Tag Archive | death of a parent

Missing My Mom

fullsizeoutput_395Yesterday, August 2, was the 11th anniversary of my mom’s death.

11 years.

Pancreatic cancer took her when she was just 73 years old. Way too young.

But cancer does that, doesn’t it?

My dad had passed away from a heart attack just 16 months before, so now my siblings and I were orphans.

I wasn’t there when my mom breathed her last. My family and I had plane tickets to go see her just a few days later, but she was on the other side of the country, so nothing was 101_0249going to happen quickly. My two sisters and my brother were all there, though.

They got me on the phone in her hospital room and put the phone to her ear. I could hear her heavy breathing. I told her not to wait 6-22-03_1for us. It was OK. She could go. We would be alright.

I tear up even now writing those words.103_349

It wasn’t long after that and she was gone.

No more care packages in the mail for whatever reason. Or no reason.

No more phone calls just to see how we were.

101_0250She would miss Morgan’s first day of kindergarten. Justin’s first job. Nathan starting college. Weddings, babies, graduations. Her great grandchildren, whom she would have adored.

Miss you, Mom. It’s not the same without you.

 

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. Join the fun! 

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A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging—a book review and a giveaway!

Place to Land coverI’m a California girl, but I have lived in Florida for nearly 27 years. My parents are both gone now, and much of my extended family doesn’t live in the state anymore, but I will always consider California “home.”

There’s something about the place of our birth that binds us. It might be just a piece of land, but it holds a piece of our heart. But if that “place” no longer contains the people who meant so much, where do we find “home?”

I worked with an international missions organization for more than 30 years. People came from all over the United States to work at the headquarters. Along the way, many moved overseas to tell people about Jesus. Early on, my husband and I opened our home on holidays to friends who had no family nearby. To this day, we crowd our home with those who fit that category.

In Kate Motaung’s memoir, A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging (now available for order from Amazon), she wrestles with the question of home as she lives cross-culturally in South Africa and loses her mom to cancer while she’s overseas. (This is not technically a spoiler as it’s revealed in the very beginning of the book.)

Kate writes with candor about her home life, her parents’ divorce and her father’s remarriage. About forgiveness, about sin, about grief. And about home. Must we be all or nothing to the place we live? Does it matter where we live? If God has called us to service in one place, but all that we love is in another, do we lose? Or do we gain more than we can ever even see?Place to Land

In describing her feelings following her parents’ divorce, Kate writes, “One day, . . . Mom whisked Sarah and me off for a weekend away. When we got back, Dad was gone. The next afternoon, when I came home from school, he was still gone. And the day after that. And the day after that. Every morning that followed, for months, when Mom dropped me off in my second grade classroom, I went straight to the coat closet, tucked myself inside, and cried. Terrified that one day I would get home from school, and, like my dad, Mom would be gone too.”

Your heart will be captured when Kate expresses what losing her mom felt like. You will walk in her shoes as she eloquently describes landing on the foreign soil of South Africa. You will smile as she reveals how she felt when first meeting her husband, Kagiso. And you will weep with her as she lets go of her mom.

Turns out, “home” means much more than a location, and “A Place to Land” captures that truth in a story that you will not want to put down until you’re done.

A-Place-to-Land_3I will be giving away a copy of A Place to Land on April 6th. To enter for a chance to win, just leave a comment about what “home” looks like to you and why you would like to read this special book. I will pick a random winner on April 6th. Don’t miss a chance to be challenged and changed by this beautiful book.

Meanwhile, visit Kate Motaung’s author page here. You can also read the first chapter for free here.

 

 

Missing Mom

Tomorrow, my mom would have turned 78. Hard to believe. Wish she could be around to celebrate. But we lost her to pancreatic cancer four and a half years ago.The last time I saw her was a couple of months before she died. We had planned a family trip out to Cali so the kids could see her, but she didn’t know whether she’d make it that long.

Neither did we. But we hoped.

Here she is with my three kids. She came to spend that first Thanksgiving after my dad died with us. That was the last time my kids would see her. She died the next August. Boy, did she love her grandchildren. It was hard to be far away. She sent gifts and came to see us whenever she could, but it’s not the same as being there.

Though my mom and I were never good at heart-to-heart talks, I miss her still. Mostly, I miss what my children will miss by not having her around.

Happy birthday, Mom. I love you.

Thankful today for:

137. Resolve stain remover

138. games with friends

139. playdates for my doggy

140. VeggieTales

141. fulfilled promises

142. my mom