Dear Mom

You were amazing to me. So many things made you amazing. A mom that other mom’s wanted to be like, you offered guidance and direction, love and friendship to anyone and everyone. You always thought of yourself last. When no one was looking and no one knew, you gave of yourself freely and sacrificed.

You raised me and my siblings in integrity. You even raised my friends, you homeschooled us and you gave us incredible life skills. You taught in scouts, in 4-H and at church. You poured everything you had into us, never holding anything back.

I do not remember a single time in the 42 years I was blessed to be your son where you even came close to failing me. You excelled in all things and you did this all the time. I was loved and cared for beyond measure.

There are so many people that your life has touched. So many lives that are better and richer because of you. You were amazing to me, I had no idea just how many other people you were amazing to.

You were a mother to my children. When they lost their mom, you stepped in and did so much thankless work. You never asked to be recognized or praised. You just wanted to serve. You and my family stepped in and we raised them together. Even as you drew your last breaths, you were surrounded by my children, loving them, serving them.

My relationship with Jesus is because of you. My passion for people is from you. I forged my way in the world and have accomplished many things because you encouraged me and cheered me on. You have always been there for me. I could call, I could come home, I could reach out at any moment and your beautiful smile, you bright eyes and your welcoming voice were there. Failures did not take me out, nor did tragedy or pain. You made me to be a resilient man.

I can’t believe you are gone. I can’t believe it mom. I want to text you right now and tell you all about how impossible things seem right now. I want you to tell me it’s going to be okay. I want you to tell me how to best love my kids right now as they deal with loss, as they feel this emptiness as I do, they too are losing their “mom”. But I can’t. Your chair is empty. I stared at it for hours today, as if you were going to materialize there and everything would be right again. That cursed chair is empty and it will never again be where you sit and greet us all as we come in from the cold world into our warm home.

I can do this. You raised me to handle things like this. You taught me to hurt and to mourn and then dust myself off and focus not on myself, but on others. That’s what you did, all your life. You were a picture of what Christ taught us to be. Servants to all. You loved the people in your life like Jesus.

Everything hurts, but I know it’s temporary. Everything in Livermore reminds me of some aspect of my childhood. Millions of brilliant memories. They bring me joy mingled with excruciating pain. But just for now. You know how I am getting through? Jesus. My wife. Dad, Doug and Sharla. My kids. People from our past who are saying the most wonderful things about you. I would give 10 years off my life for 30 seconds with you. I did not get to say goodbye and I so badly want to say goodbye.

I will see you in the future mom. I’ll do my best to continue the legacy and love people by loving God with all my heart, mind and soul.

I miss you so much.