Two years ago today my Mom, Ruth Seamands, went to be with Jesus. Her death followed several months of steady decline. She was weary, and she often asked why God didn’t take her home. She was ready.
Mom’s funeral celebrated her faith and love-filled life. We laughed a lot. Mom would have enjoyed it, because she loved to laugh – especially at herself. The four of us daughters felt sorrow for ourselves but relief for her sake, because the end had not been easy. Finally her pain was over.
Two years later we miss her more than we did then. We’ve gotten past the difficult months of watching her go downhill, losing her strength, her sight, and the ability to breathe. Now, we miss the Mom we used to know. The Mom who laughed about her “crazy family” but was always ready to go along with whatever craziness we dreamed up. Every year we found a new way to pose for the annual family calendar photo. Whatever the scenario, Mom was game. Only once did we see her hesitate. That year we hauled out five toilets from storage in her neighbor’s garage, lining them up on the driveway. “Sit in the middle, Mom,” we told her. She refused to be the first one seated on a toilet in plain sight of all her neighbors, but when WE sat, SHE sat. That turned out to be the best calendar shot ever.
We miss the Mom with a sharp mind and keen vision, eager for a game of Scrabble with her girls.
I still want to pick up the phone and call her. I long to tell her how happy I am, married to Keith. Years after Rick’s death she told me, “I just want you to be happy.”
When Mom took her last breath, I whispered in her ear. “Go in peace and laugh on Glory’s side. Fly to Jesus, Mom, Fly to Jesus.” The words from Chris Rice’s song, Untitled Hymn, seemed so appropriate. I couldn’t think of anything more beautiful than hearing Mom’s laughter on Glory’s side.
Spring has finally come to Michigan. Today I took a walk around my neighborhood, reveling in the blueness of the sky, the warmth of the air, and the stillness of the lake. At 12:40 I looked at my watch. Exactly the time I whispered my goodbye into Mom’s ear.
At 12:50 I neared the end of my walk. A new song started on my iPod. I closed my eyes for a moment when I realized it was Untitled Hymn. The words felt like a gift for today.
“Fly to Jesus and live.”
I’m still missing Mom, but I know she is more alive today in Glory than ever on earth.