It was nine years ago last week, on September 29, that my Mom left this world for her eternal home. Each year this day is always bittersweet as it falls the day after my birthday. This year was a bit more reflective as two sweet ladies passed away last week, one on the anniversary of my Mom's passing. It's always a reminder of how short our lives are and how we should cherish every moment. After reflecting on that last week, and focusing on the wonderful things about my Mom and not the sadness of my loss, I came up with five things I wish I could tell her. Now, those that know me best know I have more than five things I would tell her...but no blog could hold all that has happened the last nine years that I'd love to tell her. These five things sum up a lot and probably are the top five list we'd cover first thing if we were sitting face to face.
1. I wish I knew more about the 18 years of your waiting to have a child. - My Mom told me a lot about that time...the miscarriages, the lost premature child, her prayers for just one child...but now as so many of my friends are dealing with infertility issues, I wish I had her words of wisdom to share. Eighteen years she prayed and waited...in a time when there was very little medical advancement to help that along. Most people would have given up. My parents didn't. I'm so thankful they didn't or September 28 would have been just another day in their life and I wouldn't be writing this blog.
2. I have become you, Mom - As much as I may fight it, I am my Mother's daughter. I can talk to anyone, anywhere...the very characteristic that drove me nuts about her as a child. I remember wanting the telephone as a teenager (for you young 'uns, no cell phones in my teen years) and having to wait for her to make all her calls. Now I know where I get that gift of gab. I can make a non-phone talker into Alexander Graham Bell. I love giving meaningful gifts that are specific to the recipient...I love writing notes throughout books when I give them as gifts...I love to read, and am loving it more every day...I cry at the drop of a hat...I'm crafty (both in wit and skill)...I speak my mind, though mostly filtered through tact and eloquence as she taught me. Yes, all those things and more have turned me into my Mom.
3. My love for discipleship and mentoring was a direct result of your passing - This may sound odd, but the passion for discipleship, mentoring and pouring into younger girls and women truly was ignited after my Mom's death. What I realized was how much her life impacted me...not because we sat down and did a Bible study together each week (we didn't) or did any of those things the mentoring books tell you about structured meetings. I watched her live life....I watched her go through tragedies...I saw her flaws and her failures...I saw her successes and strengths....and I saw her walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Those are lessons learned by living life side by side. Mom, you are the inspiration of that calling in my life.
4. One of the greatest lessons you taught me was to make my friends my family - Being an only child, born to older parents, my Mom taught me from a young age that she and my Dad wouldn't be here forever. Thankfully, my Dad is still going strong, but that lesson included her instruction to make lots of close friends who are your "family" until you have a family of your own. Since I'm single, that lesson has been oh so important. I am blessed beyond what I deserve to have great friends who love me like their own family. And, I feel the same about them. I used to listen to that lesson from her and never give it a second thought. Now, it is like gold.
5. The prayers you prayed for me are still being lifted up today - My Mom never ceased to provide humor in most situations. Sitting next to her at just about any function was a hoot to get her colorful commentary whispered in your ear. One of her ongoing comments that carried a bit of humor, but a ton of prayer was "I just want to see you married before I go on to my reward!" Well, obviously that didn't happen, but almost until the day she died, she wanted that, desperately, for me. I think because she knew the blessing my Dad was in her life, not to mention the lifesaver she was for him, and she wanted that same blessing for me. I have an army of people who still pray that prayer for me today...and for that, I'm forever grateful. And, hopefully, if God blesses, I will marry before I go on to my reward. Mom, God is faithful and your prayers are still at work.
I am eternally blessed to have had a Mom that wanted me so badly she waited 18 years to have me and taught me more than I could ever have imagined. "Those who sow in tears, will reap with songs of joy." - Psalm 126:5