Sunday, October 31

Mom ~ Grandma: Deeply Loved ~ Deeply Missed

Yesterday we celebrated Mom's life! As a family we filled the service with beautiful songs, tributes, and a powerful slideshow.

After the lunch, and visiting with friends, we went and laid Mom's body to rest at Glen Eden, beside Dad.

Now - we carry on, with her love remaining in our hearts. I miss her so much already.

Alvin and I and our gang are going on a holiday, one that was planned for a while. At one point, we were not sure how or if we would be able to go, but the Lord took Mom home, we were able to have her funeral, and we are now within hours of leaving.

We are thankful. It will be a good time of family... enjoying our little Everett, and most likely running after him! We are all pretty tired, and look forward to the sun on our skin and sand between our toes. And then we will return and will carry on, missing mom more with each day.

I am including my husbands tribute that he and I did yesterday for Mom....
And, thanks to my sister-in-law Corinna, who prepared this amazing slideshow with her brother's help!.

Mom & Grandma .... we do, call you Blessed!

Alvin’s Tribute – Who was My Mom?

It is interesting to see what happens when a person passes away, and the possessions they own are distributed among the family.

It almost seems as though the person is divided up and taken into many different directions. But then I realized that the possessions do not define the person.

Many little things I see in Mom’s condo remind me of her – and always will. But the things that say WHO Mom WAS are the memories that I have, and will carry with me for the rest of my life!

 I could tell the worst joke, and everyone would groan, but Mom would always laugh like it was the funniest joke in the world. Sometimes that made us laugh in return when we realized that Mom perhaps didn’t get the joke – but wanted to be supportive!

 I could call day or night to ask for something, or if I needed help and Mom would always be there. Having Mom and Dad as neighbors were some of the most wonderful years of our lives. I can’t remember how many times the kids would call to say they would be home a little later, because they stopped at Grandma’s first. When I worked shifts – Joy loved knowing they were just a short walk away.

 Mom could sew on a button while I was wearing the shirt and walking out the door. Somehow she could always fix the pair of pants that Joy was ready to throw in the garbage. She could stack a couple of cords of wood, make enough food to feed an army, wrestle down a wayward calf and have that all done before breakfast!

 Mom always had a listening ear. I could tell her my concerns, my problems, and my fears. BUT then, she also followed up and would ask how I was and if there was anything she could do. Mom always wanted to help. She was also very perceptive.

 Mom and Dad did everything together… and the thing is – they COULD actually do everything. When we lived in Anola together, we realized how much they did together. I always thought that Mom worked too hard. One time I asked her if she ever just wanted to put her feet up and relax… the thing I realized (and which Alvin inherited) is that when the feet finally go up – the eyelids usually close!

 Mom was part of a few house builds… there was our house built in 83, their house build in Anola in 97, and the McIvor Habitat for Humanity house build in 2001. When we built their house in Anola – Mom was the driving force on the job site! She hauled material and kept the cleanest jobsite in the country! Not only that, but she burnt everything that she thought we didn’t need, which meant that when I needed a little piece of off cut to shim something up – there was nothing to be found!

Mom actually burnt more stuff thank you could shake a stick at, she loved making fires. Unfortunately she also singed her eyebrows once or twice when the fire got a little rip roaring.

 Her family was her #1 priority. You didn’t have to schedule in time with her – she was always available. It didn’t matter if you were her original kid, or one that married into the family – we were all considered her children. This often boggled the nurses who thought they had the children all figured out!

 Over the years, Mom could be found in hockey arena’s cheering, at recitals for Mennonite Children’s Choir and at Graduations. I hate to think of how many Christmas concerts mom sat through with all the grandkids, and never once complained that she had heard enough Christmas songs or seen too many Christmas pageants!

 The grandkids knew that she always had time for them. It didn’t matter how old or how young they were – she was very interested in their lives, right up to the end. It was such a wonderful thing to hear Mom pray for her grandchildren. She also made sure that even when she was in the hospital – she wanted to make sure she had treats to keep on hand for them. And it was a special thing to have her own hospital phone – and was very excited to get a phone call from one of her grandkids.

 When Dad passed away – we saw how Mom worked hard to figure out how to live life as a widow. This was such a steep learning curve for Mom, but she never complained. We saw how determined she was to learn and carry on. We also saw how deeply she relied on God for her strength.

 While Mom had been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma seven years ago, it stayed relatively quiet until last year, when it involved her kidneys. Mom became a vigilante in the food department – checking labels for sodium, and potassium and other things. She went to classes at the hospital. She enjoyed exercising with the ladies in the Valhalla complex. When she could have been overwhelmed with all the things she had to watch, she never complained. Instead she was dedicated to a new lifestyle – even if she didn’t choose it for herself.

 When Mom went into the hospital, we saw how deep her faith was. We had some precious conversations with Mom over the last three months. She talked about her trust that the Lord knew the days ordained for her. We shared morning devotions together, reading from Scripture, and then from the Daily Bread which had been a long time companion, as far back as I can remember. Mom had full trust that God knew exactly what He was doing and we had a few talks about going Home to Heaven.

 Even when Mom was barely strong enough to get around, she was still concerned about what everyone else was up to. If she heard about a fire, she wanted to know that Josh and I were okay. She knew what we were all up to, and kept amazing track of us. It was quite something to be on the receiving end of that love and care.

 During these last weeks when the weather was so windy – Mom would ask me several times throughout the day as to whether I had heard from the boys and how was the work going. She prayed for them out loud, and hearing this always blessed me.

When I was in pastoral ministry here at McIvor – Mom was one of my greatest prayer supporters. And lately as we have begun the retreat ministry build – Mom wanted to know how things were going, and so I took pictures on a regular basis, loaded them on the computer and brought them to the hospital.

 She was a woman who loved to work behind the scenes – serving God with her talents and her gifts. She also was someone who lived what she believed, and lived FOR the one she believed in – that being Jesus Christ.

 Mom hated to get any credit … she would just want to get the job done, and would often do things silently, and without any fanfare.

 She lived life for the Lord, trusted completely in His timing even if we didn’t understand it. She recalled His faithfulness to her over the years, and thanked God daily for all he had done, and entrusted the future to His care.

 Mom – absent from the body – but present with the Lord – which is far greater. God knew that he had a plan and a purpose for Mom’s life – Mom believed that. We have seen what He has done, and how we have been blessed as a family, and we are forever thankful.


Tracy said...

Your mom was just pure beauty. Thanks for sharing the slideshow.

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