5 YEARS LATER...
On this day 5 years ago I held my Moms hand as she took her last breath. One week later, I stood before her closest friends and family and preached her funeral. To this day it’s one of the greatest honours of my life—It’s just not one that I would have asked for.
The days leading up to her funeral were torturous on many levels. Yes, the pain and loss was overwhelming, but so was my struggle over what to say. There were countless hours of frustration. REAL FRUSTRATION. Don’t be fooled. I’ll never forget sitting in the parking lot of Askews Foods (the local grocery store) at 5 A.M., the night before the funeral, punching the steering wheel of my truck, screaming at God at the top of my lungs, and begging for wisdom or direction.
“GIVE ME SOMETHING! ANYTHING!”
If only I had remembered sooner the words my Mom had raised me on, “God's in control. Don’t worry. Let’s pray.”
Looking back now, the answer seems so obvious. Prayer was the ONLY way to begin a message that would honour her.
She was the most amazing woman. She set the bar high in what it looks like to be a mother, wife, woman, friend, employee, sister, Oma, and follower of Jesus. Reflecting on her this past week, I'm reminded that I've got a lot of work to do.
I could write pages about how amazing my Momma was, but I could never capture the whole picture on my own. Therefore, I end this post with excerpts from what my older siblings, Adam and Erin, shared at Mom's funeral.
"Therefore, we do not grieve like those who have not hope." - 1 Thessalonians 4:13
“I want to thank you for the simple things. Thank you for teaching me to love good coffee. Thank you for teaching me to love being in the kitchen, creating good food and then sharing it with many. Thank you for teaching me the fine art of being able to stand in a clothing store entrance and know, within 5 seconds, if there’s anything in there to buy. Thank you for teaching me to laugh at myself when things go sideways and to laugh through the hard times….Thank you for teaching me how to be a good friend. Thank you for modelling this to me my whole life. Time after time you opened your door to people and welcomed them into your arms with so much love. People who didn’t always have family around or a friend to confide in, you gave them that. You showed me that it’s okay to pick up 'that' call from 'that' friend, even if it’s the 20th time they phoned because they need someone to talk to. You always made time for them, loved them, and prayed for them. I hope I can be half as good a friend as you modelled to me.
Thank you for being the example of a Godly woman. From young you modelled for me a life of prayer and faith. Your love for Jesus was evident to all who knew you. If you were blessed enough to know my mom, whether it was for an hour or a life time, you were prayed for by her. I can confidently say that everyone here who knew my Mom was prayed for by name at some point in time.” - Erin Cooper
“Mom showed us kids what it means to love and care for other people. This was never something she sat us down to explain, it was simply lived out in her actions. She made our home a place that was safe and open for everyone. From the countless scores of kids that raided her kitchen, monopolized her living room, moved into our home or used her piano downstairs for the perfect mini hockey net, to Christmas dinners filled with single Moms, hurting families, and cherished friends, all gathered around her table. Our home was a home that was filled with love.” - Adam Breitkreuz