Saturday, April 14, 2012

To My Dear Family

I am a little slow. . . . .

Lane, I'll start with you since you were the first to arrive. Thank you for coming when you did. Mama was so glad when she knew you were coming. She knew how much you loved her, that you would do whatever it took to get here. She told me, "Lane loves me. He really loves me." I understood what she meant because my sons love me like that. She was so proud of you - your integrity and honesty and will to work hard, of the man you have become. Thank you for being with Daddy all week. I could rest, knowing you were there.

Chelley, I am so glad you came when you did. Your gentle strength helped hold us all together. I'm glad you were there with Lani when Mama left. If I remember right, you are the one who suggested we read Scripture to her, and that led to that very special time of singing and praying and Mark's beautiful song. . . . . Thank you!

Robin, My heart tells me that you will miss her most of all. She was your confidant, a voice of love and truth and sanity in this messed up world. Our days will not be the same without her. But you have her strength to make the Lord your dwelling place all your days. I love you.

Mark, you, alone out of all of us, have met death before. Yet your faith shines all the brighter through your pain. The song you sang at the foot of Mama's bed (and again at the funeral) was so beautiful. Thank you. We all wanted to love her with our hands and our voices. You did that extraordinarily well. I will not forget it.

Kathy, it is so hard to believe it is all over and she is really gone. Even though we knew it was coming, the reality of it sinks in slowly. Thank you for putting your creative energy into the slide show. It was so well done and included pictures of Mama I had never seen or did not remember. It was a gift to all of us. I am looking forward to the memory book you are working on.

Lani, I am so glad you were here. Singing and praying and reading Scripture around Mama's bed, knowing her heart was hearing our love even though her body showed no sign. I'm glad you were there when she left. I wonder if we are ever old enough to lose our mothers? Her death leaves a vacuum that no one else can fill. But, we do not grieve as those who have no hope. . . . .

Chip, thank you so much for coming. Your presence was a rock for me, your faith solid and immoveable. You have weathered the storms and you stand strong, providing shelter and safety to those you love. Thanks for letting me lean on you and cry.

And Daddy, dear, dear Daddy, I will never forget the way Mama took your face in her hands and pulled you close to love you on that last day. That is a precious memory I will cherish all my days. You loved her very well. She loved you all her days. I pray that I may love as you have.

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