For my Mother (1927-2018)

 

This post was originally written in February of 2011 (“Mother’s Day in February”), when I thought my mother might not survive. She lived another 7.5 years and passed away last night, October 27, 2018.

*****

The sands of time are sinking . . .

“Mother, you’re in the hospital. You had a stroke. Remember?”

Slow nod, barely perceptible. Eyes closed, a cloud of silver hair on the pillow.

The dawn of heaven breaks . . .

And there she is, at the piano with me, black hair, bright eyes, big smile, cheery voice.  The voice that her teacher told her could have gone into opera. “Happy happy me! Happy happy you! When I see someone who is happy, I feel happy too!” The voice that she decided to use for church and children.

I sit on the bench, swinging my legs, singing, clapping. “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. . . .”

Sleep now. There you are, spreading out the birthday tablecloth. Through the years I looked for but never found a tablecloth like that. Cottage cheese pancakes for breakfast, homemade chili for supper. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting. So many gifts.

We came here in a breath, in a blink. And in another breath, another blink, I will be the one on the pillow, and my own children will say, “Mother, you’re in the hospital. Here, Mother, let me help you. Do you want just one more bite? No, you can’t do that, Mother. You need to rest now.”

The summer morn I’ve sighed for—the fair, sweet morn awakes.

You took me out to lunch when I was in high school. When I was the one who wasn’t speaking, except in monosyllables. You tried. Thank you.

And there you are, thrusting Stepping Heavenward into my hands. The book that brought me to my knees, not once, but all three times that I read it.

“Mother, would you like for me to read to you from the Bible?

Eyes focus a little more. Slight smile. Small nod.

One psalm. Another. Another.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. . . . Be still and know that I am God.”

“I waited patiently for the Lord, and He inclined unto me and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out the the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.”

“O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.”

“Mother, who are you putting your trust in?”

Dark, dark hath been the midnight, but dayspring is at hand.

Low voice, barely audible. “The Lord Jesus Christ.”

Thank you, Mother. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for pointing me to Jesus.

And glory . . . glory . . . dwelleth . . . in Immanuel’s land.

*****

Mother as a young teenager, about 1940
Mother, Christmas 1962 with five-year-old Becky
Mother and Dad at family Thanksgiving in 1987, Mother 60 years old
Mother and Dad at their 68th anniversary celebration December 2017, Mother 90 years old.

 

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Pat Graham
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Pat Graham

I’m so sorry for your loss. You mom was (is) beautiful.

Sondra Hurst
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Sondra Hurst

Such a beautifully written tribute to your Mother! We are so sorry for your loss yet we know she is rejoicing in Heaven with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all for the Lord to give you His peace and comfort that passes all understanding!

Marci
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Marci

May you be comforted by rhe Lord as you mourn your mother’s passing. What a blessing to have had a mother to love you and point you to Him. She was beautiful! Her skin!!! Wish I had known her.

Noble Sword
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Rebecca, so sorry to hear about the passing of your beautiful mother. Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts and memories of a life well lived. A life bringing joy to others. Be comforted in the knowledge that your mom lived a long and fulfilled life together with the lover of her soul.

Shawn
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Shawn

I’m so very sad for you and your family. I will continue to pray as each one of you must grieve this in different ways.

Ashanti
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Ashanti

My condolences on the loss of your mother. I also lost my mother in 2018 and found your reflection uplifting. Thank you for sharing it at such a time of sorrow. Your mother looks like she lived a life well lived. She birthed a loving child. She remembered Our Lord. God is surely pleased with Her. Joy comes in the morning.

Mark
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Mark

Beautiful words written about your mom, my condolences to you and your family.

Jessica
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Jessica

I’m so sorry for your loss! Such a beautiful post! I will be praying for you in this time.

NG
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NG

Bless you during this time of grief. The Lord is close to those who mourn.

Kathy Humes
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Kathy Humes

I am so sorry for your lost. What a beautiful tribute to your mother.

cindy burrell
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Oh, Rebecca. Tears fill my eyes. What a touching, beautiful tribute to someone who loved you so graciously, as only a mother can. I absolutely envy what you were so privileged to enjoy for so many years, and I’m very sorry for your great loss. But I thank you for being willing to share a little of your story here. You truly touched my heart in a way it has not been touched in years. I pray you find comfort in all of those precious memories. Blessings…

Ann
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Ann

What a beautiful legacy your mom left you and your family! My heart aches for your loss and heartache right and pray you are comforted today.

Gany T.
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I’m so sorry for your loss.
What a beautiful woman – inward and outward.
Thank you for sharing your sweet memories of her.

Maggie
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Maggie

Please, dear lady, accept my condolences.

Alicia Morey
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Alicia Morey

What a beautiful tribute. I’m rejoicing for your mother, but I’m so sorry for your loss.

Rebounder
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Rebounder

My deepest condolences to you in the loss of your mother. She was beautiful! The love and strength she gave you is surely something you’re sharing with others. Your writing has impacted and inspired me, and I’m grateful to you.

carla
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carla

Beautifully said and so sorry for you losing your precious mother.

Kristine Brown
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Kristine Brown

Wow, that was precious. Yes, both your parents were very attractive. Sorry for your loss. Blessings to you

healinginhim
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This was such a beautiful ‘tribute’ to your mother, a very Christ-honouring woman. As you grieve may you know that you have touched my heart and ministered to me. Your tribute has encouraged me to not give up in looking for opportunities to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with my grandchildren. God bless you, Rebecca. <3

Stephanie
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Stephanie

I’m so sorry for your loss. This is an exquisite tribute to your mother.

Barbara Roberts
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This is beautiful!
Praise for a life well lived, the life of a faithful saint.

Thank you Rebecca.

Hugs to you and all your family as they grieve and share their memories.

I love “The Sands of Time are Sinking.”
Dear readers, if you have never heard or sung that hymn I encourage you to look it up.

Bonnie
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Bonnie

I’m so sorry for your loss.. Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories with us..your Mom was so beautiful inside and out ..I pray for comfort at this time of grief ..

BreatheAgain
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I am sorry, Rebecca. This is a beautiful tribute you have written. :'(

Denise
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Denise

I’m sorry for the loss of your mother, and happy to know that she is safely with her Savior now.
Thank you for sharing the beautiful photos and “word picture” you wrote of your mom.
I’ll be praying for you as you grieve her passing.

Gail Chang
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Gail Chang

This touches me deeply, especially as I adjust to being the oldest generation, having recently lost both parents and a dear Aunt Mary who sang through her life of loving Jesus. I watch my kids and grandkids, and see how brief is our time on earth, yet how loving our merciful God has been to my family.

Kayla
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Kayla

Such a beautiful post. I am sorry for you loss but also rejoicing knowing that she is in Heaven, whole and free from pain.

Rachel
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Rachel

So thankful for this lovely lady and the role she played in your life as well as those you minister to! Thank you for this beautiful tribute!

TS00
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TS00

I’m sorry for your loss. And thankful that your mother could look back, not just on the birthdays and pancakes, but at the ongoing thread of your life through which the Spirit of God flows and know that her life produced eternal, valuable fruit. I am sure she is rejoicing and eagerly awaiting her reunion with you and other loved ones. Thank you for sharing with us.