Today would have been my mom's 66th birthday. I loved this woman for so many reasons. She has been the most influential earthly person on my life. She taught me the meaning of commitment. When my dad died in 1983, mom decided that she would focus on the kids. She would say, "I stood up in front of the church and told everyone that I was marrying Merlyn and only death would part us." She could have dated and married (we would have welcomed that for her) but she was unselfish and gave her life to us boys. What a great lesson for me and my brothers.
She also taught me how to die as a follower of Christ. She battled with breast and brain cancer for the last six years of her life. She did not fear dying because she knew she would be in heaven. Her only desire was for her family to join her someday in heaven. I am reminded daily that I need to live and die for Christ. I must tell everyone about Christ as I live and when I die I want people to see how Christ changed my life.
I am often brought to tears as I talk to Calvin about Grandma Schmidt. One day as I was telling Calvin about Grandma Schmidt in heaven he said, "Can we call her so I can say hi?" I wish we could, Calvin. However, we have great joy in knowing that she is in heaven because she put her trust in Jesus Christ. Toward the end of her life she realized that just going to church did not make a person a Christian. She realized that being a good person was not good enough. She realized that she needed to trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. She would have loved Calvin and Teddy Dean. I can imagine her laughing at Calvin's crazy statements. She would have loved Teddy's open mouthed kisses. Shopping for "Cars" toys would have brought her great joy.
Mom brought me such great joy in her life and in her death. I want my boys to know about mom's laughter, her love for snacks, her sweatshirts and sweatpants, her cats...but most of all I want them to know what a life given to Jesus looks like.