My mom passed away on November 21st. She went home to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I want to share with you, the words that we put down about our mom.
My family and I want to thank all of you for being here today to celebrate our mom. We always knew what an amazing, generous and kind woman she was, and this last couple of weeks, the outpouring of love and support has proven this to be true.
I want you all to know that we have read all of your cards, emails and Facebook postings about our mom. Our mom was one who didn’t care about how others felt about her, she was more concerned about them. But, I do know that she would have been humbled at this outpouring. She was never one to put herself before others and knowing that all of these people, some who don’t even know her, were out there praying and thinking of her would have moved her to tears.
I honestly do not know how I can adequately describe our mom with words. She lived her life in the most positive way. She saw the good in everything and everyone and she encouraged others to see the good in themselves. We would often go out on car rides, just mom and I. I would make sure that these rides would include a view of the mountains, see the clouds, the trees, the lake, and the city she called home. And of course we had long, wonderful conversations about our faith in God or anything else that would arise. Every trip was new to her, even though we had been there before. Mom’s best trip was seeing her first moose just outside of Golden this last spring.
She loved nature, she loved to see the colors change in the fall and the leaves and grass grow green in the spring. She loved her orange Bronco sunsets, hearing the rain come down, and watching the first snowfall, mom was truly in touch with God’s beautiful creation. But mom did love her football, both American and Soccer. She loved her Broncos and loved to watch the Rapids play. Mom’s best memory of the Broncos is when I surprised her with tickets to watch the Broncos play Tampa Bay, her second favorite team. That was her favorite memory, but we have thousands of others. Her love of God, life, and family is all she really wanted or needed. These loves, and her actions were the incredible examples of how she showed her children and grandchildren the behaviors that should be emulated by all of us. Mom was a true role model. A person who possessed qualities we should all try to imitate.
Our mother cared deeply for everyone she knew, whether you were a part of her family, a friend or a member of the community. She was always willing to help out someone in need. She had the kindest heart of anyone we knew. Growing up, her house was always filled with friends and family. All of our friends called her “mom”, because she was like a mom to everyone. Friends were invited to dinner, to stay, and to just hang out, all usually invited by her, and they were always treated as if they were one of her own. My sister tells the story about mom being a playground supervisor at our elementary school and how all of her friends would want to be with mom and hold her hand, but my sister didn’t mind because she got to hold mom’s hand on the way home and all night.
She was a person so filled with light. Everyone knew her. Everyone loved her. She was “social director” at the county government where she worked, she was a soccer coach, a brownie leader, PTA member, volunteer worker at our elementary school and later in her retirement at the Senior Care Center here in our town, but she was always our mom. She was a generous, loving, supportive and unselfish woman who always put other people before herself. She was charitable, giving, considerate and kind. She was always involved in something. Mom loved keeping busy.
It didn’t matter where we went, mom knew everybody. It didn’t matter if it was at the grocery store, the gas station, or the mall, we could not go anywhere without bumping into someone that she knew. When I was 16 and our family went to the small town in the eastern plains where mom grew up for her high school reunion, some friends and I went to shoot fireworks by the train station, well I guess somebody called the police on us…when they asked for ID’s and saw my name, they asked if I was my mom’s kid. Reluctantly I said yes….he asked if he needed to call her and let her know about this or would we stop and go on our way. As I got older, we would visit her at her work at the county government building. The walk around the building was a half a day trip as we would be walked to each department to say hi to all of mom’s friends. As kids, it made us crazy but as we grew older we understood the love and pride she had for us, but most importantly, what we saw on these little trips around the county building was the positive influence she had on so many people, it was gratifying. We have tried modeled our own lives around her example. I know that my sister and I are the individuals that we are today because of her influence.
She adored her grandchildren as much as her own children. Family was a strong bond for her. There are great memories with her grandchildren, the trips, coming over to the western slope take care of them while I was away, the endless games of wheel of fortune, bingo, and cards, to the soccer games and the birthday and holiday celebrations throughout the years. The fun and games continued. My oldest son would try and tease grandma, but she would just give it back and play along. My youngest son and his laughter at his grandma’s jokes and later her answers during cards against humanity, and my daughter with her beautiful granddaughter – grandmother connection throughout the years. A few years ago, when I needed to borrow her car to travel to California for school, mom had to drive my jeep. In order for this to work, mom had to go buy a step stool to get into and out of the jeep. So when mom would take the my daughter and her friends to school they made sure that the step stool was in the jeep so grandma could get in and out. But all mom cared about was making sure the girls got to school on time and a way home.
Just as my sister and I had a special bond and connection with mom, each one of grandchildren had a special bond and connection with her. We will miss her with all of our hearts and will always cherish the times we spent together. She was always there when we needed her and was the most loving and caring mother and grandmother. She was selfless and always put others ahead of her. She never wanted people to go out of their way for her. Yet, she did it all of the time for others.
She has touched the lives of so many people and even though she is gone, her memory will live on in all of our hearts forever. Her spirit has not left us. Everyone who was ever touched by her in his or her lifetime should have faith that she will be watching over them because that is just the kind of person she was.
She has left reminders of herself everywhere and with everyone. It might have been at the county where she worked for 32 years, the Senior Care Center where she volunteered her mornings helping out, the women’s bible study group here at her church, the kids she coached in soccer, taught in Brownies, or all of our friends, she left her mark on all of us.
Our mom was a remarkable woman and I doubt she ever realized how many, many people she has had an impact on in her lifetime. Cherish the memories you have of her and honor her memory by doing good things for others. This is how she lived her life and there is no better way of honoring her than by following her example. Her love for all of us, all of you, is what is going to pull us all through this transition without her. All of the many people whose lives have been touched by her should take comfort in knowing that right now, she is standing at the gates of heaven, breathing in huge breaths of air, cancer free, and taking charge of the cloud design division in heaven. But what is helping me to get through this, is knowing that my mom’s faith was strong and knowing that we will see her in heaven again.
So I leave you with a quote from The Wizard of Oz…
“A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others”.
My family and I thank you for being here today.