My mother's birthday was on November 15th. She would have been 89 years old. She went home to be with Jesus in March of 2004. I miss her.
Pictures of my mom are on another computer, so I don't have a picture to add of her here at the moment, but I want to tell you about my Momma.
Mother and I were not a really close mother-daughter - we were very different and I was oh so stubborn. Time and life has a way of causing us to re-evaluate people and events of the past. I wish I had taken time to ask my mother more about her life growing up and her life as a young adult - but I also think there things in her life that were difficult for her to share, with anyone.
My mother was a loving and giving person - she had so many friends. She loved God and loved serving Him where ever needed.
Mother served in the Army during WWII. I love the pictures of her in her uniform. She was so beautiful.
I think the things I remember most about my mother are her courage and bravery. My dad was a violent alcoholic and finally left the family when I was 7 years old and my brother was 5 - cleaning out the bank account in the process. In those days it was not hip and cool to be a single mom. You didn't air your "dirty laundry". My mother worked her butt off to keep a roof over our heads. I know she did without a lot of things herself so that my brother and I had what we needed. My mother never complained and she never said a bad word about my dad, who also, didn't pay child support. Jimmy and I always had food and clothes and a nice Christmas. All I know, is that it was peaceful after my dad left.
When my brother and I were 13 and 11, we went to visit my Dad in Texas. He was remarried and mother said he was okay and not drinking. I can't imagine what she felt putting my brother and I on a plane that summer day. I couldn't have done it. Yet, she let us go visit him. She was brave for sure.
Mother always took us to church - I know it was her faith and relationship with Jesus that got her through all those tough times. When I was in my 20's I decided church didn't have anything relevant to offer and I quit going. My mom, never pushed, but always let me know, God would always be there waiting for me to come back - and 30 years later - I realize how right she was. So thankful for her prayers and that she was right - God is always ready to welcome us.
When my brother was killed in a car crash, I went to identify his body. I didn't want mother to remember Jimmy that way. It was the hardest thing I think I've done. I cried the entire way to my mother's house and stopped before I went in. I never let her see me cry - I felt it was my turn to be strong for her.
When her cancer came back - I was with her every step of the way. I knew what she wanted. I knew how she lived and how she wanted to die. I honored her wishes. Thankfully, the cancer took her quickly and she didn't suffer for long. I was with her when she left this world and walked with Jesus through Heaven's gates. It is a privilege and honor to spend a person's last minutes on earth with them.
She was brave and courageous for my brother and I when we were little and I was determined to be brave and courageous for her when she needed me.
Today, as I watch my son, Rick, become an amazing worship leader at church, I know how proud she is of him. I know she is worshiping with us on Sunday mornings.
I wouldn't be the person I am today, without the love and guidance from my mother. I love her and I miss her. But I know I'll see her again one day.