When my daughter Kimberly first learned that her Grammy was ill, she put up a beautiful tribute to Kay in her myspace.com page. Kimberly used the word "hero" to describe her grammy and grandpa. She said she would never forget the true heroes in her life.
I never really thought of my mother as a hero. Heroes are the kind of people who rescue someone from danger, I thought. All I knew is that she was always there for me, for all of us, her love for family as constant as the sun and the moon and the stars. She never failed to remember us on birthdays and holidays with cards and phone calls. If I didn't answer my phone, she would sing "happy birthday" in her voicemail. Her family was her world. Her favorite room at home is filled with pictures of family spanning fifty years or more. And up until the end, her face always lit up with happiness every time we stopped to visit.
And so the power of Mom's love was such that she attracted other people into her life who liked to call her "Mom." And she was like a Mom to them, someone they could talk to, laugh with, cry with. She had three sons - Paul, Lee, and myself. But along the way she collected a few daughters who loved her every bit as much as their own mothers, perhaps even more.
Yesterday an old friend stopped by at the viewing, someone I had lost touch with many years ago. He said he never forgot how Kay cooked him a dinner from scratch when he stopped by to see me late one night over 30 years ago, and she had only ever met him once before then. That's the kind of impression Mom made.
And so, thinking again about my daughter Kimberly's words, she was right. My Mom was a hero - my hero, too. She rescued me from the danger of a life without the warmth of her love. But since her love was always there, continuously, I never knew I was in danger. That's a true hero.
Even with her passing, I still feel her love, and I know she's in a better place now. I want to share with you something that happened to me Monday morning, the day after she died. Some of you already know this story because it is so amazing. As I walked into the bathroom I picked up a magazine. I noticed it was raining, and I thought to myself "God's Tears", because when Jesus died, God's tears came down from sky. I opened the magazine completely at random, and the very first thing I saw on page 61 was this quote: "Nobody will ever, ever love you the way your mother does." I closed the magazine and started crying. Then I opened it a second time, at random, and the very next thing I saw was an advertisement for a pendant with this caption: "In God's Hands." I closed the magazine, covered my face with my hands, and cried again. When I finally stopped crying and open my eyes, guess what: the sun was shining directly through the window.
Mom, I love you, we all love you very much. Goodbye.