My Mom passed away Saturday February 7, 2015. My mom was absolutely one of the strongest women I've known and probably will ever know. My mom stood strong on her beliefs yet was a very private woman. Don't get me wrong she'd let you know where you stood with her, you just didn't have a chance in changing her mind. My mom didn't want her fight with Cancer broadcast on "that FaceBook", and didn't want the news to be spread real fast either. I remember when we first found out about it a dear friend of ours knew about the battle and her husband worked at our church. One day my wife called me after she picked up our children from this friend and informed me that we may want to run some damage control because someone had come into the church office telling them that my mom had stage 2 inoperable cancer! At that point the Cancer was just a small spot in a lung and was very operable. Even without the information being broadcast on "that Facebook", it got out and was running wild.
My mom grew up on the Mill Hill in Mooresville NC, Baptized at South Side Baptist as a young girl, Graduated from Mooresville High School, married my dad on her 18th birthday and shortly moved to Killeen Texas as my dad began his stint of service to Uncle Sam. My mom worked in a Cotton Mill upon returning to Cornelius. She later became a Respiratory Therapist at Huntersville Hospital. She was owner/operator of a small office supply and paper products business for about 5 years (giving me my first job as a Sales/Delivery/Custodial Engineer.....I made cold calls, delivered, and cleaned the toilet....and worked the shop after school). When the business closed she moved on to become an employee of Eckerd Drugs. She worked in the small satellite Post Office for a while, got a job with the actual Post Office for a while, then moved back over to Eckerd again and became a Pharmacy Tech. My mom worked with Eckerd into the Rite-Aid Years and retired from the Rite-Aid in downtown Cornelius. If my mom were alive right now, she would still be able to call her customers by name. She served many big name folks during her time with Eckerd and some of those even sought her out because she treated them like a human and not a big time NASCAR star, even though they were. I guess even the rich and famous like to be treated like a human every once in a while.
At times I think I might be like that Johnny Paycheck song, "The Only Hell my Mama ever Raised". Whether it be true or not, I am certain that the only Hell my mama will ever experience was on this earth. Was my mom vocal about her Faith? No. Was she an Evangelist? No. My mom raised 3 children (with me being one of them) in a way to lead them to the Lord. As I got in trouble as a teen, church activities was the only thing that she would NOT take away from me as punishment. My mom was married to my dad for 56 years, a true testament to the Covenant between her, my dad, and God. My sister Sheri died in 1980 and was an unimaginable event. This was one of the experiences of Hell that my mom and dad both knew. The many deaths throughout the years, heart valve replacement, and the Cancer all showed small glimpses of Hell but they were all here on this earth. Nothing in my mom's eternal address will resemble the bad things of this earth, and even the good times she had here will not be able to match what she is experiencing now. No Pain, No Tears, No Wants, No Needs. I just hope Dean Smith had Faith in Jesus Christ as well, so my mom and give him a few pointers!
Im going to miss my mom but I know she'd never turn back even if she could, and I wouldn't want her to. As bad as I'd have liked for her to be able to hold my youngest daughter, holding the hand of Jesus is so much better and more important. Now is my turn to raise my children in a manner that will get them to Heaven so they can again see their Mamaw.
My challenge for you, no matter who you are or where you are in your Faith Walk (trust me, everyone is on a Faith Walk even if you don't believe in Jesus).....Find a way to grow closer to Jesus, Find a way to use your witnessing style whether You are open about your Faith or if you keep it closer to the vest but really like to do nice things for others.....Just find what you do and do it. Maybe you are a comforter, maybe you are a builder, maybe you have a way with words and can affectively lead others to Christ....Whatever you're gift and style of witness is, Do it. We are not promised tomorrow, but we are promised Eternal Life through Jesus Christ.
I want to Thank Everyone for their heart felt messages and well wishes. Thank you for the Prayers and for reminding me that you love us and that we really are still connected through so many common bonds. Please Keep praying for us, especially for my Dad who faces a whole new set of challenges that he hasn't had in 56 years. Thank you again and God Bless you all!
In Closing, I leave you with a Scripture that a great friend and brother in Christ sent me in a FaceBook message.
1 Thessolonians 4:13-18
Believers Who Have Died13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.