It’s true—no one will ever love you like your mother. On December 7, my mother left us to be with God, but she was not alone. Her three children and sister kept her company. My mother watched her children take their first breaths and we saw her take her last. Today, we put her to rest.
Life wasn’t easy for my mom. Divorced at age thirty with three children, like all single mothers with an absent ex-husband, she sacrificed a lot for her children and never once stopped us from following our dreams. I admire the strength it must have taken to divorce when divorce was frowned upon, along with her and my grandmother’s hard work in giving us a good life. I remember her telling me that she kept her married name because she didn’t want her children to have to go to school with a different last name. Her decisions were always for the good of her children. She believed my brother, sister and I were her biggest accomplishments in life.
When my brother lived in New York, she would collect what monies she could to send him care packages, and when I lived in Germany, every day she would stay up to the early morning hours just to make sure she got a chance to talk to me on Skype. When her other daughter fell upon hard times, she would send text messages to let her daughter know that she loved her. As many reprimands as she dished out, she more than made up for with love.
I remember when we were young, my brother, sister and I would kneel around the manger at Christmas time to say our prayers before bed. On Christmas morning, my mom would have one of us put baby Jesus in the crib. It was a big deal to us and a memory I will treasure forever.
My mother was…creative when it came to pulling baby teeth. She would tie a string around our tooth and the other end around the refrigerator door and then slam it. But it was our job to find the tooth.
Then we grew up and had our own lives, and my mother bought a Maltese she named Buttons, to keep her company. He became her little baby.
She was a great cook, and come Thanksgiving, the entire family couldn’t wait to eat her turkey dressing. It was the best in the world. Then on Easter, she made her lamb cakes for friends and family. And in August, she made cold beet soup for the three Leos in her life.
There was one thing about my mother that many can agree with and that was her laugh. It was a hearty one. Not a wimpy, fake laugh, but one that made you feel like you could possibly be a comedian one day.
She loved football—most of all—her beloved Chicago Bears. We would either get together to watch the games, or call each other throughout the game with our comments. Even though she was very sick, she asked to have the Bear’s game on the Sunday before she passed.
It was this time of year, Christmas and snow, that my mother loved the most. If she could sit with a cup of Starbucks while watching a snowstorm, she’d be happy.
Merry Christmas from Heaven
I still hear the songs
I still see the lights
I still feel your love on cold wintery nights
I still share your hopes and all of your cares
I’ll even remind you to please say your prayers
I just want to tell you, you still make me proud
You stand head and shoulders above all the crowd
Keep trying each moment, to stay in His grace
I came here before you to help set your place
You don’t have to be perfect all of the time
He forgives you the slip, if you continue to climb
To my family and friends,
Please be thankful today
I’m still close beside you,
In a new special way
I Love you all dearly,
Now don’t shed a tear
Cause I’m spending my
Christmas with Jesus this year.
by John Wm. Mooney, Jr.
My mother was religious, felt strongly about family and tradition, and made sure those around her were happy. Because of her devotion to friends and family, I don’t think she realized how many people truly loved her.
“Every time a bell rings, an angel gets [their] wings.” I believe my mom already earned hers.
Merry Christmas and Sweet Happiness, Mother…until we meet again.
Love your ‘precious baby’, Denise