July 12th, 2011 -- The Carpenters (one of my favorite 60s duo) sang…”On the day that you were born the angels got together, and decided to create a dream come true. So they sprinkled moon dust in your hair of gold and starlight in your eyes of blue” (Song was “Close to You”). And today, I feel close to my angel Mama, Edna Pearl (Halbert) Wheat.
I treasure photos like this, because it reminds me of where the best of me came from. If you read my posts, you know how I make a big deal about memories and my desire to keep those who made the biggest difference in my life….alive. If ever there was an angel on earth, it was my mom. She was my mentor, role model and everything a mother should be. She selflessly gave -- "Just give me the fried chicken neck -- that's good enough for me." She always forgave -- "It's okay. God forgives me all the time. I sure can forgive you." She unconditionally loved. Her integrity and honesty were of the utmost importance to her. I'll never forget the day as a tiny tot that I saw a package of gum on the floor in the grocery store and put it in my pocket. I reasoned that "if it's on the floor, it's okay to have it". When she found it in my pocket, she took me back to the store and I had to admit my wrong-doing.
That incident and lesson stuck with me like glue. She gave me boundaries that worked -- "Let your conscience be your guide." And those words always rang in my ears when I was choosing right or wrong. She rarely missed a church service -- Wednesday night, Friday prayer meeting, women's meetings, Sunday School AND church -- twice each Sunday. That’s why, to this day, I love attending church and the sweet fellowship I find there. She sacrificed her own personal needs for my needs. She showed me undaunted faith and determination in the toughest of times when my daddy was so sick and when our finances were so meager. I heard her praying for me and my siblings from her bedroom. She was unquestionably the most tender, kind-hearted, loving, gentle, caring and pure woman I have ever known. She was and is my hero. Her example made me a better me.
The photos I’ve included in this post include Staci’s wedding and that “pretty as a picture Mom in the middle of us”, and that’s who she was in life. Right in the middle of praying for us, and praying for Staci’s soul mate to come into her life – he did! The photo of her standing up at church – is her giving praise to God – she just had to stand up and tell it. That’s how she rolled! The photo of her sitting with my siblings, is at her 90th birthday celebration. I’m the only one, in the group, still here to keep the memory alive!
Mom only saw my two oldest grandsons, Braden and Brennan, in the photo with their dad. That’s another reason to keep the memory alive for the four grandchildren that came after she went to heaven.
The photo of Mom and Shawntel is when they came to see her on November 27, 2003 to tell her “We have a baby coming!” (That baby was Brennan – our 13 year old.)
Of course I had to include my sweet mama on our wedding day. She sacrificed so much to give us such a beautiful wedding. BTW – that’s my sister’s wedding dress that I was wearing -- that saved a lot on the wedding finances!
The reason why I'm emphasizing her today, as my greatest role model, is for you and me to realize -- it's not the things or treasures or inheritance or life insurance or jewelry -- the tangible things that make us. What makes us, and the legacy we leave to our children, are the things that money could never buy. Her influence on me caused me to be honest, to love and care passionately, to put my faith in God during the best and worst of times, to give and to suck it up when I've been hurt or offended, to trust in God's plans for my life and to leave my family with something so much more than the things that can be bought. I intend to leave them the very best of me......and the very best of me is my precious mother's example.
What are those things that you'll leave to your children and grandchildren? "Her children rise up, and call her blessed...." Proverbs 31:28