One Year Ago

One year ago today my mom left us and this physical world to be with Jesus. At 11:30 am March 13, 2010, she drew one slow final breathe and just like that she was gone. We checked for a pulse and it was no more. Her chest no longer slowly rose and fell.

We stayed gathered around her, holding her hands, caressing her forehead, telling her how much we loved her. All of my siblings, my dad, and my aunt Bonnie (my mom’s sister-in-law) sat there quietly crying. John & Charity had literally sprinted in the door just as mom took her final breathe – I’ll always believe she waited to die until they arrived. I am so thankful that she held on until they got there. It was so precious to have all of us around her as she left this world.

I softly kissed her face again and again, stroking her hair, wanting desperately to remember how sweetly she smelled, how her hair and soft skin felt against my cheek.

Soon we called hospice and the nurse appeared quickly to confirm that mom was gone. Not too long after, the funeral directors arrived to take mom’s body. It was sad to see her go, even though her spirit was no longer in that body. Although as a Christian I believe that I’ll see my mom again one day in heaven, the loss of that physical body was still devastating.

As the funeral directors drove away, I suggested that we all wave to mom one last time. It sounds a little weird now that I think about it, but Mom was always HUGE on waving goodbye any time on of us pulled out of the driveway. She would wave and wave and wave until she could see us no more. And so, in her honor, we waved goodbye one final time.

The first 6 months after her death were excruciatingly painful. Every little thing, song, thought, picture reminded me of her. I cried pretty much on a daily basis.

The second 6 months went a lot quicker. I think it was partly because we had moved past the first initial grieving and partly because now I had a newborn baby AND a toddler to take care of. My mind was distracted often, although my thoughts still often stray back to Mom.

Overall, I would say that today the agonizing pain is gone, and in it’s place is now a soft sadness – a feeling that will probably always be there. My heart still hurts a little when my kids do something and I wish I could call my mom and tell her about it (although I will definitely say that Dad (click here to check out his awesome website) has done a great job of filling in here as best as he can – I bet he never thought he’d hear so much about potty training details and bizarre little factoids about my kids, haha.

One year later, what I see is that God provides. He knows what we need, he knows what we’re lacking, and he fills the voids in our lives. He knows our hearts, and he sends people into our lives to help us in our times of hurt. One example was a new friend who reached out to me when Mom had cancer. Her mom was also battling cancer at the time, and ended up passing away 5 months before Mom. But God put us together and we were able to be a comfort and encouragement to each other in the months of illness as well as the months after our moms had died. Like I said, God knows who and what we need!

I’ll never stop missing my Mom. Her fingerprints are all over my life and she was a very special lady. But life goes on, and I hope that I will live my life in a way that Mom would be proud of.

I love you, Mom!


photo by John Chris Photography, 2005

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8 thoughts on “One Year Ago

  1. Kelly, you absolute me amaze me. You are such a strong woman of God and I know your mom would be SO proud of you for the way you have handled things. You are an inspiration and encouragement. I am so glad we made it in time to be with her as well for her last breath. I know she knew… Missing her always. Love you.

  2. I am thinking of all of you today and remembering your Mom. I know she would be so proud of you as you seek to emulate her as a godly woman and mom.

    Our thoughts are with you, your siblings, and your Dad.

    Love,
    Rosemarie and Tom Holmes

  3. When I think of people we love being taken home, in the middle of the sadness, I get a little shiver of delight that this isn’t the end and we get to see them again. What a treat to be able to praise our Lord together IN HEAVEN! It certainly doesn’t make the sadness less, but it gives hope, even in the midst of it. Love you, Kelly.

  4. Kelly,
    My thoughts have been toward your family this week. You write with so much heart, the love & respect you have toward your mom & her memory is beautiful. In momments of rememberance like this it so awesome to think of the “great hope” we have. She is gone from us for now, but only for a time. I love you Kelly!

  5. Remembering her with you. Her life was so precious. I wish I had known her longer and better. But, in the short time we were in acquaintance, her life touched me deeply and I found myself wanting to be like her. I will never forget her beautiful voice and all her beautiful ways. She was to me a model of grace and virtue.

    Much love to you, Kelly. What a treasure you were to your mother. And, will continue to be, as I know our Lord must allow her to hear your heart from heaven.

    Love,
    Lori

  6. Dearest Kelly;
    Your writing is beautiful. What a special gift you have to express your feelings so gracefully.

    Your mom was and would still be very proud of you. Your words express and tell us of the special bond you have with her, along with how her faith and love have beened etched upon your heart.

    I know of the soft sadness you speak of and feel. My dad left this world 19 years ago and to this day I, too feel soft sadness. But, as you so beautifully said, their fingerprints are all over our life.

    Your mom was a very special woman. She touched the lives of many. I for one am so blessed and grateful to have known her.

    Much love and blessings,
    Debbie

  7. Kelly and family,
    Blessings to you, I am so honered to be able to of known your mother, She truly lived her faith on a daily basis, and did it quite elegantly. I cant help but wonder why there are not more like her in the world, I miss her dearly also. You, your dad, and your siblings are also special and unique and I trust that she is very proud of you! I am thankful to have known your whole family,

    Much love in Christ, Dusty

  8. This is a beautiful tribute to your lovely mother, Kelly. I admired her vivacious personality and zeal for life. She cared so much for her family, made each person she met feel important, and glowed in her love for God. Thank you for sharing your love for her on this site. Her legacy lives on!

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