Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mom's Funeral

My nephew Ronny 
November 19th, 2013 Tuesday
Today, my sisters and I attended the funeral services for my mother.  It's difficult to describe how I felt and feel.  I was drawn closer to her by listening to her cousin, Mary Joyce speak of mom's earlier years, when she was a young girl and teenager.  Mom really never talked a lot about those days, so it was nice to hear and learn the fun, happy side of her life.  I believe all is Holy in the house of God, and I was trying my hardest to feel heaven there.
Linda, Myself and Dottie (Linda's mom)

Linda one of my besties- I love her

Susan and Ron Lundberg (mom's closest friends)
 I am grateful for my friends who supported me and  did not let the influence of "not knowing" my mom keep them from coming to support me.  I needed you there, and I so appreciate Millie we have been friends for 15 years she has no idea of my life before Gilbert, yet because of her Christian spirit she came and loved me through it, she also brought enchiladas to my family for Sunday dinner, she will and always be close to my heart.  Linda my friend from childhood, she and her mother drove far to be here and I will always love Linda for her unconditional love, especially having known my parents, made it special to me to have her there.  Last my dear friend Jenny Ruttinger text me and said "I know this will be hard for you, I will be sitting with you" and she did, we've been through a lot together in the past 20+ years, no questions asked I knew she would be there for me.  Eric and I decided we wanted to position ourselves perfectly so that we could see and watch Stephen Phelps play the organ.  I always feel the spirit and peaceful when I listen to him play, he and his wife have been a tremendous example for me as we have tried to raise our children by their example.  Eric and I spoke about him many times this past week knowing it would be difficult for him physically to play, and would of been OK if he couldn't come, but he did and I know he did it just for me.  I love you Stephen and Carolei you have been an example to me for over 20 years now, and still continue to amaze me with your loving hearts.
Jenny--I love you

November 20th 2013 Wednesday
As I post this Eric and I are in Mexico, spending some time at our condo, he needed to fix our freezer (well I say him, but those of you who know my "Tim the tool man" knows he will hire someone to fix it.)  He wanted me to come last week, and in fact was leaving for Mexico on the day he got the text from me saying my mother had passed.  This week he has been begging me to come with him, and I have not wanted to go, mostly because I think a little bit of that depression and unresolved issues is unsettling to me.  Eric knows me so well, he knew if I stayed home I would lay around and try to figure out the whys? Then become depressed and anxious, so I'm glad I came with him.

 Being here, draws me closer to Heavenly Father, I'm able to sit on the sand, watch the ocean waves come gently  in and out and see the hand of the Lord pick me up and keep me from getting carried away in those waves.  Honestly, I have so many emotions stirring up inside of me, although what I am saying is completely from my heart and I am being true to myself, I know it will probably be confusing to some people.

I want to remember and write some of my fond memories of mom.  Our kitchen was always our gathering place, and I loved to sit, watch and learn from her. There were 3 things I remember distictly about my mom during Christmas--she always made Red Velvet Cake and sprinkled the green and red sparkles to top it off. She also taught me how to make her Cranberry Meatballs, that was a Christmas Eve Tradition in our home. Lastly, she made cheese balls and gave them out to friends and anyone she knew needed a little boost during the holiday months.  Eric and I sill carry on this tradition, so if you get a cheese ball during the holiday month it;s because our family loves you--DON"T THROW IT AWAY.  Mom grew her own small cucumbers, and taught me how to pickle them, I loved her homegrown pickles. Every year I went to girls camp, she was there it was comforting to have my mom with us at Camp Lo Mia, all the girls in the Stake loved her so much. I wanted to be just like that, I wanted to work in Young Women's like she did, go to girls camp like she did and enjoy all the blessings that come from serving in YW.  I have not really had an opportunity to serve in the YW program for more than 6 months, but I was able to be our ward camp director for several years in a row.   I also remember my mom giving me the 1st compliment I can remember.  She said "Monya you have the ability to get upset or mad, spit it out, then let it go, I like that about you" When Elvis Presley died, I was mowing the lawn and remember coming into the house to get a drink of water, she was crying, she really loved music, that is probably why I love music so much.  I'll never forget having to tell my mother over the phone that my brother had died, she was heart broken, she screamed "No, No" over and over then threw the phone.
Mom is with Lance now
I have tried to write and re-write so that not to offend anyone, I've decided journaling is a good thing for ME (maybe not how YOU would handle it) to be real, I've hidden for too many years, soooo--to all of you who have written me emails criticizing me for the things I blog about all I can say to you, my intentions are in the right place and coming from an authentic real me. You did not live my life and are not living my journey now.  You saw my mom give endless hours of service to others including some of you, and she did it not because she was Relief Society President, she did it because she wanted to serve, I'm so grateful for her example to me in that regard, and for the last thing on this subject, those of you who have emailed me with your criticism, I noticed not one of you took time to show your respect to my mother and come to her funeral.  So please do not bother sending me a follow up email--I said it, was upset about what you said, and now I'm over it.  This is in the Lords hands now, and I truly believe my mother wanted the ultimate goal that myself and my sisters wanted, for our family to put the pieces of the puzzle back together, but it is difficult to do that when you cannot admit there are pieces missing.  I tried many times to mend this relationship, and was given a blessing  with confirmation that this will not be resolved in this life time, unless hearts were softened and sorrow was shown.  I realize this was difficult for my mother, but was necessary on her part in order for our relationship to continue--she made her choices--and we have all had to deal with that decision.  Mom did the best she knew how to do.  I will see her again, and the Lord will solve all earthly issues. Thank you Linda for giving me permission to express my feelings here--so if you have issues please email Linda.

Beautiful Casket

Greg dedicating the grave
 I believe our lives are like ocean waves, constantly moving, sometimes those waves are further out than we can reach, but they eventually rise to meet me in a solemn comforting manner--when they do -- all is quiet and calm especially in my heart where I need it the most.  I am grateful my mother is peaceful with a complete healthy body, still I need some guidance, I believe there can be healing even in the deepest of graves--when we  humble ourselves and allow the spirit to speak--but not all is calm in my heart right now--I feel lonely and vulnerable, and I know no-one on this earth can understand what I am feeling--not even my sister Sonya--she said she felt a warm blanket of "comfort" around her during the funeral--why didn't I feel that?  Am I not worthy enough for that feeling?

When my brother Lance died I felt so guilty for not doing more to help him, it was a heavy burden I was carrying, I knelt and prayed one night for comfort and peace to fill my soul, for the Lord to let me know Lance was OK.  That night as I knelt waiting for an answer, I felt my brothers hand on mine and his voice as clear as day say "This is the Lords will, not yours, I am happy" Because of that experience I was able to move forward in faith and HOPE knowing without a doubt Lance was in a good place.

 For me, it was the start for healing when I was able to be at moms bedside and say "I forgive you" before she  passed on. It was a tender moment, and I know she heard me.

During the funeral my mother's dearest friend Susan spoke and told memories she had of my mom.  She spoke from her heart and she really loved my mom, something I will always be grateful for.  While she was speaking I thought of a talk given by Elder Bednar in General Conference October of 2009.  He talked about family love, he said that no wife, daughter, son or husband should hear the words "I love you" for the 1st time from the pulpit--this is what I heard--but not from my mom from her friend. I wish so badly I would of heard "I love you, and I am proud of you" from my mothers lips.  All I can do now is to make sure everyone I truly love and care for,  not only hear it, but KNOW it.  I understand mom may not have been able to express her love to me, because I'm not really sure if she was told as a child--maybe she was never taught by example--I don't know--all I know for sure is when I held each and everyone of my children in my arms for the 1st time I loved them--unconditionally loved each one of them.  I guess the forgiveness does not always leave you with a feeling of peace and happiness, this part will come to me in the Lord's time--It always does-so for now, I love you mom, and I know you did the best you could.


Anonymous said...

I, for one, have found your telling of your story. - in Your voice, in YOUR way, in YOUR timing - to be enormously helpful as I continue to process my own experiences. I can see your growth and increasing clarity.
Thank you for sharing, Monya.

Rachael said...

Losing our mother is never easy. Thank you for sharing your experience. I look back and wish I would have written more about when my mom passed away. Your message will reach those who need it and will comfort them in what way they need. Thank you. My heart has been touched.

lorie said...

You have become a prolific writer. Wonderful to read this, Monya. Beautifully expressed.