Today marks the first anniversary of my mother-in-law’s death. I wrote the following on Facebook soon after her passing, but wanted to share it again.
“Yesterday, my beloved mother-in-law passed from this life. Often you hear about people who embody heroic portions of kindness to all people. We had the rare privilege of living with one. Leslie impacted so many people through her sheer kindness, gentleness and sacrifice. No matter who you were, you were always accepted and cared for. Others were always more important than herself. Whether it was a plate of food, an extra $20 to help meet the bills, or a kind word, she genuinely gave to everyone. She gave like she was the richest person on earth. And quite frankly, I think she was.
“As long as I knew Leslie, her heart’s desire was to ultimately be in Jesus’ presence. Yesterday, she was rewarded with her greatest desire. I can only imagine her joy of seeing her Friend and Savior welcome her with his loving arms and whisper, ‘Welcome home my good and faithful daughter!’”
A year has passed and it has been a difficult one. We have celebrated birthdays and holidays, but they have not been the same without her. And it pains me that my family will celebrate new and significant milestones without her.
I miss her smile and her voice. I miss the small things she would do. Just yesterday, I saw a woman eating a donut the way mom would hold her food and I felt the pang I’ve felt throughout this past year.
I miss you, mom.
Update: After posting this, Debbie left a beautiful “first year in heaven” tribute to her mom on Facebook. I wanted to include it in this post because it provides such a beautiful image of Leslie and expresses the immense hole in our lives that her absence has created.
“It has been one year since my Mama was welcomed into Heaven. We miss you Mama! We miss so much about you. Your sweet voice, your loving hugs, your smiles and funny jokes. We miss how much you made us feel loved and lovable. We miss your singing out praise songs and hymns throughout the day. We miss you “getting our honey”, that always made us smile and laugh. Nobody could soothe me better when I was sick; it was like you had the best recipe for toast and tea. Thanks for all the times you made baby tea for us when we were little and needed some special treatment. I have never met a more compassionate and giving woman. I have seen you give of yourself over and over without a complaint and yet I haven’t learned to be enough like you. I will keep trying to learn from your example.”
“Until we meet again, sweet Mama, we will remember you and the love of God that you have shared with us. We will remember that you taught us to trust and follow Jesus. We will remember that you taught us to pray and sing hymns and praises to God all through the day and when we wake up at night. You are often in our thoughts. In our selfishness we wish you were here but we know that you are in a much better place. Happy first year in heaven!”