Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Remembering My Mom on Her Birthday

Today would have been my mom's 87th birthday. She died in 2005 but I have to admit there are days when I almost reach for the phone to call her. I miss talking to my mom, hearing her voice. I'm greatly comforted by the fact that I will see her again in heaven. So I can reminisce and even laugh at certain memories I have of her.

Yesterday, I received a letter from my dad. He sent me a copy of the text that Mom's Sunday School teacher Jim Boyer had delivered at her memorial service. I found myself nodding and smiling as I read his words. I thought I would post them today on her birthday so you can get a glimpse into what my mom was like.


"The dictionary has several definitions for the word GRACE, three of which are:
Unmerited help given to people by God
Freedom from sin through divine grace
Charm, attractiveness and beauty

God blessed Ethel with all three.

She received help in her sickness and pain by the grace of God to help her endure her long affliction of Addison's disease.

She knew the divine grace of God by her acceptance of Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. 
Today she is with her Lord; free from the torment of disease.

God also blessed Ethel with classic elegance and a sense of style. 

The lasting impression I will carry of her is the smile that she presented to the world, even when she was suffering.

I went to see her in the rehab. (Mom had broken her hip
She was not in her room. She had been taken for physical therapy.
Wanting to let her know I was there, I went to the torture chamber. 
There she sat, fully dressed. Her makeup perfectly applied. 
Wearing her beautiful smile. 
Ready to endure whatever they had devised for that session.

I doubt if anyone ever saw her without the two most important essentials; her smile and her makeup.

Ethel was a lady of style and order.

When she and Harry (my dad) moved to On Top of the World (condos) she wanted to give me the grand tour. She was so proud of her new home and her orchid collection. 
There was one thing she didn't want me to miss. She had always wanted a kitchen pantry and she finally had one that was fully organized. And like her personal appearance there was nothing out of place. 

She also took pleasure in the fact that Harry was finally going to be able to have a closet of his own. Her wardrobe had always deprived him of his personal space. 

It wouldn't be fair to Ethel if I didn't mention a side of her that some of us have had the opportunity to enjoy. 
Ethel had a little girl quality that came out when you spent time with her.  
She had that little naughty sense of humor that let you know she had given Harry a run for his money.

Style, grace, the endurance of suffering, a sense of humor, all these things will make up memories of Ethel Sumstad.

But there is one more memory that will also stand the test of time. 
A loving and devoted husband, who was always by her side in sickness and health.

Harry, this service is a testament to the love you both shared. May God bless you with many pleasant memories.

Jim Boyer 2/25/05


Such perfect timing for me to receive a copy of Jim's message. I want to  mention that the photo I posted of Mom and me was taken December 2004. She died in February 2005, only two months later. She was in pain in that photo but she still managed to smile and look her best. She never wanted to miss out on our family gatherings by staying in bed. 

So happy birthday Mom. I look forward to the day I will see you again.

Blessings and love,
Remembering My Mom on Her BirthdaySocialTwist Tell-a-Friend


Annesphamily said...

What a beautiful tribute to your mom! Love the sweet photo. May God Bless You and your dad both as you remember this priceless lady on her birthday. It is so hard to lose our parents. I often want to pickup my phone and call my mom too. She also ended our time together whether on the phone or in person, telling me she loved me and telling me to pray. One day I too will see her and my dad in heaven. Have a good day Debbie. xo

Sonja Goodson said...

So beautiful, Debbie. And may I say that I see so many of those beautiful qualities of character in her daughter, so she taught you well. I am looking forward to the day when we have a grand old reunion with our mothers, probably a mix of Norwegian and English and a huge dose of joy!!! Happy Birthday Ethel! And special hugs to Harry! :)

Saleslady371 said...

A beautiful tribute to your mamma on her birthday! I'm glad you shared this letter because it really does describe your mom and gives us so much appreciation for her life. My mom's birthday was July 1 and I was thinking of her too this week so I know how you feel about wishing they were still here sometimes so we can chat with them!

RCUBEs said...

There's a saying "A mother is the light in a home." I literally witnessed how dark our home was when I lost my mom, too. It's never the same but thank God for the hope that's in Him. What a beautiful remembrance from your heart that you shared with us! She's a gem! To know that she was smiling despite the pain, that just tells anyone how strong she was! A woman of strength. Strength she knew comes from God alone. Blessings to you sister and may you always be strong in the Lord's mighty power!

Lea said...

What a lovely, lovely lady and what a wonderful tribute to her. My Mom died in 2008 and not a day goes by that I don't think of her and long for her. Hugs to you as you remember your precious Mom.

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