This morning a wave of guilt washed over me. I forgot the tenth anniversary of my mother’s death! Then relief quickly followed as I realized I had the wrong date. I hadn’t forgotten it after all. I still had time to honor her.
What does it look like to honor a loved one, especially a mother, who isn’t here anymore? I think it means remembering her life and telling others about her so that those who didn’t get a chance to know her can appreciate her legacy. Appreciate the influence she had on me and my family. We are what we are partly because of her.
I have always admired Marjorie Jo Loomis Dubert and considered her the wisest woman in my life (my mother-in-law is right up there too but that’s another story). I marvel at all my mother did. She raised seven children in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, helped translate two New Testaments into foreign languages, lived separately from family and friends, released her very young children into the care of substitute house parents, sent them off to the USA for college and waited long days for letters to arrive with out-of-date news. All this because her Lord and Master said, “Go.”
But more important is who my mother was. My youngest son summed it up well when he once commented, “Our grandma really is a wise woman.”
Mom’s lessons were passed on naturally. One precious lesson came after I had given birth to my first son by cesarean section and was recouping at home. Mom was in the USA at the time and had the rare opportunity to help with one of her newborn grandchildren. I was uncomfortable, sleep deprived and struggling with nursing. She found me weeping as I held my son in my arms.
“What’s the matter, dear?” she asked in concern. Through my tears, I sobbed, “I don’t know anything about raising a child. What do I do?”
She graciously put her arms around me and quoted a familiar verse:
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.James 1:5 NIV
“Every step of the way, when you don’t know what to do, ask God for wisdom and he will give it to you as you raise your son and any other children God gives you,” she said.
Ten years ago, my mother spent her final months in the intensive care unit. One day while evaluating her, a therapist learned some of her life history. “You are an amazing woman,” he said. “Well,” she replied, “I serve an amazing God.”
I think that about sums it up!
Thank you Lord for the privilege of being Marjorie Jo’s daughter, of knowing the love and care of this amazing and wise woman. Thank you that I am who I am because of her and may her influence follow into future generations.