My Mama, 1914, the first-born to a logger and his wife training to become a nurse.
Mama left us to live in Heaven last year, and a new girlie joined our family. Strange, my youngest granddaughter is Mama’s spitting image. God is funny that way, isn’t He? They look alike, although they won’t meet here face to face.
If my kids think of me in the way I think of my mama, I’ll know my life meant something much better than riches. In honor of Mother’s Day, I want to share my eulogy of Mama with you-
Our family knew her time was drawing near and did our best to prepare. But one is never truly prepared for the good-bye.
On February 24th, 2019, Mama passed into Heaven. Alzheimer’s robbed her of so many precious memories, but not of her unique essence.
Mama’s family watched her forget names of family members, words, and memories of current events. Her confusion and fear shown in her eyes. We learned to change subjects or agree with her statements. It didn’t matter if she was right or wrong, so we let it be.
Mama was a queen among women, dignified, gentle, strong—beautiful, and gracious to all. Her influence, impact, and power came from the lost virtues of kindness, gentleness, and wisdom—her impact on others wasn’t from using forcefulness with her opinions and aggressiveness towards others. Not in screaming and assaulting others with her voice like what I see portrayed today.
Mama loved others with her words.
Mama was brokenhearted by life’s hurtful events, and about some of her harmful choices but repentant for her part. She often recalled some of her choices which wounded herself and her loved ones. She didn’t blame anyone else but herself. She accepted the responsibility. Because of this she wasn’t critical or judgmental in her interactions but was understanding and accepting of others.
Whenever Mama spoke, wisdom was sure to flow. She was wise beyond normal insight, and a wonderful counselor. This is one reason why she was my best friend and confidante. She listened to my every conflicting thought or feeling, didn’t criticize, ridicule, or judge and she kept my secrets.
Mama was humble and loving to anyone blessed to know her. She understood that we are all one choice away from suffering consequences or creating them for others. She was BIG on consequences—she taught me that well.
Mama didn’t shun correcting us kids, but she didn’t overkill with the correction. She knew just how to discipline me, careful not to break my spirit, but she was firm.
When I made bad choices, I remember her tender instructions and explanations for why I had consequences. Mama always made it clear that I was allowed to make amends and change my behavior. She loved ME very much, but that choice I made was a humdinger.
One of my repetitive childhood themes was telling stories to everyone—I loved talking. I heard the word “exaggerate” thousands of times. (Not exaggerating here).
I enjoyed communicating every interesting event, interaction, dialogue, scene, and if it needed excitement, embellishing the recounting—drama and plot twists changed it into a fantastic story!
Mama always had time to listen to my stories. She did it patiently, with interest. Her reactions and comments invited me to continue to communicate with her. She never shut me down.
At a writer’s conference the week before Mama passed, I learned that embellishing stories was called fiction or creative non-fiction. Mama allowed me to be myself, and it turns out that I am a creative non-fiction writer.
Thank you again, Mama. Your wisdom led me to embrace my life as a writer…
I bless you with pain in my heart. Time will drag for me, until we meet again, in that glorious Heaven with Jesus.
I miss you, my sweet Mama.