Published: 7 years ago

Ten Years

Ten years later, I still remember eating hot Krispy Kremes while walking down a cold and windy sidewalk to Nashville’s Baptist Hospital.

Ten years later, I remember laughing when she said, “If Gore wins the recount, don’t wake me up.”

Ten years later, I remember praying for her just before her surgery.  I remember that her pain was worse that day than it had been in her short eleven month battle with cancer.  I remember the surgical team wheeling her out of the room.  I remember her looking at us and saying what would be her final words:

“Y’all be good.”

Ten years later, I remember a nurse asking us to come into the consultation room.  I remember a doctor in his scrubs, holding his khakis over his arm, explaining that there were complications…that they had done everything they could.  I remember my sister’s voice, trembling, shaking:

“Are you telling me my mother is dead?”

Ten years later, I still remember that detached, out-of-body experience, as if I was watching my family’s grief…my grief…from the corner of the room.  I remember the exact prayer that I prayed as I put my hand on my dad’s shoulder and held him tight:

“Father, nothing has happened today that didn’t first filter through your holy hand…”

Ten years later, I still cry sometimes.  I still laugh sometimes.  I still think about her every single day.  I still catch myself picking up the phone to tell her about something that she’d want to know about.  Something she’d want to pray about.  Something she’d want to laugh about.

Ten years later, I find it hard to believe that we’ve had two houses she’s never seen.  A seminary campus she never visited.  A church she’s never heard of.  A grandchild she’s never met.

Ten years later, I remember her infectious sense of humor.  I remember her love for my dad.  I remember her pride in her kids.  I remember her joy in her grandchildren.

Ten years later, I remember her passionate devotion to Jesus.  I remember her commitment to the gospel even as she suffered.  I remember her paraphrase of Philippians 1:21, something she repeated often:

“If I live, I win.  If I die, I win.”

Ten years later, I remember burying her the day before Thanksgiving.  I remember preaching her funeral, trying to narrow down 27 years worth of memories in 15 minutes.  I remember looking at the faces of nearly 600 friends and family, sharing the gospel with the people that had come to honor her.  People she’d prayed for.  Souls she’d begged God for.  Witnessing opportunities she’d labored for.

Ten years later, I remember standing in a freezing graveyard under a bright blue sky.  I remember her body being put into the crypt.  I remember the numbness.  The sorrow.  And the certain hope of seeing her again.

Ten years later, and it’s November 20, 2010.  She would have been 70 years and six months old today.  She and my dad would have celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary this past spring.  She would be planning a special dinner for my brother’s 50th birthday tomorrow.  She would be keeping tabs on nine grandchildren in two different states, and be gleefully anticipating Christmas, undoubtedly her favorite time of the year.

Ten years later, and I still miss her.  I still thank God for her.  I still talk to my kids about her.  I still love her.

Ten years later, and the legacy of a godly woman extends beyond her grave.

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:28-30)

11 Comments.
  1. Cathy says:

    I shared this with my ladies group as we had a discussion about our loses on Wednesday morning. We talked about sharing memories with our kids and how much we missed those who have gone before us..we talked about the anger some have felt but how wonderful that our God is big and can handle that anger.
    Thanks for sharing, I understand completely:
    13 years for Mom and most of my life for my Dad,,still miss them both

  2. Anne says:

    Beautiful! Your mother blessed me today!

  3. carl says:

    Danny, thanks for sharing. I plan to use this blog next Fri in the Men’s Group I lead. There’s a book at B&N ‘A Mom and her Son’.

  4. Joann says:

    WOW! What a heritage she left in you and what a beautiful tribute to her you did. Thanks for the reminder of all the important things.

  5. yo' sis says:

    Oh Danny! Thanks for that great cry! That is so beautiful! Our mom was the greatest ever and we are all so blessed to have had her as long as we did. I remember everything you talked about except the Gore comment (I must have been eating the donuts!). But don’t forget about the two jets crossing and forming a cross in the sky after the funeral when they were putting her in the hearse. That was amazing also.
    She would be sooo proud of you as I am. I love you and I miss you!

  6. tnrural says:

    Danny,
    She left a great legacy in you.

  7. Amy Hill says:

    Danny,
    That was beautiful and wonderful and so very emotional. Your mom was all that you said and more that you didn’t have time to say. I always appreciated her integrity and encouragement.
    Love you guys!

  8. Linda Leimone says:

    Danny,

    What a beautiful tribute to your Mom. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. My Dad has been gone for 8 years and I still think of him everyday and miss him so much. I’m so grateful to have learned so much about my faith in God from him. Your mother gave you a heart to bless others with the gospel. Thank you so much for all you do as a pastor at the Summit.

  9. Anonymous says:

    She was a GREAT women of God and I think of her often. She left a lasting impression on so many.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Just found your blog and just read your post. My mother went to be with the Lord 10 years ago this month while under hospice care for heart/renal failure. She went to sleep one evening just before supper and woke up in Heaven. During that time in my life was the first time I heard the word, “God is good all the time.” She was a godly woman. It’s been a journey into believing that God is good whatever He does, but its’ been a port in many other storms I have weathered since that time.

  11. Mary says:

    I still miss her a lot. <3

  1. By ThanksWeek: Ten Years « Connective Tissue on November 20, 2012 at 7:31 am

    […] Today’s flashback is a timely and bittersweet one. It was twelve years ago today that my mom finally saw Jesus face to face. This post originally appeared on the ten year anniversary of her death: November 20, 2010. […]

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