The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

on August 25, 2009

So today was my mom’s funeral.

Kind of a little strange typing that.

But it’s okay and I’m okay. I’m actually better than okay . . . . . I told someone today that I never gave God and His grace enough credit. He hasn’t left me all alone to deal with the grieving by myself. He’s there every step of the way. I had an overwhelming sense of “we’re going to be just fine” today. And I know it was Him whispering it to my heart. We will heal and we will yearn all the more for heaven. But in the meantime, we’ll live, love, laugh and be happy.

I think I’m going to take a bit of a bloggie break for awhile. I just need some time to chill out. Tyler doesn’t have to go back to work until September 2 and we’re not starting school until the 9th. I didn’t realize what a toll Mom’s sickness had taken on me until she was gone and the relief that she wasn’t suffering anymore had set in. I feel like my family has me back and it’s time to focus solely on them.

I’ll leave you with what I said at the funeral today. I had been working on it for weeks, knowing if I just got up there cold turkey I’d never remember everything I wanted to say.

I’ve wondered for a long time what I’d say today or even what I’d want to say. I guess what I want everyone to know and what I want to publicly thank God for is the amazing woman and mother my mom was. Her love was selfless, caring and sacrificial. The very best parts of the person I am today are because of her. She taught me through her actions, not endless lectures, what it was to be a true and loving person. As a child – and much older if I’m completely honest – I remember marveling at her ability to love everyone. Everyone. Nice people, jerks, everyone. That was the legacy she left all of us. Her unconditional love and acceptance. I am blessed beyond measure to have had the relationship I had with Mom for 40 years. I realize that some people don’t even have 40 minutes of a good relationship with their mother and for the gift I was given I am eternally grateful.

She gave me many life lesson gifts. One of the biggest I got from her was her sense of humor. She taught me how to be independent, serious about my convictions, but also how to see the humor in everyday life. No one could make me laugh as hard as my mom. I remember one time laughing so hard on my cell phone with her (when it was still completely legal to drive and talk on your cell) that I had to pull into a parking space because I could neither see nor breathe.

But probably the biggest gift my family ever got from her and my dad was when they packed it all up and headed south from Alaska to Vancouver to be near their grandkids. I will never be able to put into words how grateful I am that they cared enough to invest in the lives of all four of their grandchildren. The overnighters, the camping trips, the spoiling in general will never be forgotten by Austin, Amber, Hahhan, and Matthew. And the spoiling will be carried on in grand style by their Poppy.

As I close, I’d like to read an adaptation from the tradition and book of Esther. **One day on the hillside of the New Jerusalem, surrounded by a crowd of glad hearers, the divine Narrator will tell the story of one woman’s life. The story will begin something like this:

Once upon a time, in the days of the great and glorious Jesus, King of the vast empire of heaven and earth, there was a little Alaskan girl who grew up to be an amazing woman. Her name was Connie, but Cecil called her his wife, Mark and Cheri called her Mom, and Austin, Amber, Matthew and Hannah were blessed to call her Nana, but her King called her His beloved. And with all the drama and emotion a great storyteller can muster, the divine Narrator will read the congregation her whole story. The listeners will groan. Bite their nails with suspense (Mom liked to live on the wild side). It will be a raucous affair – just like Mom likes. Then at the height of the story, when cancer makes its appearance and all hope seems lost, He will remind us yet again . . . . . . can cancer overtake her soul? Absolutely not. And all will be relieved.

Then He will show one and all the rest of the story, the part we didn’t get to see on earth . . . . . . they will see Connie in her royal robes, for she is a daughter of THE King. She will stand in the inner court of His palace and when He sees her, He will be pleased.

And she will approach. And cast her crowns at His feet.**

The Esther part was adapted from a much more gifted writer than I. It’s taken from the Bible study, “Esther: It’s Tough Being a Woman” by my dearly loved Beth Moore.

And all of those who know me well can now say, “Of course it was.”

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