Writing these words about my mother has been difficult for me because I want to tell you about family dinners with the good china and lace tablecloths, holidays that were always at her house, or her love of reading and travel. I want to tell you about her classroom…how she was strict, but kind. And her reaction when Red Weinman knocked the new IBM Selectric onto the floor and it broke into a thousand pieces! Or the long hours she spent at school when they brought the first computer in and said, “you’ll be teaching this”.
I want to tell you how my children requested French toast with Grandma’s special syrup each time she visited, or how she loved a long hug. I want to tell you about the notes she’d leave under our pillows, or about Saturday night rituals of polishing shoes, scrubbing heads and pincurls for Sunday School the next day or how she was a caregiver for all of our families at a moments notice.
About her going back to school with 5 little ones at home, or the jar of fruit flies in her closet for a Science class that she had to count long after we’d gone to bed. I want to tell you how she and dad danced to the big bands, and how flyswatters were not just for swatting flies at our house. About her passion for prophecy and Bible study. I want to tell you how no matter what HD stole from her…from driving to, in the end, speaking…she’d always pat my hand and say “I’m fine”.
I definitely wanted to remind you about her beautiful soprano voice and her exits from the choir loft to the balcony…in the middle of the service…that had us teenagers cringing! So many stories, so much I’ve left out, because more than all of that, I want you to know this…
My mother loved gifts. We often wondered if that love came from when she was a little girl, living in a small apartment over a broom factory, and the only things she received for Christmas were the candy shavings from the bottom of the barrel, an orange and a little doll. So each holiday mom would have her Christmas list or Birthday list. (and we kids would laugh, as we knew the list was coming)
My thoughts go to the many gifts she gave each of us…she taught us by example that love is laughter, hard work, family, respect, honesty, hospitality, commitment, grace and so much more.
Many sitting here can attest to the fact that I was known as “the talker” in the family… which is probably how I got voted up here. But just to set the record straight…the siblings can tell you…Robin Lynn actually gets the “talker” award! What I CAN do, is write some. For the past two weeks, I have struggled to write something to say today. Usually, I can sit down at the computer and it flows. Not this time…the words just didn’t come. How do you put on paper, our love for our mother?
Just the other night, as I was shuffling through yet another tub of old letters, photos, and newspaper articles…I came upon this note, written from my mom:
Dear Michaela –
Been lifting you, your heart, your mind, your mouth (what else is there?—oh yes, your body!) to the Lord every time I think of you. Do hope the Holy Spirit controls everything. Been praying he will let you speak just the words he wants.
Love you much,
Wow, isn’t that SO how God works! I knew the words would come.
If my mother could tell me the one thing she wanted me to say today…I KNOW that it would be this:
John 14:16 Jesus told him “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
Many people will tell you that all the religions in the world are basically the same. But that is not true. Every other religion is based on man’s effort to reach God (if you are good enough, if you pray enough, if you work hard enough) but Christianity is different from all other religions. We believe that God reached out to save man. We are all sinners, saved by His grace. And through Jesus death and resurrection, he took on our sin. He chose us. He loves us. The bible is not just a book of stories. The Bible is history and truth. It is my mom’s truth, and I pray that it is your truth.
My mother knew that the Holy Spirit lives in us. And just like my finding this note from her, the Holy Spirit will always guide us.
I will miss my mother terribly. But I am filled with such JOY. If you received my mother’s Christmas letters, you will know that she prayed continually for the Rapture. Here are the last two lines of her 2009 Christmas letter…”but you know my wish over the years hasn’t changed…for Christ to Rapture us up TODAY, I want to meet him face to face.” She longed for the day that Christ would come for all who believe. Jesus chose to welcome her sooner. She has her hearts’ desire. She is no longer suffering, she has no more tears. I imagine she is walking streets of gold, singing again, reunited with my dad and all those she loved.
So today, please join me as I celebrate the greatest gift my mother gave to us… the gift of Faith in Jesus Christ.