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My Mom died Thursday, October 17, 2019. Just a couple weeks ago. My family and I flew out to Colorado from Mexico for the funeral service. Below is a tribute I wrote in memory of Mom for the service.

Mom, Wonderful Mom

My Mom was a lot of wonderful things.

She was a rescuer.

One of the earliest memories I have is when I was about four or five years old and I was climbing a tree in our backyard, back when we lived in Denver. I fell out of the tree, but didn’t fall all the way to the ground because my foot got in a crook of the tree and I ended up hanging helplessly upside down. I yelled, “Mom, help me!” She came right away and rescued me from my unfortunate predicament.

Another time, when I was about the same age, I went downstairs to our freezer for something. It was full of frost, which to a five year old kid looked a lot like a giant Popsicle, so I licked it. Much to my surprise, my tongue stuck to it. It’s kinda hard to yell, “Mom, help me!” when your tongue is frozen to a hunk of frost. Whatever noise I managed to make, mom heard it and came to my rescue. That’s the thing about wonderful moms – they have a habit of coming to the rescue of their kids.

Mom was also a gardener. She always loved growing flowers and vegetables. We came out to visit in July of 2016, and I remember Mom out every morning watering and weeding her little flower garden in front of the house, or tending to her vegetable garden off to the side. Sometimes the jack rabbits would come into her garden and eat her plants, which drove her crazy. She kept telling Dad to get his gun and kill them, and she declared that if he didn’t, she would. I have to chuckle a little, thinking of Mom out with the .22 taking pot shots at rabbits. In one of the last emails I received from Mom, she attached some photos of the flowers she enjoyed so much. I love gardening at least as much as Mom did, and I am growing some zinnias and sunflowers at the Home for Needy Children in Mexico where I serve. I took a few pictures of my flowers and meant to send them to Mom, but got too busy and never sent them. A word of advice – never get so busy that you don’t send flower pictures to your Mom.

Mom was a Bronco fan. Every Sunday after church and after eating a delicious meal, we would gather around the TV to root, root, root for the Broncos. More often than not the Broncos would disappoint us with a losing effort. They weren’t so good back in those days. Nevertheless, we would tune in the following Sunday hoping for a big win. The last email I received from Mom, she told me that she was able to go to sleep happy, because the Bronco’s FINALLY won a game. I can’t help but think that it was one of God’s small graces that Mom died Thursday morning and didn’t have to endure that terribly poor performance by the Bronco’s that night.

Most importantly, Mom was a woman of God. I don’t know what day I was born on, but I bet if I was born on a Saturday, she would have had me at church the next day. She had that kind of commitment to the things of God. Growing up we were in church Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night. Every morning when Mel and I were growing up, Mom would read a devotional to us while we ate our Cheerios and Captain Crunch. Every night when we were young she would read us a Bible story from a childrens Bible Story book she bought. Sometimes she would let us choose a story. I always chose the Samson story. I loved that story.

We all came to faith in Jesus Christ because of Mom. Because of her diligence, perseverance, and faithful prayers for us, Dad, Mel and me are serving the Lord. There’s nothing more powerful than the prayers of a devoted mother for her family. My past – growing up in the Faith, and my present – serving God at a Home For Needy Children in Mexico, and my future – one day being in the immediate presence of God in glory, and being reunited with Mom, are all because of my wonderful Mom.

Some people take their Mother’s kindness, goodness and love for granted. That’s not good. Many of the children at the Home for Needy Children are there because their mother’s have abandoned, neglected or abused them. I thank God everyday for my Mom, I think of Jesus who loved us and gave himself for us. It reminds me of my Mom who loved me and gave herself for me, and for her family and many others along the way.

One of my favorite Christian songs has a line that says, “I am blessed beyond all measure.” Thanks to Mom, I can look back on my life and I can say with confidence that I, too, am blessed beyond all measure.

Thanks Mom.

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