her opportunity to overcome this world.
That is God’s promise: He says in his word, “I have overcome the world.”

We get caught up in so many issues of our days.

When faced with the reality of the conclusion of our lives, very little of our concerns actually matter.

The investments that are eternal are people, perspective and possibilities.

My mom struggled with her weaknesses—as we all do.
But she devoted her heart to the people that she loved. She also devoted her heart to her Lord, even if not always her perspective.

I am almost 40 years old and can recall my childhood and see that who I am is largely due to the investment she made in me—even though I do not think I could ever have gotten enough of her—God made up for the rest.

My faith, as hers, is always hopeful, always trusting and always expecting.
That is her greatest gift to me and I didn’t even realize where it came from until I saw God stripping away the junk and revealing what I always hoped was there and secretly knew it was.

Many times through this journey she has made back to her Lord, I would cry and tell her how bittersweet it all was to me….the mom I always knew was in there was finally being revealed but it was through tragedy—but ultimately triumph. She is triumphant. I, unfortunately have to wait until this life is over before I can experience the gift He gave her.
The gift He gave to me was to know the mom who I always expected as a little girl finally emerge in her time of death.

She has, as Jesus did, overcome the grave.

She sought forgiveness and asked for mercy and He gave it to her.

Her regrets caused her to persevere for God’s touch. He touched her.
This is not what the world considers healing, but it is a far greater healing than a physical one.

Of all the images I have forever etched in my mind, the greatest one to me is when my mom, at her weakest, would reach out for my dad and he would lovingly respond to her. The distance between them forever gone and the commitment they shared revealed.

Interestingly, the same thing has happened in her relationships with me as well as God too.
I am sure there are others who can boast the same. And as the bible says, we are not to boast in our strength, but in our weakness, because His strength is made perfect in our weakness.

People who know me well know that I always try to find the good in the difficult circumstances of life. I know now, where it comes from. It is just yet another gift she has given to me that surpasses everything I personally can accomplish.

It was just a few days ago when in her most pathetic state, seeing the decline of her strength, vitality and ability to communicate with words at its absolute worst, I sat by her side, tears rolling down my face and told her I never would have expected watching my mother die be such a beautiful experience.
She lifted her arms and touched my face and simply said, “I love you.”

She refused almost all pain medication in the final days before her death. She seldom grimaced and the peaceful countenance that was upon her face became the norm and not the exception as recent years have indicated.
God redeemed her. He redeemed me as well.
Our faith, always strong is now even stronger.
Our hope, always expecting, know knowing.
The possibilities of victory, the battle is over and my mom and all who saw it through God’s eyes, are the victors.
I thank you Jesus for the greatest gifts I have received in my life—a mom that loved me and a Savior who loved her so much that He redeemed her life, even when there was barely any life left—it was the most alive she has ever been. And it is only the beginning….

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Powerful! Made me cry! So beautifully written. I just cant even imagine going through something like that. And the beginning part of the eulogy, the things you thought of, it had me crying as well.


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