My mother went on to heaven in 2009. There are an infinite number of things I could say about Mom. I could name them all and still not pay her adequate homage. (Plus there isn’t space to do so.) I will tell one story that has had a lasting impact on my life. I’ve spent most of my life in and out of hospitals. She was always there. During my last almost yearlong hospital stay when I was 27, Mom and Dad were almost always by my side for all of those months. For a good deal of the time, I hallucinated, heard strange and evil voices in my head, and just didn’t know what was real and what was imaginary. At one point—for about a month—I didn’t trust anyone in the hospital and that included Mom and Dad. I sincerely believed everyone was out to get me. Mom told me something I will never forget, “Ben, you may not know what’s real, you may not know who you can trust, but you can always trust God. He is always real.” In essence, that encapsulates Mom’s greatest lesson to me. She is a huge part of why God is always real to me and why I always trust Him above all others. And she is still teaching me. I often read excerpts of her many devotional diaries. (She urged me to do so.) Her amazing love especially for God, but also for Dad, her children, her parents and siblings, and to a lesser but still great degree her friends, shines through every verb, noun, and adjective. She passed her mantle to her children, and that mantle of godly devotion is being passed down to my nieces and nephews. But this has certainly not made her passing—which is still keenly felt—any easier for any of us. When Mom passed off, it was like learning to live without the sun. In my darkest moments, I remember how Mom told me that night in the hospital that I could always trust God, that He is always real. Mom is gone from this earth, but her love and honor live on. And I know there are billions of other amazing mothers out there worthy of honor and respect. Happy Mother’s Day to you all!
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