A Tribute to My Mother

My mother was diagnosed with glioblastoma in September of 2013. I will never forget the day she went in for her first surgery. It has been a year and a half since that terrible day. We knew each moment could be our last with her, and it made us cherish each smile, witty comment, and hug. Mom fought until the very end. You could see the determination to live in her eyes. Brain cancer took decades from my precious mother. Before her death she requested that the funeral be a celebration of her life. As a tribute to my mother, I penned these words to be read at the graveside. It is just a glimpse at the wonderful mother she was to my sister and me.

Looking at Mama, one would not think she had the heart of a fighter or an unwavering spirit. She was beautiful, kind, meek, steadfast, and a true champion of Christ. When Rachel and I were young, we lived in East Texas in the middle of nowhere. There were often nights when I could hear the coyotes howling at the bright moon. The wind would sometimes drown out the crickets’ chirping, and I could not sleep.  Fear griped my spirit. Mom would tell me everything would be okay, and she would sit at the end of my bed until I fell asleep. Most of the time her presence was all the peace I needed, but when I could not be comforted she would read Proverbs 3:23-24. “Then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.” Mother gave me a precious gift. She showed me how to find Peace.

As the years went by Mom’s instruction turned to guidance. We enjoyed each other’s company and our relationship grew from mother and daughter to friends. Shopping at antique stores was one of our favorite pass times, and she taught me how to find a great deal. Mom was an expert at making a house a home, and I am thoroughly convinced that God left Mom’s mansion empty.   After all, what fun is it to have a mansion if you don’t get to select the items that go inside? If there is a mall in Heaven, Mom is perusing the aisles right now.

One of my favorite memories of Mom is when she could not speak at all. Rachel and I would say something crazy, do something silly, and Mom would laugh so hard her eyes would water and she would laugh uncontrollably.  She would wave her hand in the air, as if to signal for us to stop acting like fools. Seeing her reaction only made us try harder. Mother’s laugh was contagious and was filled with such joy. Whenever she composed herself long enough to speak, she would utter the words, “You idiot!” Then we would all join in hysterical laughter.

Mom, please know that I am grateful for every lesson you taught me, every hug you gave, the books you read to me, every word of encouragement, the scriptures you instilled in my heart, every prayer you prayed, and every moment I had with you. You are the example of the mother I aspire to be. I’m thankful for every note you left in my lunch box, every time you made me feel safe, and the loving care you gave every day. I miss you Mom, and I love you.