Mother’s Day is always difficult for me. May of 2003, was the last time I got to shop for a gift for my mother.
In April of 2003, my mother was diagnosed with state IV esophageal cancer. It was inoperable, very aggressive, and there was no cure for her cancer. Three months later, on July 29th, she passed away.
During those three months, my older sister and I took turns caring for our mom. Near the end, it was a job we had to do together. At the time of my mom’s diagnosis, we lived three hours away from her. I had a 20-month-old little boy, and a 6-month-old little girl. The children and I would drive back and forth. We literally felt like we lived with Nana Norie, and just went home to visit Daddy.
The day my mom died, I sang the hymn, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” to her. I can’t hear that song, or sing it in a worship service without it bringing tears to my eyes. Happy tears, because I know my momma’s eyes are completely on Jesus in Heaven! My tears are also tinged with sadness because I do miss her. I only had 25 years, 4 months, and 26 days here on earth with my momma, but I have all of eternity to spend with her. I do not believe we can fully grasp how wonderful eternity will be in Heaven!
No one can take the place of my Mom, but I am thankful for the spiritual mothers the Lord has brought into my life since she passed away. He provided older women to love on me, and my family. Women, I like to call my Titus 2 women. Since the time of my mother’s death our family has moved a lot because of seminary and ministry opportunities. I am thankful for women like Dian, Cheryl, Lou, and Cindy that I’ve met along the way. These women live in different towns, but they have touched my heart in similar ways. They are examples of how to love and respect my husband, love and train my children, and to be more Christ-like. These women have helped this motherless daughter fill the hole in my heart my mother’s death created.
In 1999, my mom made a doll for me. Yes, I was 21-years-old when she gave this doll to me, but she made it in a way that reminded her of how I looked when I was a little girl. On the doll’s bottom, she wrote me a message with a permanent marker. My mom wrote, “Remember who holds all your tomorrows. Just keep holding his hand. Love, Momma.” So mom, I’ll do just as you taught me. I will keep walking hand in hand with Jesus. I will keep trusting in Him with all my heart, and lean not on my own understanding. In all of my ways, I’ll acknowledge Him, and He will make my paths straight.” (Pr. 3:5-6).