Monday, October 25, 2010

Reaching Down from Heaven...

This is the only picture I could find of just the two of us as adults...so glad to have it...
I couldn't have known on this very special day that it would be the last big event in my life that my mom would be present.  She passed away just four years later on October 25, 1997.  It has been thirteen years.  My sisters each have two children, plus my three, so mom would have had seven grandchildren today...something she wanted very badly!
Martha Valeria Owens Bartles
~
She was a beautiful woman with a gentle and quiet spirit...elegant and yet adventurous!  Last night, I enjoyed showing the children old photos of mom rafting down the Colorado river, skiing large mountains and playing on the lake.  She was the picture of 'health' when she got sick and the doctors  gave her only six months to live. 

We did not grow up attending church regularly, and I knew very little about the Lord.  The Lord found each of us...my sisters and me at different times in our lives.  When my mother was sick, she asked us how we each knew the Lord.  It was such a blessing to share how God had worked on each of us and plucked us from the lives we were living and from the choices we were making!  

On the day that she passed away and after many months of suffering, my oldest sister whispered in mom's ear, "Reach up to Jesus when you are ready.  He is reaching down from heaven ready to take you home."  Reaching up was the last thing she did.  She was only 54 years old.  

I find such comfort in my sweet memories.  The Lord provides comfort to me from the loving arms of my husband, my sisters, and my dear friends...and my children.  They each possess some beautiful qualities of my mom.  Never again will I feel the loving embrace that only a mom can give, but when I hold my children, I feel it in a strange way...a hug that says, "everything is going to be okay."

Hospice has been very dear to our hearts and we were blessed to see a Hospice facility built in our own town with a room dedicated in my mom's name!  We had some beautiful flowers from our shower this weekend, so we decided to take those to someone at Hospice.  I took my oldest daughter and my niece and we delivered these lovely flowers with a prayer, "Lord, bless the person who receives these flowers and that as she finds death near, she would reach up, as Jesus is reaching down...Amen."
Logan Jackson (12 years old) and my daughter Ashlyn (eight years old).  When I was pregnant with Ashlyn, the 'due date' that was given to me was...October 25. 
I am a bit late posting this 'life lesson,' but it comes from the book of Job,

"The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the
name of the LORD." ~Job 1:21

While life has offered much tragedy and the 'Lord has taken,' He has also given much, and I am praising His name always! 
~
Hug your mom today and when you do, absorb that sweet, gentle loving embrace that only a Mama can give!

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21 comments :

food for thought said...

my eyes are streaming with tears, so beautiful...

Gail @ Faithfulness Farm said...

A beautiful post and a wonderful way to *honor* your dear mother.

Blessings!
Gail

* French Farmhouse 425 * said...

~*HUGS to you..such a beautiful post..I am speechless..and crying now...xo Rachel~*

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Bless you today Christie. I too lost my Mom when I was young. My Mom passed away after I married, and never knew her grandchildren either. But I was an only child, so I did not have anyone to share in my grief, except the precious Lord and my sweet husband. It's been many many years since my Mom went to be with Jesus, but I still miss her. The blessing is, that we will be reunited one day.

Jocelyn

Design Love said...

Beautiful! Sorry for your loss, I'm sure she looks down and sees her beautiful grandchildren and sees what a wonderful mom you have turned out to be.

Cindy
xo

Karen said...

Christie, what beautiful and heart melting words. What a special blessing to have had a room named in memory of your mom at the hospice facility. Hospice has touched my life as well. They are wonderful! So sweet of you and the girls to carry the flowers. I could continue with comments how you have let the words be said. Bless you and may you fill the Lord's arms reaching around you today with encouragement.

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Christie, What a beautiful, intimate and so very touching tribute to your Mom! ANd what a witness to the world.
As I wipe the tears away that are running down my cheeks, I am so grateful to have stopped by to read this!!! My mother, 79 is still with me, living a heathly and fruitful life close by. We talk every day. You have just made it even more important to call her today.
I also have a 25 year old daughter... and I hope she love me like you love and remember your MOM!
Your life is her legacy!

My husband is a dr. We love hospice for the gentle and respectful way they treat those who are finishing their journey on earth.

I will always remeber to reach up when my time is near. Long ago I asked Jesus if He wouldn't mind coming to get me personally!
Blessings to you! Thank you for your kind words.
xo Yvonne

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

I also must add, you were a stunningly beautiful bride!
xo Yvonne

Vanessa said...

Oh Christie! The tears overflowed as I read this beautiful dedication to your loving mother. I don't want to ruin it by saying too much but thank you for sharing this with us and revealing a little bit more about your life and your heart. Your mother must have been wonderful to raise such a lovely (inside and out) daughter! And to know that you will someday see her again is an assurance like no other! Someday I would love to hear more of your testimony.
Blessings to you my friend,
Vanessa

Erin@likegrandmas said...

Funny enough, my mom's name is Christie(spelled just like yours), so you always remind me of my mom... Love to you and your family.

Hugs,
ERin

La Table De Nana said...

My friend sent me your post ..I had not seen it and I follow...she's quicker than I am..Jain..

I love this post..
I miss my mom every day..she was 55.I was 19.
I'm sure your mom is happy you are introducing us to her in this lovely manner.You would love Celestial Charms blog:)

You both look lovely.

The kids too:)

Christie said...

Thank you all for your warm and sweet comments...what comfort they bring! Erin, funny about the name! My mom was undecided...it was going to be 'Ashley' or 'Natalie!' I am not sure how she chose Christie!

It's me said...

What a beautiful post.....tears in my eyes..............love you Ria.......

Debbie said...

Oh, my heart just breaks reading this. I haven't felt the pain of losing a mother yet, but I know what it's like to love one.

You had (have) a beautiful one, and I'm sure you're told this often, but you look just like her. I know it feels like yesterday that you lost her, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for such a beautiful and inspiring post. My mom passed away 3 months ago the 24th. It's still so fresh and when you say you'll never feel the hug of a mom I know what you are saying. I miss my mom so much. I hope that time has helped you heal. That is what I am praying for. God Bless you today and every day.

Connie said...

Christie,
How beautiful and special. Aren't we so fortunate that we have a God that takes care of every detail. What excitement we have too to know we will see our mother's again and the legacy they leave through our children.
Thank yor for being an awesome friend- another part of your Mom in you! Connie

I Love Pretty Little Things said...

This is such a beautiful and honoring post about your Mom. It is obvious how much you love and respect her. What an amazing story of her passing- reaching up to Jesus. What peace that must give you. The morning of the day that my Mom died she reached up several times and then her arm would just drop. Was she reaching for Him? I think so...
I hope that as you miss her you also experience great joy during this time, as you remember all of the sweet things that made her her.
Love & Prayers,
Joyce
P.S. Don't you think that she at least gets to hear about those wonderful grandkids of hers? I do. :)

Tyla said...

How lovely! Thank you for sharing.

Lindy said...

What a wonderful tribute to your mom and how blessed I am to still have mine.

All That Glitters said...

speechless and beautiful!

Brambleberry Cottage said...

Oh, Christie, how wonderful that your precious mother was still here for your wedding. She was so young when she left this earth. I will be 54 in April, so your words really struck close to home for me. We truly must live each day as though it is our last. "This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it."

Blessings,
Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage
http://thebrambleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

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