September 4, 2013 was a day to remember both my mother
and my sister, Lorraine.
It was the day of the memorial service for Mother and it was the day that one year ago Lorraine suddenly died. So it was a hard day all the way around. I was grieving and honoring Mother but at the same time I was grieving and remembering Lorraine. She had died so suddenly and it was such a shock. I miss her so…
The roses in the picture were purchased by granddaughter, Lisa. She loved Grandma so much. A rose was given to each grandchild and great-grandchild to be laid on the table. It was a beautiful sight-seeing all the grandchildren walking up and laying a rose down. They were all ages, ranging from 53 down to six! If I have counted right there were 17 grandchildren present at the service. Of course, there are many more who couldn’t make it on this day.
This beautiful bouquet was sent by niece, Kay. She lives in Iowa and couldn’t make it but sent flowers. Her daughter, Becky, was there. A bouquet was also given by the church. I’d like to add here that my church, in Michigan, also ordered flowers to be delivered. They never appeared! I was disappointed. But there was just the right amount of flowers…to brighten the church but not cause us to flinch when another and another and another…bouquet was delivered. She would not have been happy with excess.
A DVD with pictures of Mother from her infant baptism day to her 99th birthday was shown before and after the service on large screens in the foyer and in the sanctuary. Beautiful hymns played on the piano accompanied the pictures.
Before the service started Pastor Delp met with the family for a few words and then prayer with us. It was meaningful and I thank him.
Richard made up a beautiful brochure matching the one he made for our dad when he died. The picture on the front is taken from their 50th anniversary photo. The same picture, of our dad, was on his brochure in 2005.
Pastor Matthew Delp, pastor of the church, prayed the pastoral prayer. Mother had never attended this church. She attended the service, that was held every Sunday, in the nursing home. There is not a Free Methodist Church in Castle Rock. Family living here attend this fine Nazarene Church.
We listened as Susan Hess, granddaughter of Corina and daughter of Richard, sang by means of a CD, Because He Lives. It was beautiful! Mother would have loved it. Susan lives in Georgia and wanted to attend but wasn’t able to. She had visited with Mother, in person, just a few months before.
Granddaughter, Ashlee Lamm, read the Old Testament scripture: Proverbs 31:10-31. Grandson, Justin Naughton, read the New Testament scripture: Ephesians 2:1010.
Heidi Krise, granddaughter of Mother and daughter of Richard, played a key board to accompany the songs we sang and also the postlude. It’s not easy to play an instrument you’re not accustomed to but she did a beautiful job.
Chris Williamson, grandson of Mother and son of Bill, was the main speaker. He’s an ordained preacher and did an excellent job. Mother would have been so pleased.
Then came time for tributes and memories. I was first.
I was home from school for the summer. The youth group from our church weregoing on an all day picnic to a state park and invited me to join them. A car came to pick me up early on Saturday morning. They insisted I sit in the front seat! That seemed strange but I got in and off we went for a fun day!
It was getting close to lunch time and I was very hungry. I looked in a box for a snack and saw a small piece of paper with my name on it! Oh, what was this? I read it in shock. It was written to the leaders by one of the girls in the youth group. “I’ll ride in any car but not in the car with Anita Williamson.” What? Why? Oh, that explains why I had to sit in the front seat… The girl who wrote the note was in the back seat! Somehow we had ended up in the same car!
Oh, what to do…I had no idea I wasn’t liked. I couldn’t stay here. I’d better leave. Where should I go? How could I get home? There was nothing I could do except walk away. Yes, that’s it. I’d simply walk away and not come back. I’d become a run-away.
In my mind I saw someone calling the police. Then calling my parents. Oh no. Mother. I’d hurt Mother. She loved me. Oh, I couldn’t just leave! I would cause terrible pain to Mother. I couldn’t do that. Mother loved me and I loved her…
Years went by. I finished school, got married, raised five beautiful children. Times were changing, it was now near the end of the 1990’s! We talked on the phone occasionally. One day at the end of our conversation Mother said to me, “I love you.”
What??? I’d never heard those three words, come to me, from Mother before! I stood there not knowing what to say… Finally I said, “ Okay, I’ll talk to you later. Bye.” For the next couple of days all I could think of was Mother telling me she loved me! It meant so much to me. I knew I’d have to say it too! Could I? I didn’t know. But finally I made up my mind that I would say it the next time we talked on the phone and I did.
I’ve been saying it ever since. I love you, Mother.