We hope you and your family had a very Merry Christmas. These past several months my Mom has had some very serious health issues. And, it’s with very heavy hearts that we tell you she past away on December 21st. Life can be difficult and circumstances come along and knock the wind out of our sails. So, sometimes Christmas Isn’t Always Merry. The loss of my Mom is a pain I’ve never felt before. Our family and friends will miss her greatly, but we’re glad she’s no longer suffering in pain and is now in heaven with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We were very fortunate to be able to get a flight to be with our daughter’s family in Washington state for Christmas. This is one of their Christmas trees they decorated so beautifully. We had a special Christmas Eve service at their church. Our son-in-law, Kenny is the worship pastor and he did a wonderful job with the music.
This is my Mom on my parents wedding day in 1952. She was so young and innocent.
She has been a Christian and loved serving the Lord from the time she was 5 years old. She loved God’s word and sharing it with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She taught bible classes in the 1980’s, at a Christian school, and some of her students prayed for her during her illness.
She based her love for others on this verse; John 3: 16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
My Dad and Mom on their wedding day. He was 21 years old and she was, as my Dad always says, 16 1/2 years old.
My Dad tells the story that my Mom was so young they had to go to the next city to get married, because their pastor wouldn’t marry them.
My parents met because my Dad was a border at my Grandma’s house. Staying there for a little while, he ended up leaving his girlfriend, who happened to be my Mom’s friend, because he fell in love with my Mom. Can we just say “Awkward?” Well, his girlfriend wasn’t happy about the situation at all. But, my Dad had to be true to his heart and one day he chased my Mom up the stairs, grabbed her in his arms and kissed her. Yep, she melted like butter and they have loved each other for 64 1/2 years. It was a true love story and I had a front row seat my whole life.
My parents with me on my wedding day in 1982. I had my Mom’s beautiful rose bouquet replicated in silk flowers for my wedding day. How do you like my derby hat? It was all the rage. Lots of lace and a hat, it’s funny how styles change from decade to decade.
I’m very blessed that my parents have loved John since we were dating. He’s always been so good to them and was amazing to my siblings and other family members these past several months through my Mom’s sickness.
Here’s our family in 1962, and as you can see, my Mom was pregnant with me. The twins, Darlene and Charlene are only 13 months older than me. I don’t know how my parents did it, but they did and they did it with love.
So, here’s another little story. My parents wanted one more child when my sister, Sandy was about 4 1/2 years old. Well, they ended up having twins and then got pregnant with me very shortly thereafter. So, they went from 2 kids to 5 in a hurry. It was a crazy time when the twins and I were little, but they always made us all feel loved and special.
My parents in front of our family Christmas tree in 1977. They have always been happily married and truly loved each other every day of their lives. Marriage isn’t always easy, but the rewards of working together and loving each other are priceless.
My Mom loved Christmas, it’s one of her favorite holidays because it’s a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Here she’s watching our son, Andy open a gift from my parents. She loved giving gifts and celebrating with the family each year. Christmas was always a huge event for us.
Because my Mom was bed ridden the last few weeks, and John loves my Mom so much, he thought we could bring a little Christmas cheer to her. So, my sister, Darlene, her son, Chase, their pastor and some of their choir members came to my Mom & Dad’s back lanai and sang Christmas carols to her. She loved and enjoyed it so much! Thank you John for bringing a little Christmas joy to her that night.
As kids our family’s Christmas Eve would consist of; eating lots of amazing appetizers and delicious desserts, singing carols (our whole family loves to sing), hearing the Christmas story of Jesus’ birth, celebrating Jesus’ birthday with a cake and then opening gifts. It was always difficult for the littlest ones to wait for their presents. But, my Mom wanted them to understand the importance of Christmas.
On Christmas Eve John, me, Chelsea & Kenny celebrated Jesus’ birth with our granddaughter, Laila and she loved it! We believe Jesus is the greatest gift given to all mankind.
My Mom was able to celebrate Christmas with her very favorite person, Jesus. To see His face and to be held in His arms must have been the ultimate gift for her.
Kenny coordinated a delicious and beautiful Christmas dinner for us, his Mom, his brother and a friend. Here you can see some of our favorites; Amazing Pull Apart Rolls, Cranberry Gelatin Salad and our Easy Fresh Cranberry Orange Sauce. It was so good and we had a very nice evening.
Here’s my Mom and Dad with my brother, Dan’s kids. This picture shows how much their grandchildren love them! And, my Mom and Dad loves each one the same. No favorites, even though my Mom had a way of making each one of us feel like her very favorite. To date my parents have 15 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren, for a total of 36!
One year we went out to the East coast for a family vacation and were happy my Mom and Dad could come with us. We’ve been on several vacations together and they’re always a lot of fun to be with.
My Mom LOVED the ocean. She is the second one from the left, between our daughter, Chelsea and me. This picture was taken in Myrtle Beach about 15 years ago.
Another word that describes my Mom would be “Fun”. She was always right in the middle with the grandkids having a great time.
This picture was probably taken at one of the grandchildren’s weddings. They loved going to weddings and have prayed for each of our spouses since we were all little. Even though there are over 60 of us in our family, my parents always had a special time of prayer for each of us every day. Many of their kids and grandchildren are in the ministry. And, almost every one of us are serving the Lord today because of their Godly example and their many prayers.
This picture is my sweet Mom and Dad on her last day with us. He took his glasses off because of the tears. He held her hand until it was warm and soft, and sat with her for hours. He spoke loving words to comfort her and to let her know he was there for her until “death do we part.”
Through her surgery, infection, rehab, brain biopsy and then her 2nd rehab, I have never seen anyone work as hard as my Mom. She fought so hard and never gave up until the seizure that took her down hard where she became bed ridden.
Unfortunately the brain tumor took away my Mom’s ability to talk clearly, especially after her 4th and final seizure. But, almost to the very end she was able to say “I love you” and “Thank you.” What a gift from God for her and all of us.
One nurse told us that during my Mom’s bath one day she reached up and put her hand on the nurse’s cheek. The nurse told us, that it just about broke her heart. She didn’t even need to speak a word and was still able to touch that nurse’s heart. The power of love is strong and we told Mom she touched her nurse, Angela’s heart and then she smiled.
That was my Mom, showing the love of Jesus and touching people even through extreme pain.
I love this picture! It was taken a little over a year ago and she was in great health. They were invited on their neighbor’s boat for a day on the ocean. John and I were fortunate to go with them that day. We saw dolphins and had a picnic lunch on the shore. It was a perfect, beautiful day and one I’ll cherish forever. You can see on their faces their love of life, each other and God’s beauty.
This was at her 80th birthday dinner. She’s a New Years baby and our family usually celebrated at Texas Roadhouse. When we were taking this picture I would have never thought it would be her last birthday. Life is so precious and it’s important to enjoy every moment with family and friends. Because you just don’t know if it will be your last special occasion together.
I heard this video a few days before my Mom passed away and thought it was perfect for people trying to make some sense of losing someone they love. Why does God choose to heal some people here on earth and others receive their healing in heaven. We don’t know why His will was not to heal my Mom here with us. But, she now has a beautiful new body in heaven. One with no pain and one that will live for all eternity with her Lord and Savior.
1 John 4:9 says, This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
The pain of losing someone is real and it comes in waves, hitting you when you least expect it. But, our hope is in Christ and being reunited with my Mom in heaven one day. If you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, it’s really easy. Just ask him to come into your heart and forgive you of your sins. Then you will be born again and have eternal life in heaven one day too.
I started this blog a little over 4 years ago to share our family favorite recipes and delicious desserts. I recently created a cookbook and dedicated it to my Mom because many of the recipes are hers. It’s called Savory ~ Sweet ~ Repeat. We’d be honored if you purchase it and enjoy our recipes too. It’s a delicious eCookbook full of tried & true family favorite recipes: 25 savory & 25 sweet. All of them are from this blog and some our family has enjoyed for 50 & even 60 years! There’s also a few newer family favorites as well. Our eCookbook downloads beautifully and is perfect for gift-giving!
More on my Mom’s health journey these past 7 months:
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