Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 1:3-5: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.
March 17th, would have been my mother’s 84th birthday. Mom passed away on December 6th, 2011, following a four month illness after breaking her hip. Little did we know, that on the morning of August 7th , 2011, when she fell, that this was the last day that she would spend at her home. She lived with her sister and being separated for four months was extremely difficult for both of them.
Her birthday is a day that I have been trying not to think about for several months now. I knew that it would be here eventually, but I have not been looking forward to it. Knowing that my mom is in heaven with God has made these last few months bearable, but we continue to miss her. She was tired of suffering and being confined to a bed and she told me many times that she was ready to “go home, to heaven.” But still, she is greatly missed, with every passing day.
My mother was the leading influence in shaping who I am today. She taught me to work hard and to be honest in all that I do. The importance of loving and being loyal to your family, was another lesson that mom lived out for me to witness, over the course of her life. Being part of a community of believers and her strong faith were the most important legacies that she left behind. Growing up, I do not remember asking if we were going to church, it was always understood that we would be in church. She wanted to be certain that I had a good foundation to stand upon while I was growing up.
Besides talking with her each day, her smile is one of the things that I miss most about mom. Her last months were mostly spent at a rehabilitation facility near her home. She came to be greatly loved by the staff that took care of her. This morning, as I was rereading the hospice card that was signed by, many who took care of her, I noticed some common comments on mom. I would like to share just a few of them with you.
- “She always had a smile on her face; I loved taking care of her.”
- “She was an amazing lady; I will always remember her beautiful smile.”
- “She inspired us with her positive attitude and graciousness.”
- “She made each day sweet to be here.”
- “She will always be remembered for being so loving and kind to us; she always had a smile.”
- “Her positive attitude and kind words were always a perk in our day.”
- “She was a blessing to me; I am a better person for knowing her.”
- “She never failed to greet us with a smile and a positive word; this special angel will truly be missed.”
We can have an impact on the lives of others, in any situation that we find ourselves in, good or bad. My mother could have become cold and uncaring after the many health struggles that she was faced with. However, she became even more positive and upbeat. She knew that she was probably never going to leave the rehab facility but she didn’t let that affect her outlook on life. She made a decision to get to know and to love the people who cared for her. The medical term that would be used for a patient like her is that, she was “compliant.” The spiritual term that I would use to describe her attitude towards others is that, she was sharing and living out the love of Christ.
I am not trying to make my mom out to be a saint; she was a sinner just as we all are. It was her strong faith and a certainty of knowing where she would spend eternity, that made her want to reach out and be kind to others. She did not fear death, she knew that her heavenly home awaited her.
The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:55-57: “Where, O death, is your victory?Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
As believers, because of Christ’s resurrection and ours, we know that serving him is not an empty, useless activity. Out labors here on this earth are not in vain, we will be rewarded at his second coming. And we know that, as followers of Christ, we will be rewarded with an eternal life, free from tears, suffering and pain.
My mom is more alive on this day than she has ever been. I cannot begin to imagine all that she is seeing and experiencing in heaven. And today, I take comfort, in knowing that I will see her again one day. It is because of the love of God, through Jesus Christ the Son, that by believing in Him and confessing Him as our Savior, we are saved from death and will spend eternity with our Father in heaven.
 Zondervan NIV Study Bible, 2002 edition