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A Tribute to My Mom

My mother, Virginia, passed away in 2010. She was 40 when I was born, and she was 73 when she was healed of cancer throughout her entire body and went to live Jesus. This is my tribute I wrote for her Memorial Service. Sharing it again helps me to continue to commemorate her; particularly on #MothersDay. My prayer for you, is that God gives you many rich days ahead with your own mother or children as you celebrate life together.

momhuntDear Mom,

I know that by the time I’m done with this letter, half of the things I should’ve written – I will have thought of later, and half of the things I have in here aren’t even a fraction of a recollection of who the Lord created you to be. But, at any rate, I wanted to share this eulogy of you, in front of our family and friends, as a tribute to who I know you to be, and how I saw Christ in you.

Although I can’t claim the whole of it, I know that I inherited some of your detailed organizational skills. I know that I’ll never be as anal as you were with cataloging magazines; nor folding plastic grocery bags; nor with folding tea towels among my pots in a kitchen closet; nor with the laborious labyrinth of memoirs and the boxes, and boxes, and boxes of pictures I’ve been sorting through since Tuesday. At any rate, this letter is complied into a list of statements. Why a list? Because that’s what you taught me to do… is to make lists.

Each of the following statements is to be preceded with the following statement: “Something I’ll always love about you is…” So, here goes:

1) Your contagious, and sometimes eye-rolling, but always loveable… smile. Joy always accompanied you into any room you entered.

2) Is showing me how to do my own laundry. I am proud to tell you that to this day, I am mocked by very jealous friends of how I sort my clothing. I am ashamed to tell you how sub-standard I’ve been lately; but I’m sure you already knew that…

3) How you always think of others’ well being before your own. Dad and your children are the champion recipients of this.

4) You recognizing and enabling me to pursue music diligently; and then, of course, the constant MN Nice “encouragement” to practice. The musician I am today was founded by your early nurturing.

5) Your ability to talk with just about anyone, about anything. And, while I have to confess that sometimes I didn’t think you knew what you were talking about, you always knew how to keep a conversation going; even when you were prying at me to reciprocate.

6) The freedom you gave me to always tell you the truth about what I was feeling and thinking about… even when you and I were in disagreement.

7) How you always rolled out the red carpet for my high school and college friends with food and a safe space to be. I have friends who wanted to be here today, that couldn’t, simply because of the impression you made on them. While some may call this the “gift of hospitality”, I see it nothing other than the reality of how the fruits of the Spirit were a product of your life committed to Christ.

8) The way I saw the Lord soften and open your heart to my beautiful wife. Thank you for laying aside your prejudices to assume her as one of your daughters.

9) The way you tenaciously fought for life and asked the Lord to spare you in the early 90’s from your fatal skin disease, just to see my children born. I will treasure forever that picture of you and Gabriel taken in the hospital just last week.

10) Your faithful and persevering prayer life; that probably has caused all of heaven to descend on behalf of your entire family at one point or another—without our even knowing it.

11) Accepting the challenge to start over with an infant, as a Mom at age 40; raising me in a completely different generation than what you knew as comfortable.

While you and I are hardly perfect, I thank the Lord for his loving kindness; that is still shaping me, but has now brought you into completion! I hope this service today is as celebratory of your life lived for Him, as we talked about in the hospital the past few weeks.

Every night before I left your bedside I prayed for you to sleep peacefully; then I told you I’d see you the next day. And, I don’t honestly know how the Lord defines “tomorrow”; but I’m confident in the fact that I will see you tomorrow… whenever that is.

Goodbye Mom, I love you.

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