My Remembrance of Mom (for Her Funeral)


“If you stay committed to God, you won’t have to search.”

This is what my mother told me countless times. Usually, the full statement would be: “If you stay committed to God, you won’t have to search. And God will send you a man.” When I would roll my eyes in disbelief, she’d say, “You don’t need God to send you 10 men… you only need one.”

Well the years ticked by, I graduated high school, college, and still I was single, with no prospects. I’d complain to mom and she’d just say, “Stay true to God and you won’t have to search. He’ll send you a man.”

Sometimes I laughed at her. Sometimes I’d get mad. I’d say, “You found the man of your dreams when you were 16! He walked into church and asked you out the same night, what do you know about being single?”

She’d stick to her guns, confident that God would deliver. I eventually adopted her confidence in God in a lot more areas than just romance. And eventually, God did bring me a man. He sent me an awesome man, Brett, and he gave me more than I ever expected, including getting engaged in Puerto Rico with a sunset and a rainbow.

But really if you think about it, Mom’s advice applied to everything in life: If you stay committed to God, you won’t have to search… for joy, peace, comfort, love or strength.

Mom always pushed us toward God, because she knew Jesus. When we were teenagers, she would only pay for us to do fun stuff with the church youth group. If we wanted to go see a movie with friends from school, we were on own dime. But if we wanted to go bowling with the youth group, she’d pass out the bucks.

And my mom lived her faith too, and showed her love with her time and talents. She sewed my sister’s prom dress, she led my girl scout troop, and she helped my brother with his homework every night. She found our strengths and helped us focus on those areas, even while giving us honest opinions.

She has been my best and toughest editor… people always asked me how I became a good writer, and I would always tell them that my mom edited me until I was able to handle constructive criticism. She’d always cut the sentence that I loved the most, but usually I had to admit that she was right.

With my brother, Doug, she identified his strength in art. She loved to create things, and she always admired his ability to take the ideas in this mind and turn them into reality. She has displayed his art all over the house, and she knew he was going to do great things.

And with my sister, Dana, my mom noticed her interest in health. As a teenager, my sister was always talking about how to eat better, exercise more, and be more healthy. My mom saw these interests as strengths, and encouraged my sister to choose a career that tied in with what she loved. We used to always joke that the first test my sister ever got a 100% on was for sex ed in 6th grade.

I cooked Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner this year, and it was only then that I realized the tremendous work that she’d done for us throughout the years providing wonderful meals. She cooked the best chicken and dumplings I have ever tasted, and many other amazing meals that we consumed thoughtlessly like hungry lions.

The other thing I loved about my mom is that she supported us even if she didn’t agree with our decision. I moved 500 miles away after college. She thought it was a bad idea, but she still called me every week, encouraging me and praying for me. She and Dad and Doug moved me in and out, all within a year. She was with me, even if she didn’t understand me.

I’d also like to talk about my parent’s relationship. They had such a great romance, such a great partnership. Mom saw Dad as her handsome rescuer and her best friend. She was always grateful for him, and for the life that they had together. She always thought he was so funny and clever, and we’d always hear them laughing and talking late at night and early in morning in their bedroom. They did everything together, including building an addition to their house, landscaping, shopping, visiting family, and relaxing and having fun. It was wonderful to grow up a house where your parents loved each other, and you knew their relationship would last long after you left. It made you free to live your own life.

I will miss my mom terribly. I loved her. She was my friend, and we spent a lot of time together. I will miss our weekly lunches, our “Sweating to the Oldies” exercise dance sessions and our phone conversations. She always listened to whatever was going on in my life and gave me excellent advice. The last time we went to lunch, while she was in the middle of the struggle with the tumor, she gave me a sermon on how I needed to be grateful to God for everything in my life. She told me to avoid judging others. She said gratefulness was the key to success in life, and that God would not bless people who were not grateful for everything he gave them.

So today, I am grateful for having Mom in my life. I know my dad is grateful; over and over in the past few days, he has said that he was glad for the many good years they had. And we’re all grateful that Mom was still smiling and laughing her last week in life, and she didn’t have to endure much pain. We’re grateful to know that she is in heaven, partying right now, laughing like she loved to do so much.

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All I can say is I’m going to have a non-microwaved grilled cheese for lunch.

Sorry for your loss, my thoughts are with you and your family.

Sean

Sonia, you are truly blessed to have witnessed such a wonderful set of parents and to have had so much fun with your mom. I know some think it is just a given that is the way it should be for everyone..God bless you as you look to the future with all the amazing things od has for you to do..I am glad to know you, and to have had the brief encounter I did with Gloria..she touched my heart each time I saw or talked with her..my regret is that I hadn’t known her sooner.
Love, Becky