I wish that I could write this letter to you in person. Some day, when we meet again in heaven, I hope I will be able to tell you all these things. If not, I know they will not matter, for the One who deserves the glory for your life and mine will already be receiving it. I want to thank you for the mom you were. I am astounded now as I carry the great burden called motherhood at the amount of work that is involved, and you did so many things I don't even try to do. You sewed clothes, baked and cooked (real meals, not chicken nuggets and jar spaghetti sauce). Your house was always spotless. It seemed to me that you knew how to take time regularly for God, spending time in study and prayer. Did you ever struggle to find that time? I never saw it if you did. And I remember how you loved women. You had not only my sister and I, but you had spiritual daughters and sisters in abundance. Perhaps that is why it is now so hard for me occasionally. It seems I had the perfect mom, with passions similar to mine. I just wish I could do it all as well as you did.
Mom, I'm sorry, but it used to be that when I remembered you I remembered the quirks. I remembered a tantrum you threw because we assumed you were the household maid. You seemed so unreasonable then. But now I think we probably deserved worse. I remember you making me rake the carpet, so great was your desire to make a good impression. I remembered you using so many words to try to get through to a self-centered teen. I'm sorry these are the things I remembered for so long, because now I understand them. And I remember more . . .
I remember having kids in and out of our home all my life. You really took time for me and for my friends, and for any child God brought into your life. You taught Good News Clubs, Sunday school, and kept children in our home for friends. You were a mom to more than me. I remember how much you put into serving others, not just because you wanted to please them, but because you wanted to honor them. Remember how you said that being late is being disrespectful of others' time? That comment still rings in my ear, even when I am running late. I remember being read to on the black comfy couch, every band trip you chaperoned or attended (I don't think you missed one), and the incredible variety of music you taught me to love (everything from Beethoven to the Mama's and the Papa's).
Most of all, I remember watching you as you became more and more like our Savior. I honestly think He took you home that Sunday because He was done making your character lovely. I remember how there near the end your whole delight was in focusing on the Savior every moment of your day. Well, maybe except for the few you focused on Joshua. Thanks for taking the time in those months when you didn't feel well to tell me that you thought I was doing a great job as a mama. You don't know how your last letter to me has kept me going. It makes me sad that you have never gotten to know any of the boys, and more so that they don't know you as more than a passing name. I am trying through my albums to change at least some of what they know about you.
Mom, life is so hard now. I never thought it would be like this. I thought I could do what you did, and just be a mom and a wife. I am glad you haven't had to see my pain and struggle. I wish I could hear your thoughts on how I am doing home schooling, or how it's OK to take a relaxed attitude toward the house so I can do more important things. I do wish I had you around to teach me a few more things about it, but you did OK. I can follow a recipie, fold fitted sheets, and clean a bathroom like I had years of experience (oh yeah, you made me do that every Saturday for over a decade!). I missed having you teach me how to be a mom after I had Josh, but I am so grateful to you for teaching me how to be a mom during the years before that. Thanks for leaving me some friends of yours who stood in the gap for you when you were gone. Their love for you is evident even now. I hope my love for you is obvious also. Please know that even though you have passed through the gates, your daughter is still praising you in them. I love you Mom.Your daughter, Lisa