This is an excerpt from what I wrote for my mom’s memorial service today.
Today, I am thankful. I am thankful for my mother’s life. I am thankful for her 32,420 days.
She met my dad on a blind date when he was stationed in California while in the Navy during WWII. My oldest sister, Carolyn, was born there while my dad was overseas. After the war, they moved back to my dad’s home in Arkansas where my two middle sisters, Tricia and Eileen, were born. My dad worked for Sears for 30 years which brought them to Texas, where I was born. After 4 girls, they gave up on a boy and named me after my dad, Don. My sisters tell me my mom wanted to name me Donnie Sue. Thankfully they convinced her otherwise, and she settled on Donna Jean.
I am thankful for the Christian home that my mom and my dad provided for all of us.
I am thankful that when I accepted Christ as my Savior at a young age, she took me to meet with our pastor to be sure I understood, so that today I can stand on that rock of assurance.
I am thankful for the memory of my mom reading her Bible every night before she went to sleep.
I am thankful for my mom’s gift of service and hospitality. From inviting church visitors to our home for Sunday lunch to caring for the elderly in her church when some might have said she was elderly herself, she served. I am thankful for the example she set in providing for the needs of others.
My mom would ask each of her doctors if they were a Christian. My sister told us about mom’s first visit to a new cardiologist. She asked him if he was a Christian, and he told her, no, he was Jewish. Her comment was, “Oh, you’re still waiting.”
I am thankful that after 88 years, my mom was still a sweet, innocent woman with a childlike faith, despite the world we live in. If you think living in this world makes it impossible to retain a sweet innocence and love, then you never met my mom. While there were times I believed she needed to see the world more for what it was, the truth is -- I probably need more of her sweet innocence, outlook, and childlike faith in my life.
I would be remiss if I didn’t also let you know there was a certain stubborn streak that she had that she passed on to each of her daughters (as I’m sure each of our husbands can attest). While some may consider stubbornness to be a weakness, it is a great strength when directed toward our faith and stand for Jesus Christ as evident in my mom’s life.
I am thankful today for the picture I have of her in my mind. I picture her with an intense look of concentration on her face as she plays her violin in heaven. Then I see a smile spread across her face as the angels sing along.
I am thankful for my mom. I am thankful for the assurance that I will see my mom again.
Psalm 31:24 says, “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” Our hope today as a family is in the Lord, and a great deal of the credit for that is our mom.
Thank you, God, for giving me my mom.
Thank you, mom, for being my mom.
I love you.