My sister and I sat in a dark hospital room, listening to the sound of squeaking clogs (I don't see or hear those much anymore), and beeping monitors. Our mom was asleep when the nurse asked us to step into the hallway. She said, "Girls if you need to make things right with your mom you should do it." We stared at each other, trying to wrap our heads around what she was saying.
We didn't have to repair a broken relationship caused by years of anger and bitterness. We spent our lives laughing and talking together. We could enter a restaurant and leave three hours later. We also loved to harass our mom (regifting the same pair of dated shoes for Christmas). Our mom showed us how to share life with each other.
She also showed us what a rebel. She wore red lipstick and pants to church at a time when dresses were the expected Sunday attire … despite the sneers and whispers. She despised the legalism of religion, but she adored God. She knew it was His goodness that leads people to repentance as found in Romans 2:4. When she passed away on September 7, 2009, my sister and I purposed to continue to spread the message of God's goodness to the world.
I don't think I can overstate the influence my mom has had on my life. She also touched the lives at the school I led and where she volunteered. You can see the yearbook was dedicated to her the year after she passed away. The students and yearbook staff crafted this beautiful dedication:
Amazing wife, incredible mom, mentor and friend. She inspired, challenged, and cheered on her SAINTS. She was a tireless fighter, and her legacy will live on in all those who choose to ...DO IT AFRAID!
This was her mantra, part of her legacy. A legacy is often thought of what someone leaves "for" someone else: money, jewelry, a house. My mom had an incredible wardrobe, and I still wear some of her clothes and jewelry today. But … my mom's legacy was more about what she left "in" people. You can see what she left in the students and staff, and in her family, she left in us a faith in God, the courage to fight fear, and the desire to help others. Her legacy has worked its way through her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren.
Each of us will leave a legacy, whether we think about it or not. Every day we write another piece of our story, and one day we will have to make an account of our lives before the Lord. The Dash, a poem written by Linda Ellis, is a poignant reminder of how we should live our lives between the day we are born and the day we die. Scripture reminds us that life is but a vapor, it's here, and then it's gone.
Live a life that matters. On this Mother's Day, I celebrate a life that made a difference in the lives of others. I miss my mom terribly, but I am so grateful for the time we had together. I will spend the rest of my days working to create a legacy that matters. I love you, mom. Happy Mother's Day!