My Mother’s Eulogy

Names omitted of those mentioned for privacy reasons

My Mother’s roots run deep in this area. A few blocks from here is the place of her earliest child hood memory, a military funeral, over in the cemetery by Old Salem of a cousin who died in a B-17 in World War II. That memory stayed with her most of her life causing her to dread the sound of taps even when I was a Boy Scout. I can’t help but imagine it pushed and drove her deep into her catechism as a young girl.

In her catechism, it would have read: “The Spirit’s work in people’s lives produces a •transformation of character, making the person more and more like Christ (•sanctification).” She understood it was a lifetime journey, a walk hand in hand with the Spirit.

My mother took delight in her walk growing in knowledge and understanding. An engineer by trade, historically significant in her work on the Safeguard Missile Program, she loved gardening, particularly roses. She loved birding, not just the knowledge, but she loved them as the wonderful little creatures they are… well except for Mocking Birds.

Her life as a mother taking a willful, sometimes reckless son to the emergency room for a flattened nose, numerous deep tool cuts, falls, burns, scrapes, bike wrecks, etc. made her agree with a saying of mine later in life that “the fact that any male child makes it to the age of 20 proves the existence of God.”

She loved baking, and as only an engineer baker would know, she knew the few millimeters difference between a muffin pan and a cupcake pan. In her the aesthetic and the practical merged. She loved photography and would spend hours getting details right in Photoshop for cards she designed making sure the image communicated the emotion.

She placed me in art education at an early age and though disturbed by, tolerated my propensity for drawing and painting B-25s, air combat, and Greek and Phoenician battles.

From her I learned to appreciate music beginning with Bach and continuing through most of the composers that the Winston-Salem downtown library had in their collection.

She took me to the Smithsonian numerous times. Even standing in line six hours to see the King Tut exhibit.

Her love for David is clear from the pictures here. An immeasurable blessing to us both for 37+ years.

She was delighted to have my wife, as her daughter-in-law and considered her a great blessing.

She loved her family and was delighted her granddaughters progressed beyond their high school educations. Her love of art, the aesthetic, and design blossomed in her oldest granddaughter, her love of plants of all kinds and their care in the next oldest, and her desire to help others and her curiosity about the mind in the youngest.

The full weight of the later part of her journey here in this life I only glimpsed and understood recently.

This later portion of her journey and testimony I can only compare to Frodo’s in the Lord of the Rings. Unbeknownst to all but David, she knew in 2002 she had Alzheimer’s while caring for her mother who had the same disease, four years before her mother passed.

Long before anyone else would witness it in her, she knew she had it and continued to do her best to remain cheerful and enjoy life, never publically complaining of the burden she bore. And she continued to help others bear their burdens designing cards of sorrow and of joy. Making disciples without thinking about it.

She allowed the Lord to continue to shape her journey from that early lesson of her catechism

Her journey hasn’t ended, it continues. May we go and do likewise.

I close with the final lines of a book Mom purchased for her grandchildren entitled, Guess how Much I Love You, by Sam McBratney. The book begins with Little Nutbrown Hare asking the question to his father Guess how Much I Love You and stretching his arms as wide as they could go. The lengths get longer and longer through the book. It ends with the son dropping off to sleep and the father whispering, “I love you right up to the moon, and back.”

When we’re there together with her, if love there could be measured by length or breadth or depth, it would greatly exceed that of to the moon and back. Our love for each other there will only be exceeded by that of our Lord.

I love you Mom, and I know we’ll see each other again. I loved our journey together and look for to the continuance

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