Sunday, February 9, 2014

Remembering Nana

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This past week has been another particularly difficult one for all of us.  On Tuesday, February 4, 2014, my sweet mom went to her heavenly home after many years of battling many health problems that had finally led to her being in ICU on a ventilator.  After all her suffering, we are thankful that she isn't suffering any longer and is now "healed."  My family and I went home to help my dad plan and prepare for a funeral that met her specific requests.  She didn't want a big show and didn't want people walking by and staring at her body in a casket.  We chose to honor her wishes with a closed casket and only her close family saw her before the funeral.  Still, we felt that a special service was needed to honor this lady and all of her wonderful accomplishments in life.  For me, I needed to express my thankfulness for what she had especially given to me.  In order to do so, I decided I needed to say a few words to her at her service.  I read the following letter to my Mom:

"Dear Mom,

I am so thankful and blessed that you "chose" to be my Mom!  You are my Mom although you did not have to be.  You truly make me feel special, but at the same time, I still feel unworthy!  I don't think it really had anything to do with me.  It was God's plan, and you were willing to listen to him and for that I am thankful.  You listened when he called you to follow him and to follow your husband when he began his work as a minister.  You listened when he called you to leave your home and go to work in a Home for Children to become a mother to many children of all ages, racial and ethnic backgrounds.  You became a mother to a house full of motherless children, and the true testament to your love for each of them is that they all would stand here today and speak words of love about you.  I know this because I received messages of love and remembrance from many of these young women in the last few days since they learned of your passing.  You listened to God again when he called you to become a "real" mom to one of your little girls and her older brother and to give them a more stable home.  I will always love you and need you, and I will strive every day to show my thanks.

Love always and forever,
Your Daughter"

I also asked a dear family friend and minister to sing a song expressing my feelings of thanksgiving for the life of sacrifice my mother lived.  The words of the song just speak to the way she lived her life:

I dreamed I went to heaven

And you were there with me

We walked upon the streets of gold

Beside the crystal sea
We heard these angels singing
Then someone called your name
You turned and saw this young man
And he was smiling as he came
And he said friend you may not know me now
And then he said, but wait
You used to teach my Sunday School
When I was only eight
And every week you would say a prayer
Before the class would start
And one day when you said that prayer
I asked Jesus in my heart


Thank you for giving to the Lord

I am a life that was changed
Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am so glad you gave

Then another man stood before you

And said remember the time

A missionary came to your church
And his pictures made you cry
You didn't have much money
But you gave it anyway
Jesus took the gift you gave
And that's why I'm here today

CHORUS (repeat)

One by one they came

Far as your eyes could see

Each life somehow touched
By your generosity
Little things that you had done
Sacrifices you made
They were unnoticed on the earth
In heaven now proclaimed

And I know that up in heaven

You're not supposed to cry

But I am almost sure
There were tears in your eyes
As Jesus took your hand
And you stood before the Lord
He said, my child look around you
For great is your reward

CHORUS (repeat)

I am so glad you gave.

I had these pictures displayed after the funeral for her family and friends to see and remember her the way she would want to be remembered as a daughter, wife, mother, nana, and friend to so many.

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I also took some pictures of her family viewing and funeral for memory's sake.

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We got to pick these sweet keepsake magnets for her casket and then to keep.  She was a Loving Mother and a Beloved Wife and is now In God's Care.  My dad, brother and myself each kept one of these.  

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My boys getting to say one last earthly goodbye to their nana.  Brody wanted to give her a flower to hold that he accidently broke off the arrangement. 

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Brody helped me give her the flower.

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Papa says his earthly farewell to his beloved wife of almost 39 years.  They would have been married 39 years on March 1st. 

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My dad at the funeral at their home church.

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My brother and I picked daisies for her flowers as they were her favorites.  She loved how happy and cheerful they were.

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Brody looking handsome after the funeral.  He was wearing a tie and coat for the service.

Thank you, again, Mom, for all you gave to us and for all the wonderful memories we shared!  I hope you felt truly honored by your special memorial service.  Now I hope you enjoy getting to hold and rock your granddaughter in your arms until we can all be together again.


  1. Sherry,

    I am so sorry for your loss. I can't even begin to imagine how hard this must be. The letter you wrote to your mom was so heart felt. The song you chose i one of my favorites.

    Please know that I am here for you.

  2. I'm so sorry. That is such a sweet picture of her. She looks like such a sweet, precious lady. Thinking of you : )

  3. Oh Sherry, I just want to give you a big hug! I am so sorry! When you didn't post for a few days, I prayed for you, knowing your Mother was very sick. You are so right, she has been healed! No more sickness, no more pain. And the song is one that is dear to my heart. What a special way to remember her life. Prayers in the days ahead sweet one!

  4. What a beautiful and inspiring letter to your mom. I obviously didn't know her, but with those few short sentences I feel like I know so much about her. What a wonderful lady with a big heart. The pictures are lovely as well. She was a doting mom and grandma for sure.

  5. Sherry -- I am so sorry you have been going through this. Your words to your mom were lovely. And I just love that song too. It sounds like your mom was a unique, amazing, and special woman. Thinking of you...


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