Friday, March 04, 2011

Today is Mom's 8th birthday...

in heaven.

Adie just asked me if Jesus took that picture of grandma Linda up in heaven.. makes me laugh, happy and sad all at the same time.  The above picture was taken just 3 weeks before mom died at Greg and Natalie's wedding.  Didn't she look stunning?

8 years ago today my mom ended her battle with cancer and gave Jesus a high 5 and a hug at the gates of heaven.  I've always been weird about mom's special dates.. her birthday, mother's day, the day she died.. most of the time my emotions don't get crazy bad on the actual special day. It was the same with her 8th anniversary approaching.  Last Sunday in church I lost it.  When I say I lost it I mean I went through an entire purse size kleenex do-dob in about 10 minutes.  It was while our praise band was belting it out and I often wonder if the praise and worship time in heaven is similar to what we experience on earth.  It's probably not even close. =)  It just got me thinking about mom and I couldn't get a hold of my feelings. I could imagine my mom sitting at the end of a pew in her comfy pink recliner like she did so many Sunday's during worship time before she died.  Her cancer was in her lower back and hips so when she sat in a pew.. it hurt.  Someone at church anonymously donated a pink rocker for her to sit in so that she could come to church and not be in (as much) pain.   I had forgotten about that until recently and I realize that lately I've been forgetting a lot.  So I guess with this post I want to jot down a few things that I remember about her in hopes it will help me not forget.  And maybe you'll get just a glimpse of how amazing and funny and awesome my mom was. =)

She wasn't' the most athletic gal. =) She'd be the first to tell ya.  She never DREAMED that many of the hours of her life would end up sitting on a bleacher watching softball, basketball, volleyball and gymnastics... sports her family members loved.  She always brought her cushion because the hard seat hurt her butt long before there was cancer.  She always kept track of EVERY teammates score on my gymnastics team on her little clipboard she'd take to every meet.  I always knew I could go up to her and know who won the meet before the announcer told us who won the meet.  She was always right. =)  Mom and dad never missed a meet.. well, just sectionals my junior year and that was the meet I dislocated my shoulder.  I was pretty sure it happened because they weren't there. =)  I remember that me doing my routine on beam made her stomach hurt. She hated it. Thought I was going to get hurt or fall.. which I totally did and she gasped EVERY time.  =) 

I will never forget the day when her and my dad showed up at my apartment door my sophomore year of college and told me they had arranged a meeting with a counselor because they couldn't stand my eating disorder winning any longer. Mom had called the church I was attending and had gotten a list of counselors in the area. She had done so much research because she was so, so worried about her baby.

There was a family vacation every year that always included a road trip filled with ziploc baggies full of twizzlers, stupid songs and trivia on what every state's capital was. And there was a family vacation EVERY year.. she made sure of it. =)

When she got to pick out her brand spanking new Honda Accord a few years before she died.. she picked the one without the spoiler on the back because it would be "too hard to wax."  We all busted up because never once did my mom wax a car.  

Mom didn't complain.  Like when we had the red mini van the transmission went out on it and it would be driving along and all the sudden it would stop running and we'd coast to a stop. She'd put out her "mama seat-belt arm" and get us to the side of the road.  I'm pretty sure I was in high school and the "mama seat-belt arm" still came out.  =)  We'd then have to wait a few minutes and the van would turn back on and we'd be on our merry way. She never complained about the van. She also never complained about her illness and how much pain she really was in. Hospital nurses would fight over her because she was a dream patient.  She was a "hard stick" when it came to giving blood and her feet would start to roll around as the nurses had a needle in her vein fishing for a blood vessel to give her chemo or to draw blood..  I remember one of them saying, "Linda.. you can quit smiling!  We know this is causing you a ton of pain!"  They always moved us to the "suite" corner hospital room when mom was admitted.  Two of her nurses even came to her viewing and funeral. 

While I want to remember so many good memories of her well.. there are also memories of her sick that I never want to forget either.  Like when I'm pretty sure she saw an angel outside her hospital window.  She woke up from a dead sleep in the hospital just before she died and said, 

"Denny (my dad)... there is a man in a tuxedo outside that window!"  

Dad looked, saw nothing and informed her that it would be kind of hard for a man in a tuxedo to be standing outside the window because we were on the 6th floor. Mom in turn replied,

 "Well that's his problem!"

And one of the BEST stories of her and her wig. We were sitting at the dinner table eating one night in the summer and a fly was buzzing around our heads.  It got close enough to mom and she grabbed her wig off of her head and swatted at that pesky ol' fly. I'm pretty sure we cried because we were laughing so hard!  

I will NEVER forget the day she died. Ever. She was close to meeting Jesus and she asked for a tape recorder for her to talk into.  Greg (big bro) held it up to her mouth and what we thought would be messages to us ended up being a prayer.  She started it with, "Dear Jesus, thank you for this wonderful day."  She was praising and thanking Him just hours before she met him face to face.  Also.. at her funeral the minister was a great family friend and had just performed my great aunt's funeral just weeks before mom died. Aunt Nancy's funeral was tough because we sat as a family in the second row and KNEW that we would be sitting in the first row of mom's funeral all too soon. We knew it was close.  She knew it was close.  We all sobbed uncontrollably in that second row pew and I remember mom patting us on the leg and putting her arm around us in comfort. Each one of us.. especially dad.  What we didn't know until her own funeral when the same minister mentioned it in her eulogy was that she had a smile on her face during my aunt's entire service.  The entire thing.  I knew she didn't shed a tear but the minister was the only one with the front row view of her smiling.  As we were preparing ourselves for what was to come, my mom was REJOICING with what was to come!   When we were sad because we knew she was next.. she was JOYFUL that she was next!

There are so many things she has missed in 8 years.  She missed Denise and I's weddings. She's missed the empty nest years with dad and all the traveling and cruising it would have brought. She missed their 35th anniversary.. and a 40th one coming up very soon.  She's missed her best friends' lunch dates and all the giggles. She's missed 8 grandchildren's births. And she would have totally guessed that my sister would have 2 babies at one time instead of just having 1 because she knows Denise is super efficient like that.  She would be so proud that Denise and I and Greg's wife Natalie all stay at home with our babies.. just like she did and made so many sacrifices to do so.  She would love my girls so incredibly much and I can just imagine them yell, "Mamaw!" when she'd walk through our front door.  She would have been at the hospital when they were born.. but not in the room. She always told me that "that was a time for you and your husband, not with your mother."  But she would have busted through that door in as soon as we'd let her. =)  She'd love Adie's heart and Joya's spunk.  She'd spoil them with crafts and gifts but best of all... love and affection.  

Man.. I miss her.  There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of her and long for her to be back here on this earth.  But Jesus wanted her home.  And I'm ok with that.. just don't want to forget a second of the 23 years I had with her. And every day I'll strive to be as Godly, loving, friendly, confident and a servant as she was.  

Happy 8th birthday in heaven, mom.  Love you. 


Brandi said...

Darcy, this leaves me speechless, but not without tears streaming! I knew of your mom (being that i've been in milford all 27 years of my life), but didn't "know" her very well. After reading this, I really feel like i knew have done such a tremendous job conveying the type of woman she was. I must say, she has got to be soooo proud of you. You are such a wonderful person with such a strong faith and a HUGE love for your family. I too feel the pain of those "special dates" as my mom passed away in July of 2009. Not a day goes by that i do not think of her.

Take care and I hope you find peace and comfort in today. =)

Katrina said...

Darc, I will never forget when I met your mom. It was when a group of us from college went to your house and stayed at that resort hotel (can't for the life of me remember the name of it though. lol) Anyway, I remember going to your parents house and meeting your mom and dad. You mom was a wonderfully sweet woman.

I will also never forget the day that you told Rach and I that you had just found out she had cancer. We were on our way to class and I will never forget your strength thru that.

Nor will I ever forget the day I got the call that she had passed from Rachel and knew without a doubt that I was going to be there for you. You family has amazing strength and know she is always looking down and watching you from above.

Love ya Darc! :o)

Monica said...

What a precious post, Darcy! You are truly blessed.

Anonymous said...

what a beautiful post, and a lovely tibute to your mom who sounds like she was an amazing woman. I'm sitting at my desk crying. I lost my mom last year, also to cancer, and it's hard, and I too miss my mom every single day. I don't know you, I just stalk your blog, but your strength and your faith are amazing and will always help you through anything.

megan said...

such a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your heart!

Brandy said...

What a beautiful post Darcy! I'm sitting here crying as I read about what a special person your mom was, and how she meant so very much to you. Thanks for sharing.

Jamie Lyn said...

Darcy, I'm a stranger and I rarely comment, but your post touched me deeply today. My daddy died very unexpectedly on Jan 21. He didn't know it was coming, but he longed to be with Jesus, and he often said he wanted to go while he was still "alive," before he became a burden to his family like so many people he knew. So many people came to us after he died, and the first thing they said was, "Well if you ever spent two minutes talking to David, you can't have any doubt where he is today!" It's a blessing to me to know that he was READY, just as that smile on your mama's face at your aunt's funeral must be a blessing to you. Doesn't mean I wouldn't love for the phone to ring and be able to hear his voice just one more time, though! Thanks so much for sharing.

Jewel said...

What a beautiful post. It brought tears to my eyes even though I never knew your mom. She sounds like an amazing mother, just like you are! Blessings on this special tearful day.

Jill H said...

beautiful post with lots of good memories :) I'm sure she would be proud of you and all that you do, I didn't know her but I know as a mom that I would be really proud to have you as a daughter :)

Brittney said...

I'm not sure if I have ever commented, but I am a friend of Kayla's and have been reading your blog for a long time from her links on her blog.....but this post left me in tears. I had my first baby, a little boy, 6 weeks ago. I loved reading the ways your Mom made you feel special and loved. I know its our biggest wish that we can make our little ones feel the same way as they grow up. Thanks for sharing!

Luke said...

Oh, Darcy, I miss her so much, too. Of course, I always think of her and my Grammy together this time of year. I know my mom always looked up to her so much and looked to her for lots of advice in parenting, cause your mom was doing things a few years ahead of her. She was such an excellent example to my mom. I remember some visits with mom to see her in the hospital during the last couple years of her life, and even now I cannot believe the unending joy she had. She was so selfless, just a true light to everyone in her presence...full of Jesus. I love your entire family and all they have meant to me and my family for going on 30 years now. =) Thank you for this post. I could've read all night because even reading about and remembering her is life-giving, even while sad.Happy Birthday, Linda. Give Grammy a birthday hug for me.

Aabell said...

Darcy - I remember the weekend you invited us to come to your house our freshman year of college. We drove to the mall and spent the day with your Mom. I remember how sweet, open and caring she was... and all of these attributes have been passed on to you! The people that love you, also love your Mom by default - even if they never knew her. I also remember your email letting me know that your Mom had passed on, and how I cried. It's hard not to think of all the missed opportunities as life moves forward (I do the same about my Dad), but you'll make sure your kids know all of the wonderful stories about your Mom. :)

Shannon said...

This is such a sweet, speacial blog. Your Mom would be so super proud of the amazing Christian,wife, mom, friend that you are today :) Praying blessings over you today friend. Love you.

Amy and Scott said...

Darcy, your mom was a wonderful woman. She made the hardest thing I've ever done in life (the big move from IN to WI in high school) easier on me by letting me stay with you guys a lot that summer. She was so welcoming. She's looking down on you and your sweet family and still smiling her beautiful smile! :)

Denise said...

You sure know how to bring on the waterworks :) I've said it before, and I'll say it again. You can rest assured that your beautiful Mama would be BEYOND proud of you. What a great way to honor her! Love you Darce!

jenjock1 said...

I know exactly how you feel Darcy.
Love this post, I think I might have to do one for my Mom.

Angie said...

Darcy, this was really great to read. I'm sure there wasn't a dry eye on anyone afterward, though. I sure was crying and I didn't have the privilege to know your mom. But like Brandi said, I now feel like I sort of do.

It sounds like God blessed you with a perfect example of a mother that you can now be to your daughters. I hope you never forget the special memories!

Praying for comfort over your family :)


Anastasia said...

Darcy, this is so sad... I remember Linda very well. For some reason I often recall the moment of us shopping together - you, me and our Moms I guess - and you called your Mom by her name and not "Mom" which surprised me very much. But you said "If I call her 'Mom' - thousands of women will turn their heads on me, when I call her 'Linda' - there's just a few" )))) Fond memories.... Praying for your Mom and your own family: I am sure she's proud of you now that you've become a Mom yourself.
Love, Nastia-

Anonymous said...

What a lovely tribute to "Linda" (I love Anastasia's story above!)/your mom! Your stories are so wonderful in learning to know who she was, and I see that you got a "double whammy" of humor in both your parents. And it is blended beautifully with depth. I think I would have enjoyed co-grandmothering with your mom and sense that we might have had some things in common. She does live on in you, and I'm so grateful to be blessed with that presence!
Love you my daughter (in-law).