It struck me yesterday that things really are different. As I was deleting phone messages, I ran across an old message Mom left. I listened just to hear her voice again. Mom passed last Tuesday, too early and too soon, but she’s now whole, healthy, and complete today. There was nothing left unsaid; all spoken and shared. Last thing I remember telling her in the hospital room early Tuesday evening, “I love you; it’s okay, it’s okay.”
When I think about Mom, I can’t help but remember some things from earlier days. I remember: Christmas at Ramona Lane and the New General Store; falling face first off my bike and scratching my face all up – and there was Mom smiling and wiping my face; thankful that Mom and Dad didn’t let me to quit peewee football; Mom as a room mother in elementary school; going to Publix and loading up two shopping carts of food weekly – we had the best pantry in town; deep sea fishing off Antigua – everyone was sea sick except for Mom (she took medicine); never missing a football game or track meet – I always saw them in the stands; cooking pounds of shrimp at the beach – so many good memories at Errol by the Sea; my first speeding ticket (3 miles over the speed limit on New Smyrna Beach) and Mom saying don’t worry about it; our fist Sunday as a family at First Baptist Church Orlando – the newness and excitement of the day; smoothing over my grandmother’s revelation (while visiting me at college) that Bo (my dog) had died; when she still believed in me as I transferred to Palm Beach Atlantic College; being at college graduation; both Mom and Dad standing/waving in the driveway in Windermere as Jo and I headed to Fort Worth, Texas, as newlyweds; trips out west, to the mountains, the Caribbean, and Europe; being at seminary graduation; the first sofa in our house in Granbury, Texas – Mom and Dad paid for it; lunches at the Country Club and the Princeton Diner with Mom and Dad both; optimism in adversity; her first closing as a realtor; moving her stuff out of the Carlson Drive house while it was falling into a sinkhole late one evening; strength through a grueling chemo and surgery process as she beat cancer over ten years ago; the fishing trip she gave the brothers to Sanibel; her move to Texas; her card playing quartet (Lori, Cherry, and Dianne) and phone calls during their games; looking out from the platform at Memorial and seeing her in the congregation; lunches (quesadillas) at Tia Maria’s – I loved that place even though she wasn’t a big tex-mex fan; and family dinners in Baytown – it’s as if I can still hear the laughter coming from the dining room.
These are just a few of the things I remember. What do I remember the most? I remember hearing the words, “I love you,” and “I’m so proud of you.” She had a gift to bless – she believed in her sons. I didn’t just hear them spoken once, but over and over again. These I will not forget. I love you Mom! I’m proud of you! And I’ll see you again – someday. Wow, how I’m thankful for the future hope we share in Christ!