At her tallest I think Mom was 5’1″, but if you got to meet her you know she stood 10′ tall! Her words were always soft… ok, unless as a kid you made her mad, then you would hear your full name as it barrelled into your ears from across the house… you knew you were in deep trouble. Other than that, her words were soft and kind.
I would come home from school and smell cleaning supplies or baked cookies and would hear the music from the record player on loud and find her standing in the middle of the living room singing from the top of her lungs. I would put my lunch kit and books down and stand with my ear pressed against her chest, her warm arms around me and listen to her heart and her voice. She would sing songs from operettas by Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddy, or her favorite old hymns sung by George Beverly Shea. I remember going to the movie theatre downtown Victoria on the bus and we would go see the old movies from the 30’s and 40’s. She taught me appreciation for old movie romance and operettas but really, it was mostly about being with her. I loved to watch her face and listen to her quietly hum the songs she would sing at home. She knew those old movies inside and out.
I remember a tickle fight we had and oh my goodness did we laugh!!! This still makes me smile. And when I was sick… I have clear memories of the cool cloth on my head and the low light as I watched my Mom care for me during a time I was so sick. All night and into the days I would feel her hand of comfort and care as she nursed me back to health again. I NEVER heard her complain about the sacrifice of time and sleep she gave to me and my brothers and sister.
Listening to her sing in church and then one day learning to play piano enough I could play for her was a privilege to be part of serving Jesus together. She was so patient, I don’t play so great and would throw her off in timing of a song and she would just keep singing and make it all work. She had a heart of service in singing, teaching Sunday school, running Pioneer Girls, visiting people in hospital or shut ins, women’s brigade, and bible studies. Let’s talk about the Bible studies for a minute. She would take a whole year of studying a topic before she would teach “my ladies” as she used to refer to them. I would see on her desk she had behind the door: Her Bible open… always open, various study books, and her note book. She didn’t want to teach anything unless she knew she had put everything she could into learning it as well as she could so that she would know she wasn’t leading anyway down the wrong path. Now, that is dedication! A year of learning to give a few weeks study = heartfelt dedication.
Being married and raising kids brings with it challenges and Mom faced them head on. As in any family our family was no different, we went through some very hard times. Mom would always put Dad and all of us kids first, and then herself. She sacrificed more than I can share and always we knew she loved all of us. I can remember her telling me that being married is about two people who have broken pieces getting together to bring those pieces together to give strength and to hold together no matter what. She proved that and together Mom and Dad through the 77 years married are proof that having Jesus in the centre is the glue that helps those broken pieces stay together.
She worked full time in our home, and then for a few years nursing the elderly, then the linen department in Sears. She would always remind us that she was praying for us and even when we knew we were doing things that would disappoint her she didn’t stop praying… always praying.
I am going to miss my Mom more than I can put on paper. Her council to me as a Mom and Wife, her friendship when sharing stories of cooking or gardening. Her love for orchids and African Violets were always fun to share. Mostly, I am going to miss the heart of my Mom when talking about Jesus. Somehow she had a way of helping you see and feel His presence and … that no matter what you are never alone. I am feeling a bit alone now… I miss her, yet deep inside of me there is a sense of knowing she isn’t gone. Her body is finished its work but her spirit of love and faithfulness lives in everyone who she touched. Her presence is felt as we watch prayers being answered that she prayed so deeply…she is gone but the Lord is still honoring the prayers she poured before Him for each of us.
I miss you Mom but like I said before you took your last breath… I will see you later…. and love you always.
Hugs n Prayers