These are the thoughts I provided to the pastor who preached mom’s funeral on November 22, 2015:
Lessons Learned from Linda
One of the things we remember most about mother is her daily routine of kneeling by her bed every night to pray. At night, near bed time, if you went into mom’s bedroom (or just walked by and peeked in the door) you would find her there on her knees by the bed in prayer. It was understood that you would stand there and wait until she was finished. She never talked about her nightly ritual. No one except those of us in the house probably even knew she did it. We know she spent countless hours on her knees praying for us and the things going on in our lives and we want you to know that she did the same for many of you. She believed in the power of prayer and would encourage you to cast your cares and worries on Him.
2. Spend time with your family.
As young children, we were taken every week to visit our grandparents. There was a time when this seemed boring and we didn’t always enjoy it. Mom explained that we would not always have our grandparents and we needed to visit and appreciate having them in our lives as much and as long as possible. This made a very strong impression on us and we tried to follow her example and visit her and dad as much as possible. She taught us that time is the most valuable gift you can give and receive from a loved one.
3. Look for the positive in every situation.
One of mom’s doctors recently said to her, “I wish all of my patients had your disposition.” She looked for the good in every situation. She could get bad news from a test or blood work and would hold on to any one bit of positive information. Instead of focusing on the negative and feeling sorry for herself or complaining, she would focus on the positive. Blessings can be found in dire circumstances…but you have to be willing to see them. Linda would remind us to look for something positive.
4.Take life one day at a time.
One Sunday morning, I (Vanessa) went to see mom in the hospital before church because that is when I knew we would have some alone time. She began to tell me about the conversation she had with Bro. John the evening before. She said, “No one want’s to hear the word cancer, but when it happens to you, you have to just take it one day at a time; that’s all you can do…and I’m not worried.” So mom (Linda) would say to each of us, “No matter what you are facing, take your situation one day at a time.”
5. Live every day so you can say “When He comes, I am ready.”
On Tuesday evening, we could see that there had been a change in mom. As we were giving her the evening meds, we told her how much we loved her and I told her, “Momma, we are going to miss you so much. We don’t want to lose you, but when those angels come, its o.k. for you to go. We will take care of daddy.” After a few moments, she said “when He comes, I am ready.” I think mom would remind us all that this is not our home…and we should endeavor daily to be ready when we are called home.