In the early afternoon of Sunday, February 14th, my mother left this world behind and entered the presence of her Saviour, the Lord Jesus. We rejoice in the assurance she is free from her human struggles and reunited with my Dad who passed away several years ago. This has inspired a lot of memories, and gratitude for the person my mother was. I owe a lot to her, and can relate to Paul’s words to Timothy,
“I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” 2 Tim 1:5
Like Timothy I have benefited from a faith that first resided in my grandmother Hilda, and my mother Evaline. I hope you will bear with me as I reminisce about my Mom.
Mom and Dad were married when she was only 18 and I came along a year later. As I grew up I watched Mom also grow as she learned about life and progressed in her faith. She shared with me when I was an adult how the main thing she was taught about parenting was, “Don’t spoil your children.” She said this resulted in her feeling guilt for any “unnecessary” cuddling, affection or gifts to us kids. However, Mom decided not to blindly follow the tradition or culture passed on to her, but to revaluate her thinking, prioritize love, and be willing to change.
When my youngest brother came along she was ready to prove that children could grow up just fine when enthusiastically spoiled in love! This was a very happy development in the life of our family. Of the changes that occurred in our family some became especially evident with her grandchildren. Growing up on a dairy farm we were told to drink milk because it was healthy for us. My milk came in a glass, but the grandchildren got their milk in ice-cream!
I witnessed Mom go through some hard and dark times, including a struggle with depression. But I saw her climb out of that darkness, largely due to her faith in God and love for her family. She not only determined to handle hardship by the grace of God, but gave herself to serving God, while giving, caring and helping others. Though dairy farm life was always busy she took time to serve our neighbors, take in foster children, be a leader in children’s ministry and more.
Mom wanted me to know God. I remember she took me with her as a child to midweek prayer meetings. There were no children’s programs, just prayer. Our church had people who knew how to pray. They were on their knees, sometimes loud, always passionate with testimonies of God’s answers. I remember times I was afraid to look up because I knew God was present! An awareness of God’s reality was initiated during those prayer meetings as a child.
Mom was my intercessor before God, and sometimes before man (like my Dad). I never had any doubt of how important I was to her. No matter how far I strayed during my rebellious teen years, when I did some crazy things, I always felt protected because I knew Mom was praying for me. No one was happier than Mom when I finally returned to God like the prodigal son. It may be my memory is slipping, but I can’t remember her ever saying she was disappointed in me. But, there are many memories of her saying she loved me and that she was proud of me.
My Mom taught me that loving means
always being ready to learn,
to admit we are wrong, to grow up,
we’re not perfect but try, and
to change for the good…
and that love is always worth the effort and cost.
Thanks Mom, and enjoy morning in heaven.