Gifts From My Mother – Through Life and Her Death

#65 Linking of Moments


This past week I had the sacred privilege of sitting with my mother while she slowly and bravely made her trek through the valley of death. Watching her tiny frame prepare for its final breath was a holy invitation to reflect and give thanks.

Her body may have been the instrument offered to deliver me into this world, but our shared experiences – both the good and the bad – were God’s favorite tools to shape us both for the next.

She left me plenty of gifts. Besides a great spaghetti recipe, lessons in sewing and proper table manners – I also received deep spiritual gifts I’m convinced I wouldn’t have found any other way. They were more powerful than sermons or books – and delivered straight from our creator to benefit us both.

Through her, I learned about faith and forgiveness. She taught me grace, mercy, service and humility. Through our journey together, I learned to see Christ in all things and in every face.

She confessed to be an atheist most of her life and worked hard to hide the fearful little girl she really was. And yet God chose her to teach me about forgiveness – how it easily flows to mercy. And how fear really can transform into trust. I learned service isn’t an action – it’s communion.

Our relationship caused me to face my own judgmental and religious self. The bright light of God’s resolute love and limitless grace poured out for both of us continues to melt my pious heart.

She was a good mom, a loyal wife, a talented artist and gifted seamstress. But everyone knows the simple kind of life she lived fades easily and for the most part, will remain unsung.

Even though – I am confident her life never, ever went unnoticed or was considered insignificant. I’m also certain it was joyously celebrated by the grand welcoming committee in her Savior’s Kingdom. She will cry no more.

Tears are for me – for those of us left in this temporal world.

I will miss the journey of faith we shared. And I know I will see her again.


A special thanks to Emily Snider Re who generously shares her gift of photography with me. I picked her puzzle picture because life is never how it actually seems. We only see a small piece of the bigger plan at any given time and do best when we trust the complete picture will be as it should be.






33 replies on “Gifts From My Mother – Through Life and Her Death”

  1. My heart hurts for you as well as rejoices with you. You have been given the ultimate gift-life lessons from your mom and the chance to hold her hand as she moved into her next life with our Savior. I truly know what this is like and experienced the exact same thing in January when I lost my mom. Prayers are being lifted for you and your family as you remember, mourn and rejoice in the beautiful life that was your mom.

    1. I honestly wasn’t prepared for the flood of feelings/insights/lessons/emotions/etc that seem to just keep flowing from this, Mary. You’re so kind to pray for me and my family. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  2. My heart hurts for you this morning Pat May our dear Lord and Savior fill you with peace and comfort as you move through the next days and weeks where grief seems to be present most of the time. I pray you will be filled with tons of memories of a life together as Mother and daughter and find the joy that will always connect you.

    1. Thank you Linda. Even though her passing was fairly sudden, it was laborious and intense for a number of days. Afterward I had to decide whether or not to keep my commitment to participate in a conference in Florida. I am so glad I did! It was the perfect remedy for peace and comfort. I appreciate your prayers very much.

  3. So sorry for your loss Pat. The song of your mom’s life is being heard through you. Your mom’s simple life was used to create an extraordinary and loving person you have become. Praying you will be filled with the Lord’s peace and comfort!

  4. Dear Pat, as we know pain and sorrow are never easy ~ the loss of a loved one being the worst. I pray as God wraps His loving arms around you and brings you His Peace you can take comfort in knowing your mom is with Him. We will see them again. I love you my friend.

  5. My Mom was an atheist, off and on since she’d been a kid, and she officially came to the Lord when she was 80, after 60 years of alcoholism and fighting around and about. What a blessing that she thoroughly truly came to the Lord…and my tough Dad did, too, when he was 59 and died when he was 65, 30-ish years ago… and Mom died when she was 90-1/2, 3-1/2 years ago. I can hardly wait to get to heaven to see my family that has turned to the Lord and the demonic sinfulness has been cleansed. I ain’t a young ‘un, so don’t know when/how I’ll be there, but it won’t be a lot of years from now, I don’t think. But serving the Lord here and There is all that counts. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Our stories have many similarities, Joanne. The sweet fragrance of God’s faithfulness never ceases to amaze me. Thank you so much for sharing yours here.

  6. Dear Pat, My heart is with you today. I also was there when my own mom passed away. It was a terrible, blessed and emotional time. I’m so glad that you can be at peace with knowing you will see her again.
    Sometimes it takes a while to really let that sink in, so I will keep you close in my prayers during this fragile time. I hope you have family close or close in spirit to share your feelings, and share memories. I know your writing will help you too.
    God bless your mom’s journey to be with him, and bless her for the wonderful example she was to you. What a legacy…
    Blessings and prayers,

    1. I appreciate your heart and your words to me Ceil. I do look forward to processing through writing once I’m back from my conference. I’m sure many thoughts, feelings, memories and impressions will surface in the coming days.
      Blessings to you too.

  7. Pat, so sorry for your loss, but joyful that you have the knowledge that your dear mom was saved and you will surely see her again. Many do not have that surety and have that additional grief; praise God that He gives you that comfort and daily renewed doses of His unending love!

    1. Oh Pat – I’ve been walking in gratitude for awhile over my mother’s confession of faith, but I have to say I’ve worried endlessly about her extreme fear of death. Being with her and seeing her maintain peace during the process was such a powerful gift to me. I’m so grateful.

      Thank you for your kind words. It means a lot to me.

  8. My heart hurts for you, Pat. I pray God gives you just the right measure of grace each day that you need in the coming days.

  9. Such a touching post, Pat. May God’s Word bring you comfort:

    Psalm 46:1-2 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.”

    Revelation 21:4 “ ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

    1. He was and is such an “ever present help” in our time of trouble. How do people go through life without this HOPE?
      Thank you Rachel.

    1. Thanks D’Arcy. Your hugs have sustained me many times – this weekend was no exception. Love you, friend.

  10. My heart goes out to you Pat, I know God will comfort you and give you peace. Like you said, our life is a beautiful story with many moments linked together. This is one more moment in your story. As you begin to walk through this chapter I’m sure you will gather everything God has placed in it for you to receive. Bless you

    1. Today Ann Voskamp wrote, “Because God’s writing your story and He never leaves you alone in your story, and His perfect love absorbs all your fear and His perfect grace carries all your burdens and your story is a happily ever after because Christ bought your happily ever after.” And I believe it, Sarah.

  11. Pat, I met your mom several times. But, I really got to know her through you. She was a good mom and a loyal wife for sure! I remember you telling me she would often get up early and make pancakes for the family That says a lot! She did her best as she raised you and your siblings, and my hat’s off to her for the wonderful job she did with you! It’s all about eternity. Your mom suffered a great disappointment when she lost your dad. Things never were quite as sweet and solid as they were when he was by her side. Give it all to Him Pat, all the pieces of the puzzle and let Jesus sort it all out, AND YOU WALK IN PEACE! Your mom belongs to Jesus, she is His daughter and He will love her and honor her. So thankful we can put our loved ones in His good, sufficient, caring hands. I have been praying for you!

    1. Such kind words – thank you Jeannie. And remembering pancakes… so sweet. My mother actually outlived two wonderful husbands. She was married longer to her second husband than to my father. It’s easy to look back and see how attentive God was to her throughout her entire life.

      I really appreciate your prayers.

  12. Dear Pat, I am sorry for your loss. I pray for comfort and peace for you and your family. Thank you for sharing this blog. I’m glad you were able to spend time with her before she went to See Jesus.

    1. Thanks Cindy. Comfort and peace wash over me with every email, text, comment, and phone call I receive. I’m rich with wonderful people in my life. Bless you, friend.

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