It doesn’t seem possible, but my Mom passed away six months ago today. My Dad is also gone, since September 2, 2002. It’s odd to think of myself and my three siblings as “orphans,” since we’re all adults – but one of the church leaders who led Mom’s memorial service talked to us shortly after Mom passed away and told us we are now “emotional orphans” – I guess, to prepare us for the emotional transition.
It has indeed been a transition. We are dealing with estate issues, as we prepare to sell the “homestead” – our family home, where we all grew up. The holidays were odd, without either parent there – and the house is becoming emptier as different family members claim cherished items from the home. At one point, some of us mentioned how strange it was to hear the echo in some of the empty rooms – my dear husband made the comment that the rooms were “empty except for memories” we each hold.
In fact, it was cherished memories that helped us through Christmas, especially. My sisters and I spent some time looking through old photos and reminiscing about the events represented. We even managed to get a group photo at the end of the evening, thanks to timers on cameras. That is especially significant and meaningful, since it is likely the last one to be taken in that house of the entire remaining family (of those who could be there that day).
I have reflected on lessons I learned from my Mom and am thankful for them. She and Dad were strong Christian parents, dedicated to serving God and raising us in the Christian faith. They weren’t perfect – but they loved us and supported us (and eventually, our spouses and children), even when they didn’t necessarily agree with our choices.
Among the many things I’m grateful for, concerning my Mom, are the following:
- My personal relationship with Jesus, since she was instrumental in leading me to Him through the Good News Clubs she used to teach. She and Dad were wonderful role models in their devotion to serving God.
- My commitment to family, as she and Dad demonstrated the importance and value of a close knit family.
- My sewing talents, as Mom used to sew outfits for my sisters and me frequently when we were young. That made me interested in learning to sew early on – who would have guessed it would become such a passion and eventually a home business?
- My passion for writing – this is something I only recently learned about, as one of many discoveries while sorting through decades of “stuff” at the house was a lengthy story (30+ handwritten pages) Mom wrote while in high school. That was quite an intriguing discovery and something none of us knew about. Mom and Dad both also wrote lots of letters to each other during their courtship, and Dad was quite faithful in keeping journals for years. Again, who knew (other than God) that I would eventually pursue a career as a freelance writer and it quite possibly stemmed from the “writing gene” that both parents possessed?
What have you learned from YOUR parents?
If they are still alive, have you let them know that you appreciate them?
One of the last photos of Dad and Mom, before Dad passed away in 2002.
Mom’s Memorial Service on July 12, 2011.