My mom taught me the true meaning of unconditional love. Her life was a constant reflection of faith, family, and love. Her legacy will forever fill the lives of everyone who knew her. In my own words, here is the summary of my mom’s beautiful life.
A smile that lit up any room.
My Dad always called my mom “Sparky”. She asked him once why he chose “sparky” and his response was “it should be obvious. You light up every place you enter.” My mom’s smile, laugh, and overall presence lit up the world around her. She brightened every room she entered with her attitude and outlook on life. The glass was always half full and always available to be shared. I learned hospitality from my mom. Any meal can be made to accommodate one more person at the table. There is no such thing as scarcity, we share what we have and there will always be enough. Being that we are blessed to have so many family and friends living within a few miles of us, any random Thursday could turn into a party on the patio. All you need for a party is a few friends and a bottle (or box) of wine.
My mom personified the word strength.
Every problem has a solution. She told us repeatedly, there is nothing we cannot fix together. Something we took for granted as children, but realized its importance in adulthood. Adam and I have talked many times about mom’s ability to make everything ok. No matter the problem, no matter the issue, there was never a question in our mind that we would all make it out ok. There was no other choice. Never for even an instant were we on our own, we were always in it together. As I became a mother myself, my mom told me not to believe the rumors, your job is not done when your baby turns 18. There was never a day in my forty years of life that my mom was not fully involved in my life – the good, the bad, and the chaotic.
She often joked that if we would just realize “she is always right” it would make life a whole lot easier.
Mom often just knew things. It was as if she could just sense the outcome before it happened. My greatest example of her sixth sense came with the birth of my son. Baby boy was due on June 13th, 2015. For weeks, mom told me “this baby is coming in May”. Having had a late baby and an on time baby, I told her she was crazy – there was no way I was having this baby early. She insisted, “He’s coming May 29th.” I called her at 4am on May 29th to tell her I was in labor. When she arrived at the house to watch the girls, she smiled and said “thank you baby. Grandma is always right.” Though we all fight it, truth be told, she was always right. Her advice was priceless. She created a calm among every storm with the clarity of her thoughts and advice.
My mother did not mince words.
She told you what she thought and it was your choice what you did with the information. You always knew exactly where things stood. For example, my husband is an electrician. When we were dating he went to mom’s UPS store to do some work. During the visit she cornered him in her store and said, “are you planning to marry my daughter or not?” Yes, she was perfectly ready to tell him to take a hike if the answer was no. Lucky for me, the answer was yes and she was the first person to know of our upcoming engagement. With mom there was no guessing. There was also no grudges or long held harsh feelings. She always told me you get mad, you talk it out, and you move on. She taught me the power of unconditional love.
Mom’s legacy of love touched us all.
Watching her and Dad taught me the power of marrying your best friend. She told me, “ your Dad can make me madder than can be, but my heart still skips a beat when I see him walk through the door.” Love is about balance. Love is about walking the steps of the journey together. Over the years she filled her prayer life with hopes that Adam and I would find the perfect partners and experience the love her and Dad shared. Shaun and Christina are the personification of her answered prayers. She was more than ready to add two more kids to her prayer list. She was also more than thrilled to add her five grand babies to the list.
My mom loved being a grandmother.
She adored the way everyone’s eyes would light up as they came running to her yelling “Grandma” tackling her with hugs and kisses. My mom balanced the spoiling and the learning, giving her grand babies a perfect balance of both worlds. She took such an active role in the lives of her grandkids. We were so blessed to experience all the years of babysitting and school pick-ups, dance classes and girl scout meetings. Everyone in our children’s lives knew who Grandma was.
My mom was a woman of immense faith.
Her faith in the almighty power of God touched every aspect of her life. She had a full prayer life, always conversing with God about the needs of the people she loved most. I would often ask her to pray for this and that, and her response was usually “already on the list.” She trusted God, his power, and his timing. It is with 100% certainty that I say she was not scared in her last moments. Her heart did not hold fear, only trust in the perfect timing of our almighty creator and his ability to take her home and put her at peace. I know she has seen the face of Jesus. She is reunited with her own mother, who she missed so much. She is watching us right now, smiling, saying, “Wipe away those tears. Everything is going to be ok.”