Saturday, November 3, 2012

And We STILL Rise UP and Call her BLESSED!

1 whole year has passed since you went home.  I can't believe that much time has passed already, yet it seems like yesterday.  Time heals all wounds, but it is still hard here without you.  So often I think of you.  Things I remember, things you taught me, things you showed me and probably didn't know you were, just by being you.  We try to tell Kaylynn about you and show her pictures and she points and smiles.  She jabbers to your picture.  I tell her every time she does it, that she sure would be the apple of Grandma Slagenweit's eye. :) 
There are times I just break down because I miss you so much.  Especially right now for me.   With the things going on with me and my family,with my Mom having Leukemia I feel like I really need you now more than ever.  I know not only would you be there for me, but you would be there for us.  To listen, to encourage, to share faith and just be my (our) rock.  No one really knows how close I felt to you.  I talked to you about many, many things.  You were one of my closest friends.  How many people can say that about their Mother in Laws??  David is a little different than I.  He is silent about it, but I know he misses you more than I do I'm sure.  We both dream of you quite a bit.  I just had another one the other night again. 
"Enjoy the little things,
for one day you'll look back,
and realize they were
the big things."
~Robert Brault
A few pics (in random order) to share memories of Mom. (a few of Billions)
 Her and her only grand daughter, Kaylynn.

 Made us a meal after having Kaylynn.
 Such a proud Grandma.
 I always looked forward to the Mother/daughter banquets!! :)
 Miller Reunion, another favorite time together!

 Giving us our food instructions for the reunion. LOL!
 Some more of the gandkiddos.
 At the time it was all of the grandkids, but now you have to add Kaylynn and Carter. :)

Mother of the Year award!!! Mother/daughter banquet 2011.
Today we are celebrating the life and honoring the memory of the woman we are blessed to call “mom”. In the 56 years that God gave her, she influenced all who knew her for good.

In those early years, Mom poured her life into molding, training, and educating us how to live for God. She did that primarily by example. The people we have become is largely a result of her labor and prayers. She was committed to her marriage and to us which gave us a sense of stability and belonging. Her tenderness and gentle spirit soothed many a childhood heartache. When we were little, she took time to read to us before nap-time, play hide and go seek, take care of splinters and listen to our dreams. During our junior high years she tackled homeschooling long before it was popular so that she could give us a solid education. As we grew older Mom somehow knew how to balance giving us responsibility while being a constant support, helping us navigate those fun but challenging “teen” years. Listening when our dreams got smashed, laughing at the things that were funny and sometimes the things that were not funny and being someone to lean on came naturally to her. It was during that time we became aware that our mom had become our best friend.

Mom will be remembered for many things but perhaps the common thread that ties our memories together was her genuine love for others that exhibited itself through an unquenchable servant heart. Her giving heart and sacrificial service extended far beyond just our home. The number of meals, pots of vegetable soup and pans of sticky buns that left her kitchen bound for other destinations are innumerable. The hours she spent on the phone listening to other’s hurts, the number of people who confided in her and wanted her advice, and their secrets that she carried with her will only be known in eternity. We shared our mother with many of our friends through the years and she treated them like family.

It may be that the most important lessons she taught us were since that day she had a stroke almost 15 years ago when it became clear that the path God had chosen for her was going to involve challenges that most people aren’t asked to face. Instead of asking “why”, or becoming bitter, we watched her surrender to God’s will knowing that it would test her inner strength beyond human endurance. As we watched her learn how to use a fork and spoon again and comb her hair and accept the fact that there were some things she would never be able to do again, we watched a strength emerge that would carry her through many a setback and disappointment. We learned from her what it’s like to cling to the truth about God’s character through very dark days and watched her find grace from God that defies human explanation. As the disease did its work of robbing her body of strength and vitality the inward beauty and character she possessed shined all the brighter. And we thanked God for allowing us the privilege of watching Him make a spiritual giant who would quietly impact everyone she came in contact with. She became a spiritual hero and our hearts echo the songwriter who said,

"We got the news this morning that you had slipped away

And it seemed our hearts were broken, it couldn’t end this way,

But then we saw through Spirit eyes what an entrance you must have made

Running to the arms of Jesus, finally home to stay.

You were a hero of the faith, a soldier of the cross,

Singing out the grand old story

Jesus saves the lost

And even though you’ve laid your armor down and passed the torch

You are our hero of the faith, strong soldier of the cross."
Thank you God for giving us a hero.
Written by Marianne, Jennifer, David, and Jonathan for her funeral.

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