Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Very quickly let me share with you what I have experienced tonight.

This was the night of visitation at the funeral. It was to be from 6-8. The family met there at 5:00 to view her body and get prepared for the evening. At 5:40, the director came and said, is it OK if we let folks in now...there are already 50 people in line?! And so they came... and they came steadily for the next 2 1/2 hours! Many of you who read this blog came. And everyone's face had a smile...as they told us how Mom had impacted their lives, or how she changed their lives...or what she had taught them...or the example she set.

And every story warmed my heart. And every story made me feel proud. Not because of what I had done, but because she was MY mother. And every story blessed me with comfort.

But, most of all...every story honored her. It honored her time, and work, and energies spent in the service of the Lord. It honored her commitment to the great work of the church and the role she played in it. It honored her in front of her loved ones.

I feel that because she honored Him with her life...He honored her in her death. Even though her health had been a little shaky lately, she did not become ill and suffer long. She did not die in some sort of tragic accident where there would have been great pain. The most pain she felt was maybe 5 minutes. And, then he mercifully took the feeling of pain from her as she lapsed into a coma. She did not slip into the clutches of dementia and leave us looking after only her body. She was able minded and 'just a little less' than able bodied up until the moment the cerebral hemorrhage started.

God was so kind and gracious to her. I think He was very pleased with how she lived the life he gave her. And, so, when He decided it was time for her to go home...He chose to honor her in death.

That is a great comfort to this daughter.

'Night Mom...I was so proud of you tonight!


Adam R. Owens said...

I love you mom!

LivingTheLife said...

Oh,Tonja...what a "testimony" to an obviously GREAT and GODLY woman. It breaks my heart for you...but I know at the same time your heart is bursting with "love" for all that your mother meant to not only you and your family, but to so, so many others.

You are so right about God honoring her in death. I was told when my father died very peacefully in his sleep that the Indians had a belief that all those who had lived honoring God, helping others and living a honorable life...were rewarded at the end of their time by being taken swiftly. That always gave me such comfort knowing my dad did not suffer...and I know it is the same for you.

Love you, thinking of you and praying for you.

And to Adam...you are such a special, special young man...just as each of your brothers are...what strength your mother will garner from each of you!


Musicaljean said...

What a wonderful, uplifting time for you, Tonja. I'm so glad you could hear all those words of appreciation and receive them into your soul. You'll never forget it.

I pray that the Lord will have mercy on my dad and allow him to enter into the presence of the Lord so peacefully.

However, I have experienced it both ways, and each person had totally honored the Lord with her life. My mother (at 59) and Dick's mother (at 53) each suffered a lot before they died from cancer. My sister Janet (at 59) died suddenly in her sleep, no suffering at all.

God is God, and sometimes it's just not easy to figure Him out.

May God's grace and peace cover you abundantly today.

Sharon said...

You have touched my heart with this testimony.
Blessings to you my friend and your family!

southerninspiration said...

What a legacy she left!! I hope something similar will be said of me someday!


nancygrayce said...

What a wonderful testimony to your mother! The Lord called my father in a similar way and even though hard at the time, looking back, we see how merciful God was. I'm praying for you all!

Love Being a Nonny said...

First, I LOVE that Adam posted. I have found that when our family has gone through grief together, it brings out raw emotions and pulls us together even more. Sweet boys you have!!

I want to leave a legacy like your mother. A reminder to me to get started changing some things in myself to make a difference.

You were blessed. She was blessed. It is good to be a blessing!

andi said...

It warmed my heart to see your boys there, to see you smile in the midst of pain, knowing your mom is in the very presence of the heavenly host singing praises to our King!!!!
I am proud of you and I am learning, what it means to walk through this valley, as I watch you. God is being glorified!!!!

realestategirl said...

Just checking in on you. You and your family are constantly at the forefront of my mind.

What a sweet post in honor of your mom. And you are honoring the Lord with your precious testimony throughout this difficult time.

Love you!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

With my deepest sympathies. Your mom sounds just grand! You are blessed for sure.

Just Breathe said...

I like your thoughts on that. My own Mom, Aunt, Uncle all died quickly and they loved God. It is wonderful to hear you talk about how proud you are of your mother.
She will be missed. What a wonderful turn out, that speaks of what a wonderful person she was.

Jennifer said...

What a blessing. She raised a beautiful daughter.

Ang baylis said...

I would LOVE to have been there to give you a real hug! Okay, I just noticed Adam's comment and I could just cry. What a sweet son! I'm still praying for you!
Angie xoxo

Kat said...

What a sweet post Tonja! What a blessing for you to see and talk to all those who your Mom blessed during her lifetime.

You're in my thoughts and prayers.


Southern Lady said...

Tonya, you are such an inspiration to me, as your mother was to so many. What a beautiful tribute to her and the life she lived and the lives she touched. You are in my thoughts and prayers.