Saturday, November 26, 2011

Looking on the Bright Side

Thanksgiving, in fact, all holidays have been so hard for our family since my mom passed away. Each year we have tried to carry on as she would have liked for us to - I want her to be proud of her two girls. She wanted her funeral to be a celebration of her life and we have tried to honor her by being the women she raised us to be throughout the last six years. I will not say that it has been easy. It is hard to lose the woman who taught you pretty much everything!! Throughout the year I am so busy with my Jon and Seth and a full time job that is easier to cope with the vast hole in our family. On holidays though, we miss her terribly! Nonetheless, on Thanksgiving morning, Anita and I were up early cooking, cooking, cooking! We also managed to watch the Macy's parade because my mom loved to have it on as she cooked! I noticed, though, that my dad was very quiet - he usually is a man of few words, but he was even quieter than normal. I asked him if he was okay and he said "It's just today. It was one of her favorite days of the year." I agreed and told him that we were so blessed to have had her in our lives! He then called my sister and me into the den where he pointed to a picture of my mom and said, "That is what I have been sitting here looking at all morning. She was a beautiful lady". Friends, it broke my heart! But then, a few minutes later as I walked through the den, my sweet daddy said "I feel better now, since I called you girls in here."

So now, as we head into the busy Christmas season, instead of dwelling on fact that my mom is no longer with us, I want to stop and look on the bright side! I know that I will miss my mom, but I also believe that nothing happens without God's approval. I know this is true. Last night I heard a Christian author and speaker talk about a minister and his wife who learned that the wife had an aggressive form of cancer while she was expecting their second child. They made the decision not to terminate the pregnancy and begin treatment even though it meant putting the wife in grave danger. The speaker, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, spoke of the peace and acceptance the couple felt in this time in their lives. This sweet couple accepted God's will even though they did not understand why they were going through this situation. I know that my mom felt the same way. She seemed to handle her illness much better than the rest of us -with dignity and grace.

So for today, I will simply be happy that God allowed my mother to be just that, my mother. I was so blessed. As I decorate the tree and the house and attempt to make some of her special dishes, I will remember her wonderful legacy! I will remember how people raved over her homemade fudge, proclaiming it the best ever! I will think about the feast of delectable goodies she would make for Christmas Eve! I will remember how she made spiced apple cider that was such a yummy treat, and how she and Daddy loved eggnog even though they never convinced Anita and me to try it! I will remember how she adored her grandchildren and how Anita said that Santa couldn't compete with Granny and Papa! I will remember how Christmas was her favorite time of year. She always had a list going.... presents, menus, you name it - she was making a list and checking it twice! She made Christmas special! I will continue to honor her memory by making Christmas special for Seth and Jon and by carrying on our Christmas traditions with Papa and Nini and the rest of our family.

I love you, Mom! Thanks for the memories!!


  1. Hi Lisa! You will never know how much this post has touched my heart. I lost my mom six years ago and the holidays have been a struggle for me ever since. I will try to remember your encouraging words as I celebrate the holidays :o)

  2. I think the hardest loss, other than a child, is a mother. My mom has been gone 14 years and yet the pain of loss is the same now as it was then. The comfort is from the realization of how fortunate I was to have her as my mom. Now, when I think of her, although I miss her just as much as then, I smile and feel thankful. I think from your post you are feeling the same. Carrying on her traditions is a great way to honour her. Hugs, Deb

  3. Lisa, your post is beautiful. I know you will honor her in a great way by doing things she would have liked and decorating and crafting like you said. When I turned 50 I decided I wanted every day to be beautiful and enjoy life more abundantly...John 10:10, the way God intended it to be. I'm so grateful for everything in my life.
    Your blog is beautiful by the way.

  4. I'm so sorry that you're mourning the loss of your mother at this time of year. I can only imagine how difficult it must be. I think that's one reason it is so important to have children. That way you're not alone in your old age and you still have a family unit when someone passes on. Your mom left a legacy. She is still alive in all of y'all.

  5. Your words in this post really touched me. I am so incredibly close to my mom, and yet reading this reminds me to not take her presence for granted even one minute! I've lost other loved ones, and it's especially difficult around the holiday season. Sounds like your mother was a wonderful woman to have raised such a sweet lady as yourself and to be missed so! Blessings to you, my Friend!

  6. Hello Lisa,

    I can SO identify with your post. This will be my first Christmas without my mom here with me. I've been feeling rather down and sort of dreading the holiday season.... Until Saturday when a cherished friend invited me to go shopping with her, and we ended up in the Christmas section of Hobby Lobby. And do you know what? I caught some Christmas cheer right there on the spot. Last year I decorated a small tree for my mom's assisted living apartment and right there in the Christmas aisle I decided to re-use those ornaments and ribbons on my big tree. So I stocked up and came home and put my tree up! Everytime I look at it I remember how she loved all of that bling and it makes my heart happy. Somehow I just know that she's looking down and smiling....

  7. What a beautiful tribute to your mom. It's evident how much you loved her! I so understand the loss of a parent and it's ever so hard during the holidays. My dad left this life to be with Jesus on Dec. 13, 1997. He was such a happy, giving, Godly father and I miss him terribly. He loved Christmas so much and was more like a child then than my children! But you're right, God is in control. Thank you so much for popping in to see me and I hope you'll come back for another visit sometimes.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)


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