On an October Monday morning twenty years ago, my mother slipped into heaven’s gates after fighting a valiant battle with breast cancer. She was the strongest woman I’ve ever known and in our twenty-three years together, she taught me countless lessons that would last a lifetime.
There was little warning of her imminent death. She was diagnosed with cancer in February, endured chemotherapy and radiation, and died in October. It was all so sudden, but these lessons remain:
- Life is short.
We tend to think that our fleshly existence will last forever, especially when we’re young. As we age a bit, the reality becomes far more clear. The years fly faster and faster. But, I was struck with this realization early on in my life when the rock of our family passed on. I learned not to take any aspect of reality for granted because this life is temporary. Eternity is far longer.
2. Embrace every day.
I’ve learned to enjoy the simple things in life, for they are really the important things. Love your family, hug them, tell them of your love and devotion. We do not know the length of our days. Live them to the full! Dare to reach for your life’s goals. There’s nothing worse than not trying. Risk it. Life is worth it!
Outside of any accomplishment my life may produce, my greatest legacy is my three children. It is through them, future generations will be born, and, so, it is in them, my greatest investment remains. I will speak words of affirmation. I will hug and let there be no doubt,ever, they each have captured my heart from the very beginning. I will be interested in their lives and vocations. Most of all, I will pray for them daily. I will pray that they love Jesus with their whole hearts and walk with Him every day. I will pray that God blesses them (and their future spouses) and guides them always.
♦ I would never have chosen to walk the path of living many more years without my mother than with her. She was the most loving and giving example of Christ’s love. Rather than focus on questions that yield no answers this side of heaven, I choose to dwell on her godly character, lessons I’ve drawn from her example and the hope that I have in my heart of spending eternity with her in heaven. That is the great hope of every believer, that we will spend forever with Jesus and other believers. Yes, the ache of loss still burns in my heart. How I miss my mother’s embrace, her bright smile and her laughter! She loved to laugh. She had the true joy of the Lord in her heart and wasn’t afraid to share it with those around her.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
~ I John 1:9
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.” ~ John 3:16-17 MSG