Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Goodbye, Mom. Part 1

On November 4, 2009, my mother passed away in her sleep after 95 years of living. During this holiday season it is an appropriate time to say "Goodbye" to this great lady. She was a peacemaker, an anchor in our lives.

She was a quiet, concerned leader in our family. She had the strength and the wisdom to lift us up when we were discouraged or sad.

In the last few months, while we have been in Denmark, her voice of encouragement and thoughtful advice has given me strength to meet the day to day challenges of our missionary life. I will miss her voice. She would tell me about her full and active life in Sisters, Oregon:
as a quilter,
a gardener,
a teacher,
a spiritual leader and historian in her branch,
a thoughtful letter writer,
a lover of books,
and a great decorator and cook.

Then she would listen to my tales. I could tell her anything--worries and concerns about hard things on a mission (things that you don't write in a mission blog). She heard my good news about the daffodils in Denmark, castles we visited, a summer of teaching about the prophets. She helped me plan food to serve that each prophet might have eaten in his day.

She learned about our pheasants, and the little grey cat who has adopted us. She shared with us the great opportunity that I had--to teach Paul about Jesus Christ and help him to get his visa and go to the United States. (This is a picture of Paul with his best friend, Pho- We were picking him up to take him to the train to Copenhagen- Where he flew to America to study in California. We hope to see him when we return next summer). Mother wanted to know all the details. She was a great listener.

We shared recipes for our weekly Family Home Evenings at the center here in Denmark. I served her famous apple crisp and zuchinni squash casserole many times here. There two recipes have always been my favorites.

Heavenly Father knows when we need special attention. He helps fill in the gaps that are impossible for us to anticipate. He helps prepare and comfort us--for the stumbling blocks and hard times that come at the most unexpected, inconvenient times. This was a month that was full of hard things and unexpected blessings- a bitter, sweet month.

Mother's life ended the way she lived it--gracefully. After a few days of concern about an infection and heart problem, she entered the hospital for some tests. There she discovered that her kidneys and heart were failing. A few days later, she went home. Her sister, Arvilla, age 92, had come to visit. Mother was surrounded by friends and family when she fell asleep and passed away. What a peaceful way to go.

Little by little we gathered from all over the United States (and Denmark) to remember this dear lady. In the next few posts I will include the fine memories that we shared as we gathered to celebrate her life. It was a week I will never forget.

Thank you, Mother for the fine example that you have been to me through the years. I already miss our long phone calls. In the spring, your friends will miss your beautiful flower pots on the deck and a garden full of daffodils. We will miss you. Hope all is well on the other side of the veil. I know that you were concerned that everything would be white there... and you loved color. I suggested that if the Lord loved beautiful, colorful flowers, that he wouldn't fill Heaven with only white. I hope that you are not disappointed. More memories in the next post.


  1. Very sweet, Mom. I hope she is doing well with some family and friends she hasn't seen in a while. We will miss her till we can see her again. I thought your comments at her funeral were great and I love the thought of death being a re-birth.

  2. Thanks for the beautiful thoughts and photos. Please keep them coming. I am so proud to have her as a grandmother and you as a mother. Love you forever.

  3. I always try to remember the big family reunion they are having until we are all together. It is hard for those of us left behind. Thanks for the post. I was sorry to not be able to get to Sisters to be with everyone.