Created by Joey on 15/03/2012
What a testament to my mother that you all have chosen to celebrate her life with us this morning. I hope you will indulge me these “ramblings of a grateful, proud and sad son”… they are not in any particular order, don’t follow any discernible timeline. They are simply thoughts about my mother that I felt compelled to share.
This is a sad time for us…sad because in this lifetime, on this earth, we won’t see mom again and we miss her and want to see her and talk to her and we can’t and that makes us sad. But I believe that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord and I believe that is where Mom is now. I believe she is totally free of all pain, I believe she is surrounded by those who have gone before her and she is fully enveloped by pure love. I believe she is bathed in perfect light; she has heard the Lord say “well done, good and faithful servant” and she knows that peace which transcends all understanding… I believe that…and so, I’m a little less sad.
Mom had many talents – organizer, hand work god, mythology expert, middle-ages European royalty authority – but all of that is what she did. It wasn’t who she was. Who she was, was a wife and a mother. It was her calling, it was her purpose and she took immense pride and great joy in it.
Over the past week, as people have expressed their feelings to me and offered their condolences – either in person or by email – I always end by saying “she was a great lady…she will be missed”
We’ve heard many stories about mom today and, as we work through our grief, we will hear and remember more. These stories, these examples will be the legacy she leaves and how she will continue to live on in all of us:
But, as a
Wife – for 50 years mom ironed and folded a clean handkerchief and put it in my dad’s pajama pocket so that when he put them on at night he’d have a fresh hanky. I asked her, “why?” She said, “I did it once and he told me he liked it, so I just kept doing it.”
Mother – Swim meet my senior year at Roosevelt. We lived at San Joaquin CC at the time and that is no short drive from SJCC to RHS – all prior to cross-town freeways. I look up and crossing the pool deck to the bleachers is mom (carrying her mustard yellow and purple Fresno High Warriors foam seat cushion, her needlepoint bag and a Tab on ice). I swam the 50 and 100 free and a relay leg – may have been in the pool a total of 2 ½ minutes yet here she had driven her Pinto hatchback clear across town to cheer for me … that’s pretty cool.
Grandmother – when my oldest two were very young, circumstances landed the three of us with my parents for a short while. As you might imagine, mom was a tranquil, serene island in my sea of personal turbulence. She helped with the kids and every night we’d sit down at dinner and say “thank you grandma for making a wonderful dinner”. We continued that through all of my children’s time at home and in fact still do it. Last weekend my entire family came to dinner at our house and the kids all said, “thanks for making a wonderful dinner”…continuing a tradition began with mom 28 years ago.
Great-Grandmother – We were blessed that mom lived to see, hold and experience her great-granddaughter Remy. The memories we shared and the pictures we have will live with us forever.
After mom’s surgery last April while she was fighting to survive and regain consciousness in the CCU, I started reading a certain Bible passage to her. I didn’t read it each time I saw her, but I did read it more often than not. I’d like to read it to her again…and you…now.
It is called “A Wife of Noble Character”
10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
It is not my goal today to elevate mom to a stature or a position in death that she neither sought nor deserved in life, but…
She was a great lady…and she will be missed
A very young Alan.