I never dreamed the day would come when I am helping to take care of my mother. It stirs so many memories and thoughts of time and how it so swiftly passes, as she has been reminding me for as far back as I can remember!
When I reflect upon the influence you have had on my life, many things you have said and done are permanently etched on my "mind's eye." There was the baking, the laughing, the reminiscing, the waiting for Daddy to come home, the waiting ON Daddy, the laundry; your teaching of school, your surgeries, your deep friendships, your love of literature and the written word; holidays, camp fire girl mints, your favorite things, church dinners; what made you happy, what made you mad, what made you laugh and what made you cry.
What I love most about you is your ability to capture the essence of a story, on paper or in storytelling—how I love to hear you tell the stories of your childhood and of your mother and your daddy, Cooper, and Simpson College. Not to mention the love story of all time, you and Daddy. You taught me that romance stays alive when you work at it and want it badly enough; no matter the circumstances, no matter how much time passes.
You’ve taught me that children are God’s messengers and that children ARE to be heard and never ever ignored—“accepted in the Beloved equaled accepted in Amanda.” (Interesting, isn't it? that "Amanda" means "beloved.") You have shown me over and over--and over--that it is to the Lord we turn when we’ve simply lost our sunglasses, or when we believe our whole world is about to end. You have made me to understand that no matter what happens, you can be cheerful about it, no matter how much pain you suffer, no matter what you may lose. And that even when you’re older, it’s never too late to learn and grow and change, and draw ever nearer to the Lord.
You have taught me what "until death us do part" really means. I'm watching you serve Daddy with your own limitations, but doing it lovingly and with an intensity and devotion that only comes from years of loving one another. You're experiencing loss, and yet you are continuing on and fighting with every fiber of your being to hang on to the love that has meant everything to you.
And finally, you’ve taught me that you may lose your eyesight, but you don’t have to lose your vision. Your vision of a world that turns to the Lord, that honors men in uniform, that understands what is truth, and your vision of a time when your body will be whole, and a time when you see Jesus, face to face.
A wonderful, timeless mother, teacher and dearest friend.