There are countless stories to share about our mother. Just about everyone she knew has talked with us about how quickly Mom could throw together a meal, and fry chicken like no one else. On Sunday, Tonya reached for a bowl at Shanna’s, and the one she grabbed was chipped. Tonya reached for another, and it was chipped too. Shanna laughed out loud and said, “Those were Mom’s dishes.” We’re pretty sure Mom never had a full set of unblemished dishes for more than a week. She was a little clutzy… Mom loved parties, adventure, music, old movies, traveling, and the outdoors. We have so many fond memories of roller skating, riding bikes, scouting, swimming, fishing and picnicking with our mom. And Antioch Park will always be “our” place.
But more than all of these wonderful times together, Mom gave us an even greater gift.
It is no secret that Mom’s life had its fair share of pain and turmoil, but we are so proud of how hard she worked in her final years to mend her heart and reconcile relationships with each of her children. In the last couple of years, Mom made every effort to live intentionally; really taking the time to know each of her children – not just as her children, but as the adults we’d become – and allowing love to be a verb and not just a feeling. She’d learned how to give of her time and her heart unselfishly, rising to the occasion and mothering her children in ways we’d previously not dared dream of. She patiently sat through as many difficult discussions as we’d needed, genuinely taking the time to make amends … and allowing us to do the same.
As her children, our constant hope and prayer was that Mom would arrive at a place of genuine happiness, belonging and peace. In the end, she found just that! While her physical body was failing her over the last couple of years, Mom’s heart and emotional well-being was better than ever. She was surrounded by her children, grandchildren, and Michael. She delighted in those around her. She loved well, and was well-loved.
The reconciliation of our family is a precious gift, and we are overwhelmingly grateful to Mom for being so bold, so brave, and so humble in order that we could become the family we’d hoped for. The Lord moved in Mom's life – in OUR lives – in mighty ways … and He continues to do so even as we speak and cling to one another.
While our time has been cut short, we will forever cherish every moment we had with Mom. She will be deeply missed.