Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Remembering Mama

I wish that I could take the words that Deborah spoke at Mama's funeral and post them right here on this blog. She did an excellent job of portraying who she was and how much she will be missed in our lives.

My precious Mama was a woman who loved God and loved people. And she was a fighter. These are three things that were consistently heard in the hours we spent at the hospice reminiscing and hearing from people who loved her.

She loved her family. She spent more hours than you could count loving me and my sisters. Slumber parties at her house. Trips to Amarillo to shop for back to school clothes. More clothes than you were allowed to take back in the TJ Maxx dressing rooms. Taking me to Olive Garden - just the two of us - and me thinking it was the biggest deal. Converting Papa's old workshop into a playroom for us - complete with pool table and dress up clothes. Taking me with her when she volunteered at the hospital. Sewing the three of us matching Christmas & Easter dresses every single year. She showed her love with her time and the way she lavished gifts on us. I swear we could have had enough gifts for a small nation of children under the tree every Christmas.

She loved everyone placed in her life. I thought it was normal from a young age to sit with all of her and Papa's friends and dinner parties and to play dominoes. She was so very intentional with all her relationships. When she moved into the retirement community where she'd been for the last seven years, she got a roster of everyone's name before she even moved and started learning their names and when she would meet them, she would mark them off. Such a people person.

She loved her God. Countless hours at the prayer room, bible studies, teaching Sunday School. And her life was just lived in a way you knew the love of Christ was flowing through her.

She was a fighter. Mama had a stroke thirteen years ago that left her without feeling in her entire right side. She never, not for one day of that thirteen years, stopped fighting. There was one physical struggle after another, more surgeries than you could count, and she kept on going, striving to be independent, and attempting to live as though there was nothing wrong with her body!

She was also a ball of fire - to the end. Things were done the way Mama thought they should be. Whether it was teaching me to make dressing (which is my favorite food) and making me add more of one season after another until you almost wanted to scream. Or us rearranging the furniture in her apartment until it was just so. Or how she had relayed a message to her housekeeper her last week in the hospital stay from the staph infection that she was coming home, so she needed to "dust, dust, dust".

All these are great & wonderful memories, but more importantly, I learned from my Mama what it looks like to honor God with your life. To love people the way He did. And to fight like crazy to make every single day He gives you on this earth count. That's the legacy my Mama left me. It's hard to imagine life without her. Sometimes I don't think it's really hit that she's gone - it came so fast. But I am so thankful that she is in heaven with our Saviour, no longer confined to a scooter, no longer in pain, and reaping the rewards of a life well lived.

Me with Mama as a little bitty baby. I was her first grandchild...I think she was kind of crazy about me :)

Me with Mama (on the right) and my dad's parents after my Baylor graduation. Mama was also a Baylor Bear - Sic 'Em!

The whole family with Mama at her 75th surprise birthday party a couple of years ago.

And a couple of the many, many dresses she sewed for us! (Check out the hair!!!)


lb said...

This is an awesome post, Sarah. I'm glad you took the time and were able to get it all out. It sounds exactly like you could have been writing about Peggy, too. I think they must have been kindred spirits. And... I love the last pic of you 3. I can totally see you in that little girl. :)

Sarah said...

Sweet Sarah. I'm excited to meet your Mama in heaven one day. I can see the effects of the legacy she left in you and can only imagine how blessed everyone she encountered has been from her love! Praise God you KNOW you will one day dance and sing with her in heaven!! Brings tears to my eyes.

On another note, um, hilarious hair. I think that style needs a come back. Along with the accent :)