The seeds of a mother’s love grow forever, and multiply.

……your little kissing machine

 

Mother’s legacy for me is in the kitchen, in making music, and on my knees in prayer.

Before I step from the podium in a few minutes, I’d like to leave you with you a poem I learned from my mother. Though I’ve spoken it to lift me, and shared it a thousand times, in 50 years I’ve cried every time, it touches me so deeply as mother’s life touched all of us here today.

– – – – – – – – – –

When my mother learned of her own mother’s unexpected passing, I was there with her in my mother’s womb. I experienced her pain and her triumphs deeper than I can put to words. I adore her, I am so proud of her, I look just like her. Our second grade pictures look like the same person.

There are many fond memories of this church, Oak Chapel, in particular the original white steeple where many of us will remember memories escorted by our mothers and fathers in little Easter suits or, for us girls, tiny new dresses with white cotton gloves; white except for the blue dye from the malted Easter eggs in our decorated baskets you could count on to find where mom would hide them each year. All you had to do was lick the candy perfectly wet and you’d have a blue (also available in pink LOL) lipstick that could last for days. My sister and I had matching orange pocketbooks with black top stitch where I also secured a single cherished Buckeye.

Very close to the time our baby brother came along, I have particular memory of mom and dad behind the pulpit one Sunday. My child heart thought they must be famous as they sang the duet, “I Heard God Today”. I can still sing to you the first verse and chorus, though I never saw the music. It was a song my mother and I continued to sing together. I love her voice. Which is excellent because I don’t get my gift of gab from my father.

Music, Homemaking, and Faith, are what I take from our time together. My kitchen knows her favorite recipes, her famous rolls, and many other recipes from the three “Oak Chapel Recipe Collections” mother made sure I have.

In fact, more than once, my punishment involved staying in the kitchen on a stool where she could keep an eye out. I like to think it was Sharon and Richard misbehaving, and mother just wanted to protect me.

But the grand consequence resulted that in 5th grade, I was ready to bake loaves of bread just like mother taught me. I baked the loaves for my history project to serve to all my classmates demonstrating the pilgrims’ journey. Mother left me alone knowing I was perfectly capable. And I was capable, and I was proud, and though it didn’t taste like mom’s loaf of bread, I proudly sliced and served it in front of my 11-year-old peers.

It was sometime later, when alone again in the kitchen, I realized that the difference between mother’s bread and mine is the difference between her 1/8 tsp salt, verses my 1/8 cup….. of salt. But mother never said a word.

Perhaps a mother’s heart truly didn’t taste the wad of salty glob she endured swallowing, but it also could have been enough reasoning for me to not trust her judgment, yet time and time again I would hop into the passenger seat of our parents’ Cessna 51060… “downwind, touch and go, on runway two seven”. My mom! was behind the wheel piloting that plane. I never, and told her so, could grasp how anyone could get excited behind the controls of a place that was so far back to the ground. But she did!!, and that was a passion inspired by her loving husband. Something they shared together; piloting for each other.

Thank you for letting me express a handful of our story. Words are, in fact, too many, yet not grand enough to voice the life my mother had the courage to live.

Each of you have your own mothers and sweet memories whether past or present, I would be delighted to listen.

Today I hold a video of my last day with mom, both of us laughing together, and dad as well. In a quiet moment that day, I asked my mother to tell me a defining moment of joy and, for her, it was an innocent time singing, guitar in hand, performing as “The Yodeling Sweetheart” on Wooster’s Radio Station. I asked for more, and she described how her favorite Aunt Virginia would come to watch and support her, along with Aunt Virginia’s two little girls, Cheryl and Carol (before Jimmy). When asked what she was singing, mother replied, “How Much is that Doggy in the Window”, which was particularly amusing to me because mother was performing, in fact, behind the sound proofing of a glass window.

There is the comforting joy of her bible never far away since she was a teenager,
the silly joys I heard so often of Sandy, and of Rosie,
this entire church family at Oak Chapel,
her brothers, and her sisters, their wives and husbands, and each of their children, Markley and Boyer.

She loves her children and gave each of them to memory John 3:16, “For God so loved the world”.

And each and every precious grandchild holds their special place in grandma’s heart.

Above all, above all, the undying love for her husband, our father, a great and admirable man in his own rite. Their entire 59 years together, mom made clear that dad is her gift from her relationship with God, her heavenly father. Their wedding bands engraved with the message, “He and Thee in Me”. They lived that tri-fecta. No divide.

Luke 17:21
“Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there(it is)! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”

And so is our comfort today, as you live in your heart, the very kingdom of God, thereto lives mom. For to die in Christ, is to live.

 

Today upon the bus I saw a pretty girl with golden hair,
She seemed so gay, I wished that I could be so fair.
But then, as she arose to leave, I saw her hobble down the isle.
She had one leg and used a crutch,
And yet, she passed me with a smile.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two legs, the world is mine.

 

And then I stopped to buy some sweets,
The lad who sold them had such charm,
If I were late, would do no harm.
Please stop again. It’s nice to talk with folks like you,
Because you see, he said, I’m blind.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two eyes, the world is mine.

 

And then, I passed a little boy with eyes of blue.
He stood and watched the children play, it seemed he knew not what to do.
“Why don’t you join the others, dear?”,
But he stared straight ahead without a word,
And then I knew, he could not hear.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two ears, the world is mine.

 

With legs to take me where I go,
With eyes to see the sunset glow,
With ears to hear what I would know,
Oh God, forgive me when I whine,
I’m blessed indeed, the world is mine.