A tragedy has come to our family.
This morning, my beloved mother (in-law) passed into the arms of her loving Savior.
On May 16th we found out that she had a mass on her pancreas. 68 days later she is gone.
I know that we can (and will) rejoice that her pain and suffering is over. That after a life filled with hardships she is being lavished with love by her Heavenly Father.
But right now, it just hurts so freaking bad.
I am sitting here struggling to put into words what she meant to us. She was the most selfless, loving, thoughtful, giving, committed Christ follower that I will ever know.
She loved her 3 sons with every ounce of her being. She poured herself into those boys and her face shone when they surrounded her. They would roll their eyes at her advice (oh she was strong-headed and stubborn) but her advice was always based on truth and love. You’ve never seen 3 boys love their mom like these boys. In his 41 years of life Ryan has never had a cross word with his mother. That’s the kind of woman she was, and the kind of sons she raised.
She loved her daughters-in-law as if they were her own daughters. When I knew she was proud of me, I felt like I was floating. Because her words were true, and she wasn’t stingy with her praise, but it wasn’t cheap either. When Ryan and I met 22 summers ago, on a missions trip overseas, she was specifically praying for Ryan’s future wife. And she treated me with love, patience and kindness all of the days that I knew her. Oh how I wish I had spent more time just sitting with her gaining her knowledge and wisdom.
She loved her grands. She was blessed with 10 of them, ages 2 – 14. And each and every one of them adores her. Each and every one of them would probably tell you that they were her favorite. And each of them would be right. She used to say that every new baby was “the best one there ever was” and I know that is how she felt about her grands. She never held herself back from them. Even in her final year when she was sick and often couldn’t get relief, she pushed herself as much as she could to pour into them.
My heart hurts so much.
It hurts for her grands. For the older ones who will know so acutely what they’ve lost, and for the younger ones who may not remember her.
It hurts for Molly, Chyloe and myself who will miss her guidance, her prayers over us, her willingness to always help no matter the cost to herself, her encouragement, her presence.
It hurts for her boys. Ryan, Jared and Chad. As Ryan says, I don’t need much in this world, but I need my mom. I don’t know how they will begin to deal with the hole in their lives that is left without her.
I promise, I’ll do my best to trust the Lord and to be grateful for the eternal life that she has in Him. But if that process of working towards trust I have my moments of anger, frustration, confusion, pain, you’ll have to bear with me. I wish I had the total peace that she did. Because she did. Even from day 1 she knew that her hope was in heaven. As we started hospice she had no fear or anxiety, because she knew what awaited her, and she was ready.
So I’ll try to make her proud once again. But it might take me a while.