A Tribute to My Mother … A year Later

My Dearest Mum,

It’s been a full year since I felt the Holy Spirit beckoning me to your side. I’m so grateful I listened to His call and sped over to you post haste. I wouldn’t have had it any other way, as painful as it was for me to say goodbye and let you go.

Mum, it helps me to write and express my feelings in stories and videos, so I made this video tribute to you. I hope you like it. I chose the accompanying music because I feel it depicts your humble, quiet, yet deep rooted faith and is so applicable to who you are. Your indomitable courage and strength … and the depths of your love. Whatever you were called to do during your life, you rose to the challenge, willingly with a beautiful smile on your face and a song in your heart, no matter what was asked of you.

I inserted meaningful pictures of each of your beloved immediate family members.

I’ll never forget all the moments we had together, both beautiful and sad, as your time here on earth came to its conclusion and I witnessed your transition to the arms of your Lord. It was glorious and beautiful, but one of that hardest things I’ve ever experienced … the letting go was a bittersweet mix of grief, relief and joy. Thank you Mum for showing me how to live and how to die gracefully, with love and courage.

MumandMe4-2015I sense your presence often, especially now as the anniversary of your passing on July 25th rapidly approaches.  I feel the emotion stirring and welling up from deep inside as glimpses of the last days we shared flash into my mind, at times more vividly than I’d like to recall.

I feel it for Dad too. I know it’s so much harder for him. You know of course that Dad and I talk every morning so I’m caring for him as best I can with an ocean between us. He’s well attended by wonderful day carers who come in and check on him and I try to fill any emotional gaps with gentle words of love and understanding in the few minutes we have on the phone each day. Family news, world news and how he’s spent his day dominate our conversation … oh and of course the weather!!! LOL! I had 2 weeks with Dad in April … Chuck and I will visit again in late August, so we’re sticking to our visits every 6 months.  We’ll be in Sturminster for the Cheese Festival. I’m so happy about that. It’s a favorite of mine as you know.

Dad is nothing short of amazing in the way he’s coping day by day, but that’s nothing new to you, is it? How well you knew he’d put his best foot forward and soldier on with dogged determination! It’s so like him isn’t it? As he puts it “I’m bearing up and struggling on!” Oh yes!  Dad’s roses of love are blooming profusely for you.

Roses of DevotionFor the most part, it’s been a good year. There have been challenges of course … just as there always are in life … but your large family is faring well. Chuck and I are as in love as we’ve always been. He is my rock and the hero husband I knew he’d be … and the kind of man you prayed I’d have. We feel so blessed by our three loving children and their happy families.  I’m so grateful to report that all your grandchildren and their spouses are thriving … and love God.

And guess what Mum? Your great-grands are making their own way in life too. Holly is building up her photography business and is incredibly artistic, Gillian {my namesake} is a volleyball star off to college on a scholarship next year.  They both are stunningly beautiful young women. And get this Mum …your great grandson Jon is a valiant police officer {like his Uncle Stephen}… he and his wife Jos are expecting their 3rd baby … another bouncing boy! That makes you and Dad great-great grandparents THREE times over. Can you believe it … you’re a great-great-grand?  Brandon is graduating from college in December and going into law enforcement, like his Dad and Jon … and he has a fiancee. Heather is a beautiful gal – they are SO in love .. reminds me of Chuck and me back in the early days! Lol! Young Nicholas is growing like a weed and seems so grown up for seven! I still collect him from school on Wednesdays for family night.  I’m grateful he and his Mom and Dad live two streets away … so we see them often. 🙂

Mum, I know you can’t help but be proud of the large family you always dreamed of having one day … and it continues to grow 🙂

Oh my gosh!  I mustn’t forget to tell you about Christmas. I know it was your favorite time of year! Christmas 2015 was the one of the BEST EVER for Chuck and me. We had so many of the family here with us.

Afternoon Xmas teaWe spent one afternoon of remembering and paying tribute to you Mum, over a real English afternoon tea … clotted cream, scones, mincemeat tarts and Christmas cake … all your recipes!  David, Stephen and Chandra received photo memory books of you and we sent one to Dad in England. The books tell a beautiful story of a life well-lived.

Mum, we also invited the bagpiper who played at Chandra’s wedding. He piped so many of your favorite Scottish tunes and Christmas carols … it was a fantastic surprise for all the family! I wonder if you heard the lilting sounds drifting up into Heaven? I imagine you were tempted to do the Highland Fling! But then, I have a feeling the music up there is indescribably more magnificent and enthralling!

Oh my goodness Mum, I almost forgot!  You’ll be so excited! The UK has another woman Prime Minister!  Remember how Uncle George and others used to tease you unmercifully by calling you “Mrs Thatcher” because you were such a strong supporter? I think you’d be excited to know a capable, conservative woman is leading Britain into the next chapter in British history.

I wonder if you know all this? What I would give to sit and hold your hand and talk about life and the spiritual world. I wonder what it’s really like in Heaven?

It remains a mystery for those of us left behind … for now we can only imagine … but what I do know is while you were here on earth, you lived life and loved deeply with a heart filled with joy, peace and grace … even when you had reason to feel otherwise. I’m so grateful you’re my Mum. I miss your smile, your twinkly blue eyes, your hugs and your eternal optimism! I love you and miss YOU!

So happy you’re at rest in God’s embrace. I’m comforted to know we’ll be reunited through Christ one day! Bless you Mum … all our love … from Dad and me … and every one of your beloved family.

Anthea OOXX

“Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” ~ Luke 12:32

14 Comments

  1. Truly beautiful❤️ Thank you for putting all our thoughts into beautifully written words Mom. So much has gone through my mind losing Grandma and your words make it all so clear.

  2. So beautiful
    I just lost my dad in May, and I can feel the pain. Just knowing they are in Gods care and one day we will be with them again. Thank you for sharing Anthea

    1. Hi Donna! So sorry to hear bout the loss of your Dad. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Take time to grieve and dwell on the happy memories. Yes it is God’s promise of everlasting life through Christ Jesus that assures us we’ll all be together again for eternity. What amazing comfort that lends to the sadness of the loss. Love you Donna. Hugs too you and Tony! OOXX

    1. Thank you dear sweet Millie. Miss you and know that you are loved and appreciated. God watch over you and comfort you and Amy in the loss of your daughter Patti. OOXX

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