[NOTE: Laura's mother, Deanna Brooks Park, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, April 23. Laura wrote these memories that were read at the funeral on Thursday. I wanted to share this with you.]
I find myself doing what I have heard so many of you doing over the years after losing a parent: wishing I could ask her one more thing, one more question. Momma’s opinion was always important to me but not nearly as important as it is today, now that I can't have it.
I read a book called 1000 Gifts by Ann Voscamp and really liked it, so I gave it to Mom and was looking forward to what she had to say about it. She generally had a childlike opinion that often-times went straight to whatever was most important. I found the book yesterday. It was full of papers, bulletins that I would look through later, but Debby, (Daddy's caretaker) sat down to read the book a bit yesterday and found Mom's notes in the front of the book.
Of course she had written notes! She had written meticulous notes about Daddy's care. She had written a note about the piliated woodpecker that wowed her from the window. She had written crazy notes about how many scoops of coffee to put in the coffee maker, grocery lists… she even wrote notes to remind herself to write notes to most of you. Of course there are notes on this book! So I tucked the note away and read it in the quiet of my room Monday night. She had written down the quotes that she found most important and they were as follows:
Whosoever will, may come…a word to live and die by.
Whoever. Ready for the first meeting of Him there.
Whoever. Soon. Will I have loved fully — or just empty?
Then the question: How does one live ready and always?
Yes, ultimately only Jesus.
Yes, this premature dying to self, birthing into the cross, life,
the grace cocoon before emerging into the life unending.
Without this Jesus, no, no one can be ready.
Mom was ready to meet Him. It was never more clear to me than the night she died. She was ready. She spent her life in that grace cocoon, taking her weakness, her troubled heart, to Jesus and watching Him turn it into peace. We will always remember her childlike trust to follow Jesus. Maybe some of you will follow her footsteps. It is a good path, the only path.