Thinking Ahead–My Mother, Myself

My mother is the Queen of Preparedness. She’s always giving me detailed instructions about the future, how-to articles, and insightful books to read. You’ll never believe what she’s preparing me for now.

Friday she sent me the strangest text from her new iPhone.

I can’t find our obits. Didn’t I give you copies? Where are they?

What kind of message is this?

She’d met with the man who makes granite headstones in her hometown two weeks ago. And now this.

I couldn’t take any more. And I didn’t want to think about any of that right now.

I texted her back: You gave me some papers. Didn’t read them. Put them in the lockbox. 

The next day in her kitchen:

“Your brother must’ve accidentally thrown the obits away when he cleaned,” she said. “By the way, there’s a sack of stuff you might want on the kitchen table. I have one for Jennifer too.” (Jennifer’s my sister.)

My heart gonged.

I knew what she meant by “sack of stuff.”

Pictures from a long time ago. Love-notes from my children. Things too sentimental to throw away.

I didn’t want to dig through memories with her looking over my shoulder. I could get trapped in another world like Alice in Wonderland.

Too many emotions.

But I could see my parents’ wedding picture from 1958,

My grandmother, my niece, Mother, and me, 1992.

Enough.

I looked away from the sack. “Do we have to talk about obituaries right now, Mother? You’re only 78.” 

She pretended to straighten some papers.”I just wanted to make things easier for you.”

Oh. I swallowed the softball-sized lump in my throat.

Quickly changing the subject, she smiled and handed me an article from the sack.  “This is wonderful. It’s helpful for writing dialog. It’s called, ‘Speaking Southern.'”

“Mother!”  I pointed to her note on page one. “You even gave me instructions on how to read it!”

For Julie: take your time and read this S-L-O-W-L-Y.

We laughed until the tears rolled, and for a few minutes, nothing else mattered.

Lord, if families can laugh, surely we can get through anything. 

Has laughter helped you through a tough time or an awkward situation?

Have you had this conversation with someone you love? It’s tough, isn’t it?

Love,

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Oh Julie…how many emotions this evokes… you and your mom have always been able to laugh at life…over the years MBWA has helped me do that too. I love you both to the moon and back xo

  2. Cathy Mayfield says:

    Ya know, laughter is a funny thing. It makes the heart merry; it diffuses tense situations; it covers emotions best left alone until another time. I’ve experienced it in all its many facets. And I’ve used it mercilessly and mirthfully.

    I can’t recall a time right now when it covered a tough time, but I know it’s helped deal with quite an embarrassing moment, not at the time, but in memory. We lived in Columbus, OH, for 2 years while my husband attended college. I was 20, Kevin 22. We had tried to find a church, attending various ones close-by.

    One evening, I answered a knock on our door, to find the pastor and an elder from one of the churches. I was concerned about letting them in, because I wasn’t a great housekeeper yet. (Well, okay, I still can’t own up to that!) However, we were also having a problem I’d never dealt with before and which had nothing to do with how often I dusted the furniture. We had…oh, I cringe remembering them…roaches!! The apartment complex had come in with exterminators, to no avail. All the tenants had them.

    So, praying the awful things stayed in the kitchen area, I showed our company to the couch in the living room, and Kevin and I sat on chairs opposite them. They asked the basic questions about our former church and how we liked city life, after discovering we were country folk. I could have told them a few tales about how I hated city life, especially the pest problems, tiny crawling ones and larger, louder ones on two feet! But, thank goodness, I was still painfully shy at the time.

    Suddenly, my worst nightmare happened. As the gentlemen sat and talked, a 6-inch roach (okay, that’s a bit off, BUT NOT MUCH!!!)…anyhow, this HUGE roach crawled out from under the couch and proceeded to circle their legs, probably looking for the best way to crawl up their pantlegs. I wanted to groan, but didn’t dare. Should I alert them? That would be the height of embarrassment! No, better to remain quiet and wait it out.

    Well, the rotten thing decided to make me want to hide. He looked right at me (he DID!) and waltzed to the middle of the carpet, where he did a complete dance routine, while the pastor, the elder, and two very wide-eyed, country bumpkins watched, as though we were at a ballet, mesmerized by a prima ballerina. After taking a bow, he pirouetted his way across the carpet and into the kitchen.

    Nobody clapped for his performance, nobody even breathed. Not another word was spoke, except a we’re-pretending-to-be-polite-but-can’t-wait-to-get-out-of-here goodbye from the men. Needless to say, we did NOT laugh right then, and we certainly NEVER went back to that church, nor saw the pastor and his cohort in crime (well, if they hadn’t come…)!

    Of course, looking back, we laugh heartily at every remembrance. And no longer being shy, I “love to tell the story,” of Jesus’ love – His love of a good, old-fashioned belly laugh in heaven!

    • Hahahahahaah, Cathy!!!! Ahhhhhh!!!! I’m squiring around in my chair!!!!!! What a story!!!

      Wouldn’t it have been marvelous if you all could’ve just laughed right then and there?! And I’m so grateful Mr. Roach didn’t crawl up their pants.

      Thanks for chiming in—–xoxoxoxox

  3. Anna Haney says:

    Oh, Julie. I am sobbing. It seems there have been so many losses for friends since December. And your mom and mine are so much alike. I love this post. Love you

    • Love you too, Anna. And I hope your tears are somehow healing. This is a tough topic to write about–even talk about.

      I need to call my mother and say, “I’m going to the lockbox to make sure I have your obits.” I just haven’t made myself do it yet. But I will. Probably tomorrow. It’s incredible cold this morning. Which is really no excuse. :/

  4. Sitting around the dining room table with my family this past Christmas was such a treasure. These are the people I can count on to love me no matter what. Imagining their place at the table empty brought a lump in my throat. I shall treasure that moment of perfection in my heart the way Mary must have treasured holding a tiny bit of God in her hands for a moment.

  5. Kim says:

    Gracious, the emotions this brings up! My dad is 70 at the end of this month, not yet retiring though. My mom just turned 66 and has started giving away sentimental things. My response? Kind of like yours. Take what is handed to me and put it somewhere to deal with later.

    She has also asked what items each of us kids want when they are gone. (Putting those desires in their will.) I have only said I want one particular favorite (and very dull) serrated knife and my dads brown, highlighted, written in, bookmarked NIV Bible.

    • Kim, I love what you said!!!! I was in charge of my grandparents will, etc. The only thing I wanted was her rolling pin. 🙂

      So sweet that you wanted the Bible. I do understand. There’s nothing like handwritten notes, especially in Bibles. I remember going through my father’s Bible after he died–tracing my finger along the verses that mattered to him. Would never have known it w/out getting to see his Bible.

      Thanks for sharing something so personal.

  6. Patricia Martin says:

    Hi Julie! My grandma, Patricia, has talked about dying and buying herself a casket ever since I can remember!): ugh! But her sister who is over 90 years old has smoked, drank, not exercised, and eaten fried foods several times a week for years and may make it to 100. (): when my grandma talks about dying, we laugh until the tears almost come!!!!((((; remind your mom that Sarah and Abraham were 90 and 100 years old when they had Isaac. My cats mom was bout 56 years old when she had them.(-; hope you are enjoying the New Year and having lots of simple fun.
    Xo(: Patricia

    • Patricia, I LOVE THIS COMMENT!! Made me laugh out loud!!! I think your GM’s sis has the secret to life–a very looooooooong life.

      Love it—Simple Fun! Wonderful reminder.

  7. My mom died of Alzheimer’s, but even through that, we laughed. She did such funny things, and in the end, it helped our grieving. Mom was funny!

    • Isn’t that amazing, Ane–how when everything else goes, she was still funny. Such a gift she gave you, Ane-Mary.

  8. Oh, laughter is indeed the best medicine. In our business we run together, my husband and I look for the funny side of things ALL THE TIME. It takes the edge off of working side-by-side.

    Statistics show that most kids shut down their parents when they start to have those “end of life” conversations. Most older folks try and try and try to get their wishes across but the kids don’t want to hear them. Consider allowing your mind to be open to your mom’s thoughts. It’s not that you are acknowledging her upcoming passing or that you even want to really think about it, but by letting her talk about it, she can have the peace and serenity of getting it out. You have no idea what she’s going to say, and even if you do, listen anyway. Be real quiet and take it all in. Let go and let God help you with this one. Your mom needs to say things to you. Let her. (P.S. Sorry…don’t mean to tell you what to do…but am reading a GP book called Simple Retirement and I happened to read that chapter with those statistics a few days ago.)

    Maybe start out by saying, “Okay, Mother, let me first say that I love you very much and I don’t want to think about you leaving. But go ahead. Tell me what you want me to know.” Then at the end, maybe tell her that if anything changes with her “plans” (like funeral arrangements, things she wants to go where and to whom, the house, her belongings), then to talk to you again. She will feel so FREE after she gets things out to you. You will be giving her such a gift, Julie.

    LOVE YOU. You can do this.

    • Thanks, B.J. 🙂

      I know. I can. I will. I’ll start by going to the lockbox and seeing what she gave me. First things first, right? 🙂

  9. Happy New Year, Julie! Thank God, our family has always been able to laugh at things. In fact, I think that’s one of the reasons my mother married my father – he made her laugh. I remember calling home one day years ago when I was single and living in my own apartment. Mom and Dad were in their 60’s and Mom answered the phone laughing so hard, she could hardly catch her breath. Finally, she said, “Hello,” and I said, “What on earth is so funny?” She said, “Oh, your daddy and I just found one more thing we can’t do anymore!” and started laughing again. I could visualize them sitting at the kitchen table laughing over their coffee. Once, I asked Daddy why he read the obituary column first thing when he opened the newspaper, thinking it was morbid. He said, “I just want to check and make sure I’m not in it!”
    But one of the best things happened when my three adult sons came over for this past Christmas. They always give each other some fun toy, which they did and usually, it’s something you throw or shoot (like nerf bow and arrows), which they take outside to see how far they can make them go. Then inevitably, the object gets stuck in a tree. I was standing inside at the door with my daughter-in-law and my oldest son’s fiance watching the three “boys” out in the street with their toy. All of a sudden they all burst out laughing and we knew, sure enough, it was stuck in a tree. What was so heart-warming about the scene is that my sons have been at odds with each other over the past year, but seeing them laughing and playing together was like old times when they were little boys.

    • Marilyn, I think you have a GP story here!! I laughed while I read it–just felt good deep down in my heart to hear about this! Definitely a feel-good sort of thing we readers need to experience!

      And I love what your grown up boys do. 🙂

      Thank you!! You’re on to something here….

  10. Lynn A. Davidson says:

    Julie, this brought back memories. My precious mother passed away due to cancer December 30 seventeen years ago. She was only 74. The Lord was very present with us all during that time of her final weeks, to the point of caregivers (coming in to assist us daily) commenting on the love they could feel as soon as they entered the house. There was always laughter – many tears, yes – but Mum’s faith was strong and she was eager to go Home when she realized her life here was soon to end.
    Not long before she was bed-ridden she began telling me what she wanted to go to whom, so I got out pen and paper and recorded it for her. It was an intimate time I hope to never forget, and I know it meant a lot to her.
    I will gently suggest that you not wait until a difficult situation. We never know exactly how much time we’ll have, or what opportunities will be missed by procrastinating.
    As much as we were mourning Mum’s leaving, on the way to the funeral we were talking about some things and laughing. Mum was a funny and loving lady who left us too soon, but good memories of her live on.
    Sorry this is so wordy, but I want to add … Talking about those things with your mom is not saying good-bye, it is an act of love and a special experience you won’t regret. One day you will want to have that same talk with your children.
    Sending love to you and your dear mother who helped make a difference in my life.

    • You’re absolutely right, Lynn. I sensed so much wisdom in your message to me. Thanks for caring enough to tell me the truth. I’m listening. I’ll do what you suggested.

      And I’m so very sorry….I can feel a physical ache in my heart for you. If I could read your comment to my mother w/out crying, I would. She doesn’t have a computer or internet access. We should go to a Starbucks and let her see everyone’s response.

      Thank you. Thank you.

  11. Julie Gilleand says:

    Hi Julie!

    Love that your time with your mom ended in laughter! In our family we didn’t show emotions such as tears, we didn’t hug, etc. But we had a whole lot of laughter, thanks to my dad. He was a card. My brothers and I inherited his sense of humor and all three of my boys are funny too. We have lots of funny, silly memories, all of us. For whatever we lacked in heart-to-hearts or hugs, we made up for in laughter. My mom and I have a very strained relationship, full of tension and stress, sometimes anger. She never had much of a sense of humor, she’s wound too tight for it. Everything is a catastrophe. A car accident holds the same stress level for her as getting junk mail. But I do have one memory of the two of us cracking up in a grocery store years ago that I love. I noticed a cookie canister on the shelf with fancy lettering that wasn’t easy to decipher. I was certain is spelled the word “DRED”. We looked at it, wondering what in the world were DRED cookies. Then, just like Magic Eye, it came clear — OREO’s!! LoLoL. When we figured it out, we burst into hilarious laughter, which drew the stares of other shoppers who surely thought we were drunk! I love that, especially when these days, I don’t just go shopping with her, out of necessity I take her, help her find what she wants, pull the shopping cart that’s too heavy for her to push and try not to exasperate when she spends 15 minutes deciding if she wants this or that, or this or that, or the other thing, then in the end, decides not to get any of them! What would be a 20-minute trip to the store for me, turns into a 2-hour exhausting ordeal. And for all that, she brings home one tiny little sack of almost nothing that is supposed to last 7 days! Not much laughter for us anymore, but thankful for our DRED Cookie day memory!

    My kids already have a memory such as this with me (well lots really), but one that stands out is when we all went to an outdoor movie — “Iron Giant”. I don’t remember exactly how the scene played out but there was some writing on something in the scene and I was trying to understand what it meant. I looked at it intensely, then finally asked one of my kids “What the heck does tron glant mean?” I think they were actually stumped too, for just a second, before we both realized it simply said “Iron Giant”! The “I” in Iron looked like a “T”, and the “i” in Giant looked like an “l”. But it was just such a silly mistake, it was hilarious. One of those jokes that continues to come up all these years later. I think actually just a week or two ago! I love the silly memories with my kids!

    But yes, my mom and I have had that dismal discussion as well. And like you, I try to push it away or change the subject. She’s probably told me 20 times over the past 20 years where certain documents are in her house and I still don’t remember exactly where she said or what all documents she meant, because I blocked it out. I’d rather think about DRED cookies and Tron Glants 🙂

    Thanks for sharing, my leafy sister 🙂

    • Julie, wow–a car accident equals the annoyance of junk mail. You said so much in this phrase.

      You know what? I think what happened with DRED cookies can last a lifetime, don’t you? What an amazing lesson–how sometimes we anticipate the absolute worst, and dread everything, but really we’ve been misinterpreting everything around us. And really, it’s OREO cookies. Maybe they were there all along. This is HUGE!!!! I love this story. 🙂 🙂 🙂

      And Tron Glants too. 🙂

  12. Oh the emotion this evokes! I am holding my breath through each of those difficult moments and then the gift of laughter truly has me relieved and smiling. With my mother and I both having illnesses that require us to look at the end, its made us so much more empathetic at times, to one another. But I love the reminder to let humor prevail at times too, and to remember that laughter can be such a balm to our spirit!

    So much love to you today- and sweet mom too!

    • Thank you, Vicky. I wanted so much to end with a takeaway of hope, and something that’s possible. To laugh in smack-dab in the middle of life’s hardest moments.

      Your blog post I read today….Still thinking about it, the Burger King post. I love that picture of your family. You all just seem to be surrounded by a supernatural glow.

      xoxoxoxoxo

  13. When my husband bought our “plots” years and years ago … back in our early 20s … my younger brother came out with me. I showed the plot to him. He said, “I’m feeling sick.”

    Ha ha!! Yeah, and I haven’t gone to look at it since then!! 🙂

    You just have to laugh. Part of living is dying …

    • So well said, Shelli. And if we don’t have to be afraid–if we can actually LAUGH even while talking about this…..well, then….could it be, we have nothing to fear?

      XOXO

  14. marci says:

    Oh, my, but this is so close to home for me right now. It seems that you have struck a cord with many of us here, as so many of us are writing you long comments. Something we all have to deal with at some point.

    With my father’s death so fresh in my heart, .. this is very timely. I am grateful that a few years ago, he told me his wishes. That has given me comfort.

    I lived with an aunt before her death. Chas and I lived with her the 1st 2 yrs of our marriage, until cancer took her. She also laid out complete details, and what a God send that was to get me through those first months without her. My husband and I both had taken care of her so long, with the focus on her, that had I not had some of her sage guidance, … it would have been much harder for me after her death.. I was 22 at the time and now that seems so young.

    Laughter- what a balm it is! And how wonderful it is when we are able to laugh in the middle of our sorrows. I have a dear friend, who has serious health issues, plus her daughter fighting stage 4 breast cancer, yet, when we get on the phone she almost always has me laughing at some point.
    We cry together, and we laugh together.

    I admit, I have thought of some of the same things as your mom. I would love to sit down with my daughter and have “the conversation”. I would love it if she could be here for a few days and together we could go through things.. Since our daughter is an only child, there wont be a lot of ‘who wants what’.. still there are things I feel she needs to know.

    Right now I am trying to be gentle with myself.. One of my dearest friends- who is now with Jesus, was always saying that. When we are going through something- be gentle with ourselves.

    And I do try to find / see something to laugh about every day. ” Laughter is good medicine”

    Monday, Our Rocky, (Catahoula Dog) was in distress, and after a few calls to our daughter, the Vet,
    We quicky gathered up what we needed and took Rocky to Texas to the clinic where she met us.
    .. She kept Rocky at the clinic, and she is keeping us updated. .. But I have to share with you something that almost made me laugh, and it made me smile for sure…
    When we take off, I usually try to take something, for the hours that can turn out to be long. Something to crochet, or read.. I started to grab a book I had been reading, but at the last second decided not to that usually at such times I don’t feel like reading… Fast forward.. Now at the clinic, and in the restroom… Where there was on a little stand, several magazines,.. and guess what else?!
    There was a nicely blue bound copy of “Jesus Calling” right on top! I had to look up too Heaven on that one. It was like a little God Wink.

    I too have thought of making a (pre-) obit. I haven’t, but I have thought of it.
    I have thought of how I need to go through everything here, and evaluate. Label, Box up. Weed,
    And if I can push myself to do that- it may be one of the best last gifts I can give to my daughter- sparing her having to deal with so much..

    Your blogs always give me a reason to think and smile. And that is a God Send for me, especially at this time.

    • Marci, this might mean something to you. I told Mother this afternoon, what great blog comments are coming. And so we did it. We talked about stuff. It wasn’t a long conversation, and we both said we were going to pretend we were somebody else, but it wasn’t bad. Because we laughed about it!!!!!

      Can’t believe Jesus Calling was waiting for you at the vet’s office! What timing! How’s Rocky this afternoon?

      Loved reading about your experiences. You sound so wise and rich with the stuff that really matters in life. What a gift “meeting” you has been.

      There is nothing a friend who somehow manages to help us find humor in our toughest times. So true!

      xoxoxoxoxoxo

      • marci says:

        Thank you for your concern for Rocky. They do mean so much to us don’t they? The report today was, Rocky was taken off of the I-V drip. And he is eating, so that all sounds good. Still waiting on the test results that will show if it is cancer, but at this time we are hopeful he will be OK..

        Thank you for sharing with me your conversation with your mom about the blog comments. Yes, it does mean a lot, and I so often think, – thinking about your blog– that when we follow Christ’s lead. When we step out on faith, even if our knees are shaking, we are on the right path and He will always give us just what we need. And that is so awesome! ….You prove that every Wednesday.

  15. Sue Ward says:

    Yes Julie,
    I usually don’t bring up the past when I email my mom, (ex mother in law), because it causes her so much pain. But, I did last night.
    Before I finished the email I was crying n knew that in the morning when she’d be reading it, she’d be crying.
    I knew that my words would be the cause of her pain.
    I felt God’s Spirit leading me to talk about the years, 30 years, her son Larry n I were married.
    All the wonderful times our family had together. But also the bad times we had, together.
    Larry died 10 years ago n she has been unable to talk me or anyone about it.
    Just before I touched send, I asked, “Are You Sure Lord?” He said, “Yes.”
    She emailed me at 8:30 this morning. Saying, “Sue I live with so many regrets. They haunt me.”
    Praise Our Dear Lord!! again, I will share Our Savior, The Lord Jesus with her. Maybe this time.
    She’ll open her Heart to Him.

    Never be afraid to share words that are hard to say. Always listen to words that are hard to hear.

    “if we are prepared to take all things as God’s dealings with us, then we may have
    a chance of catching from time to time what God has to tell us.”
    Mary Wilder Tileston 1942
    Daily Strength For Daily Needs

    Please Pray, “This time my mom will open her heart to Jesus.”

    • Oh, Sue….

      I have no words…

      Just praise and prayers.

      You were obedient. Her heart is soft.

      I’m praying. And believing. Thank you for sharing so openly, sweet friend.

  16. Phil Wilkes says:

    Hi Julie. I began a sermon series in Philippians last Sunday (Jan 4)
    entitled This Is Not Normal. One of the themes in Philippians
    Is Joy. The Apistle Paul uses “Joy” and “Rejoice” 16 times in
    4 chapters. It’s not normal to be joyful when facing life storms. Yet
    Paul displays the Joy of the Lord in his own life in the Philippians letter.

    You are right that we need to laugh and rejoice. Sometimes we Christians
    Just get too uptight and serious. Charles Swindoll wrote a book entitled Laugh Again.
    He goes through Philippians highlighting Joy and the reality you can be
    Joyful regardless of circumstances. Speaking of Joy Swindall writes
    “It’s about relaxing more, releasing the tension and refusing to let circumstances dominate our attitudes.”
    As I was typing this I spilled soda on his book. I got frustrated then realized
    I was being uptight about what happened instead of laughing at the irony
    Of what just happened.

    • And you know what, Phil? I’m laughing (sorry, but I am) about you spilling soda (I have to say Coke) even as you’re typing.

      Maybe it’s just so OKAY to laugh about almost everything. It sure feels wonderful, doesn’t it?

      Thanks for letting me know you read this. I’m always amazed when I discover a man is reading and can relate–hope that didn’t sound weird, I just mean it helps me know my topics are stretching beyond just women’s issues.

      Blessings to you and yours.

  17. Julie, this stirred up so much emotion for me. My 88 year old dad lives with us! How do i begin to describe my dad? He’s larger than words- he still dances 3 times a week, and works as a greeter and never meets a stranger. But my dad has these “talks” with me all the time about how I’m to handle his home going. We’re supposed to take a cruise and celebrate??? We’re supposed to hold a party with no viewing- and only happy memories. He wants to be cremated (which I can’t hardly wrap my mind around) and he emphasizes, if we’re on vacation when he “goes”, we’re just to finish up and enjoy our vacation. Crazy. But he has made it a bit easier by talking about the future with humor and talking often. It’s helped take some of the sting of the inevitable away. hugs and blessings

    • Cindy……………………………. what can I possibly saw that would do your comment justice?

      My eyes are full. So is my heart.

      swallowing hard and just sending you a hug. What a man, what a man. what love.

      XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOOXOX

  18. Ruth says:

    What a great blog! Brought tears to my eyes. I can’t initiate a talk like this with my parents, (mother is gone & father has dementia) but I can do this with/for my children. My husband’s widowed mother lived with us till she was 92 years old. We talked about a lot of things & I wanted to have a talk with her about her feelings about dying, but was too scared to bring it up with her. She did hand me a envelope & said to tuck it away & open it when she’s gone. I figured this was her way of dealing with her death. She had written about her funeral arrangements, her will, & how she wanted her things divided. She said to look on the back of furniture pieces, & some of them she wrote the name of the person (in permanent marker), who was to get it. We did get a chuckle out of that when we divided things up. Bless you Julie, for writing about this. When my mother passed, I wrote her obit & how I struggled with it! What a blessing it would have been if it would have already been done. Love you lots & always look forward to Wednesdays. 🙂

    • Ruth, I can’t tell you (and everyone else who read this) how grateful I am for you. You were all so honest with me, and about this subject which —–for some reason??? —- is difficult to talk about.

      And it warms me to my toes to know others have struggled, some have been prepared, some have not, but no matter who we are, talking about our loved ones going to Heaven touches our hearts.

      And what a gift your MIL gave you–it was all she could do with the envelope and marking the furniture, but all she really needed to do.

      I’m so, so, blessed Mother and I have opened up the discussion, and even laughed about it.

      Sending you a hug on this cold, dark but JOYOUS Sunday afternoon.

      Blessings, my friend.

  19. Mary says:

    Hi Julie,
    Gosh, I’m glad I didn’t choose “prompt” for my word this year! Just catching up, though, and I wanted to comment.

    My mom also left instructions and gave me momentoes and it was hard for me to take it in! I didn’t want to think about her not being here with me. But a friend put it in perspective: it is a powerful statement of love and trust, and a strong message from a parent: this is who I am, and this is what I want. When the day came when she went to be with the Lord, it felt like she was helping us move ahead. She gave me strength through HER strength. HER faith helped to strengthen mine. GOD BLESS!

    • Mary, Mary

      What wisdom. That’s how I’m seeing it now. Just took me a few days to process it.

      Smiling at your promptness. 🙂 I think your timing is just perfect.

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