Saturday, February 16, 2013

My mother would have celebrated her ninetieth birthday On February 19th.
I'm posting this in her memory. This piece is the first  writing that I shared with my family. When we knew that our mother was closer to being called home to her heavenly Father's arms, I wanted to share memories of her.
When life hands you scraps, make quilts
Life is a quilt, made of patches stitched together. Some may say their life is like a crazy quilt, odd shapes and sizes of many colors and fabrics. Others may say theirs is like Grandma’s Flower Garden or the Double Wedding Ring, happy and full of color.
Each family member was asked, “What do you think of when you think of Mom or Grandma?” This brought up many memories of Mom’s life. 
Both Jim and Curt’s first thoughts were desserts. Mom’s baking talents where well known among family and friends. Curt added that she was a hard worker, helping with the farm chores as well as all the housework. Jim remembers that she always had a garden, and was always busy. 
Dennis thinks of the hard work she did, raking leaves in the fall, picking up garbage along the road to keep the neighborhood looking good, and making the large batches of jam each year to sell at the pancake dinner. And, there were many hours spent bending over the quilting frame, hand stitching each quilt. 
To Nancy “Mom” meant great patience. It truly was tested many times. Also, “Mom” meant music. She loved music, and knew many of the words to a lot of songs, even quietly singing along with Brad when he sang a solo in church. 
Marlene thinks of Mom’s beautiful brown eyes, along with her caring and kindness. Rarely did you hear an unkind word.
For Margie, “Mom” meant being a good cook and teacher. She had a cookbook in her mind that was never put in print.  
Eric’s thoughts are of the quilts Grandma always worked on, and cookies. Unfortunately Grandma kept the cookies in a ceramic cookie jar that was hard to sneak into.
Becky shared many of the same thoughts. Those quilts made great tents in front of the couch, and there were always fresh baked cookies when she visited. Grandma was only a phone call away for a sleepover. 
Brad’s memories are of staying at Grandma’s house and eating Cocoa Puffs for breakfast. He didn’t get them at home. Grandma’s are all about spoiling their grandchildren, and then sending them home.
Brenda recalls the Peanut Blossom cookies and the desserts. Grandma always knew what each one liked and made a point of baking it before they came to visit. 
 These are but a few memories.  This quilt that is Mom’s life can be described in many ways. Each patch is stitched together with strength and love. There are bright and happy colors that depict joy and laughter, of which there was never a shortage. But, there are also faded and frayed patches, reflecting the hard and difficult times, and the tears shed over the years.
 Although no patch is ever perfect, stitched together they become something more beautiful than you can imagine. This quilt that is Mom’s life is surrounded by a beautiful boarder. This boarder is her never ending love and faith that encompassed all life. And surrounding that boarder is a binding, God’s arms stretched to enfold all, making this quilt possible. 
Yes, Mom was handed scraps. She took those scraps, whether faded and frayed, or bright and colorful, and she made the most beautiful quilt of all, our family and all the wonderful memories.
Mom went to her heavenly home on September 27, 2007. Pastor Tim Lamkin graciously agreed to officiate at Mom’s funeral. We planned on having these memories read during the service, and shared them with Pastor. Pastor Tim shared his own memories in the form of the sermon. 
He stated that when he received the call from Dennis that Mom has passed away, it brought three memories to his mind.  The first memory was of Mom walking along Highway A, wearing her bright orange vest to let traffic know she was there. The second memory was of Ladies Aid. If Pastor Tim had a hard time with the melody or finding the pitch of the hymn they were singing, Mom knew it and was there to help him out. 
Pastor Tim’s third memory painted a true picture of Mom. He had visited Mom at Deerview Meadows, where she was a resident for several months. Mom was having a difficult day, and it was hard for Pastor to communicate with her. Pastor Tim grabbed Mom’s hands, and told her they would pray the Lord’s Prayer. As he started, Mom calmed down and recited the prayer with him. He then continued on with the communion service. What a beautiful picture of Mom’s faith. We all admired her strength through the years of her life, and we know that her strength was a result of her strong faith in God, which carried her through good times and bad. 
How fitting that Pastor shared his memories with all who were at the funeral. Margie read our memories following Pastor Tim’s sermon, bringing tears to many eyes as we each remembered Mom in our own special way.
I love you Mom, and I miss you.