But more recently I notice things that I do around the house that I got from my mom. Like she never wanted to run out of toiletries or things like that, so she always stocked up. I have probably forty rolls of toilet paper in the closet right now and about ten bottles of deodorant between John and me. My mom sent cards and wrote thank-you notes for every occasion, and I am compelled to do that as well. The only difference is that mine are sometimes late, and hers were never late. She used to make a list of everybody she needed to get Christmas presents for and write down exactly what she was going to get them. I found myself doing that the other day.
When I went to visit her a few weeks ago, and I had the opportunity to talk to her for one last time, there was something that I noticed about her that of all the things she has left me with I hope this one becomes a part of me more than any of them.
My mom knew she was dying. She knew she was living her last days, her last minutes, and that any moment could be her last breath. However, she said to me, “I just don’t understand God’s ways. I just don’t know why he doesn’t take me now.” She was ready. There was not one ounce of fear or regret in her body. As she sat there talking to me struggling to breath and in pain, she smiled big, was filled with joy, and was overcome with peace.
My mom’s assurance in her true home in Heaven that was awaiting her was also confirmed as I talked to her cousin yesterday after her memorial service. My mom’s cousin began to tell me a similar story from the day before she passed away. She had gone to see my mom in the hospice, and my mom said to her, too, “I don’t know why He doesn’t take me now.” My mom’s cousin was amazed at her peace and resolve that she knew where her next destination was going to be and couldn’t wait to get there. Her cousin said to me, “I only hope that I am that sure when I die.”
You know that when a person, who knows that at any moment could breathe her last breath, is asking God to take her home, she knows exactly where she is going and there is no fear. I cannot imagine the horror in feeling any different and being afraid of each second and holding on in fear of what the next moment will bring.
When I think about my mom’s true legacy that is it: her intimate relationship with God that gave her peace from her assurance of her place in Heaven. She was not afraid of death because she knew it was only her body that was temporary. She knew that this earth was not her home, it is only the place God chose for her to serve Him. She held on to this world and the things in it loosely because she knew that this life was not hers – it was God’s – and she belonged to Him.
This is my mom’s true legacy. My hope is that of all the things I have learned from her, that I have inherited from her, and that she has passed down to me, that I have the same perspective of my life here on earth and that when I have finished my work, and God calls me home, I will be ready and willing because I have held on loosely, submitted to His glorious plan and will, and kept my citizenship in Heaven first in my heart.