This week marks the fifteenth year since my mom died (Jan 16, 1998).  I still do not have “closure,” I know I never really will.  I have gotten to a point where I am not constantly mourning my loss, but occasions and circumstances still occur that remind me of her.


I remember looking up at my beautiful middle daughter, Meg, wearing that white dress, standing on the platform of that church with “that guy,” and I thought how great it would be for her Nammy to be there to watch her get married.  Every once in a while, I see a picture of the beach where we scattered her ashes.  My brother, Chris, is working at the National Cemetery in Hawaii and found out we could get a marker for her there (she was an Army Nurse).  Closure?  I think not.


Mom was a rock.  I remember I was playing in the carport of our house (summer of 1967) when a couple of my older brother’s friends (they were all Boy Scouts) were doing a fireman’s carry, bringing Tom into the house after “the incident” with the grenade (long story).  Mom saw her eldest son bleeding and in pain, and she opened the door and told the boys to “Bring him in the house.”  She patched him up further, and brought him to the hospital to get checked out.  He was not badly injured.  She managed to survive being stationed at the 8063rdMASH during the Korean War, raising a family of seven knuckleheads (eight if you count my dad) and a divorce – giving credit to her faith in God the whole time.


A staunch Catholic, she didn’t really understand my choosing to become a Protestant, but resolved the issue by thinking “at least he is going to church.”  I invited her to come to church with me when she was visiting.  At the greeting time during her first Pentecostal Service, she turned to me and said, “the things I do for you.”  I didn’t think it was “that bad.”  After church we went home and began to talk.  I asked her about her faith and specifically about Jesus.  She told me she trusted that He died for her and that ultimately, He has forgiven all her sins.  She saw no reason to leave the Catholic Church and after that conversation, I never suggested she should.  We had many conversations like that over the years; I always walked away reassured that I need not worry about the issue of her salvation.


I was there when she took her last breath. I was able to say goodbye and wondered what it would be like for her to open her eyes and see Jesus.  I was able to tell my family and her friends at her funeral about her faith and how it brought her through the hard times of her life.


Recently through facebook, I got back in touch with one of my cousins on Mom’s side of the family.  My cousin told me how much I look like Mom.  I’ve known for a long time that I have my dad’s personality, and that physically I take after my mom’s side, but to hear that made my day.


Meg and Charlie named their daughter Kaileigh Rose. Mom’s middle name was Rose.  My grandpa called Mom “Rosie.”  I look at my granddaughter and want to do the same.