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A Letter To Mom

It’s painful knowing the only way I can speak to my mom now is through journals. It’s devastating knowing I will never see her smile or hear her voice again. I’ve kept myself so busy so that I don’t have to think about the fact I no longer have a mom. We all think our moms will be with us until were 50. I lost my mom at the age of 30. My youngest brother lost his mom at the age of 20. He’s only 20. I not only have to be strong for myself but for my siblings too. Everybody is hurting. Our mother used to always tell us every day how much she loved us.

As I went to her final memorial service that was held here. I met so many people that genuinely loved my mom from the deepest parts of their hearts. I try so hard not to think about it and focus on other things. I sat in the room filled with people who knew my mom for over 30 years. I watched elderly men crying. I have never seen so many tears in elderly mens eyes. I watched mothers torn like they lost my mother as a mother too. I saw all the unconditional love that surrounded my mom.

The tears were so much for me to bear around me because I did not want to cry again. I still felt to give them all a hug because I knew they were finally processing what I spent all week processing and still can’t come to terms with. I know my mother saw them all as her family too. My mother never had a real family growing up. She was part of the 60’s scoops movement. She only met her family as an adult. I think we need to speak up more on those topics. To me we were all family in the room that day related by blood or not.

It really touched my heart to see all the people who loved our mom. Those people were near and dear to my mom ; therefore they’re near and dear to us. It was very hard for my mom when all her children grew up into adulthood. She never let any of us go. All I wanted to do was give each and every last person a hug for giving her a place she could smile. I know they all miss her as much as we do. My mom treated everyone like her family period.

This was one of my letters I wrote to my mom that I wish I could give her but can only hope she’s reading it from heaven. One of the ladies told me to picture my mom upstairs in heaven in a purple robe. One of the men told me we all go somewhere after we die.. and we’ll all meet again in heaven. My mom really role-modeled the right way to live to me. She taught me to have compassion for all people.

Dear Mommy,

You’re my strength that pulls me through each difficult day. You’re my courage that makes me believe in a brighter day. You’re my hero when the world is against me. You’re my rock when I need a shoulder to cry on.

May I always be a fighter like you? May I always have a heart of gold like you? May I always have a unconditional loving heart with forgiveness for all people like you? XOXO.

I wish you were still here to see the gift my brother and I were working on for your birthday. At least you saw us start.

I wish you were here to see everything my siblings and I are trying to do in honour of your memory and the mark you left upon our lives.

I know you smile down on us from heaven now.

Love Always,

Your daughter.



In Memory of A Loving Mother

 

How do you write when your heart is heavy filled with emotions? How do you smile when there’s nothing to smile about? How do you cry when you have to be strong? How do you cope when you’re the one who had to be the bearer of bad news?

They say the best form of writing is when the pain is real. The pain is real. The smiles are faded into mourning. The hope is in the beautifully written cards I find as I unpack all that my mom left behind to give to certain people. A lot of people are in mourning. My mom was loved. I don’t want my pain to overshadow theirs. I had to tell the same story over and over. It’s like for a little bit you become mellow. You feel numb.

I keep listening to music trying to play my moms favourite songs. I turn it all off because it’s depression and I just start balling. Each song reminds me that one day we all will meet with death. What kind of legacy will we leave behind? What will the testimony be of our lives? Will the future generations carry on what we started or will they not want to follow in our footsteps because of our character?

I keep venting trying to show everybody the type of woman my mother was. The more I do – the more the stories continue to unfold for the legacy my mother left behind to everybody who knew her. She was a loved woman. She gave her life to GOD. She gave her life to her family. She gave her life to the less fortunate. She often volunteered at my school when we were children. She often volunteered in soup kitchens making soup for homeless people. She never saw status. She saw human being. She never saw what anybody looked like on the outside. She loved everybody for who they were on the inside.

I thought being my mother’s daughter. I was the only one she humbled. The more I open up. The more I realize the example she lead her life by humbled everyone. The word of her death has gotten so far that even strangers are honouring her life. Everybody is taking the time to talk to me even with their busy lives and let me know everything my mother might never have told me because she told them to tell me.

It was the mark she left on people that I want to leave this world with when it’s my time. In the end it doesn’t matter what we leave behind. What matters is the way the people we love see us. The people she loved see her as the kindest person they ever met. My mom never felt like greatness but in her death I’ve become well aware of the greatness everybody saw her as.

She wasn’t up there in any kind of spotlight. She just knew what it was to have nothing. She grew up and loved the person beside her and then the people beside them. She always started with her neighbour. She was a self -sacrificing woman.

This past month has been a roller-coaster ride of highs and lows. One minute I’m on a trip to Niagara visiting the beautiful falls. The next minute I’m finding out my moms cancer might be back but we don’t know the results yet. Eventually, my mom required a biopsy done. Two days after her biopsy I’m with paramedics saying: “Your mother passed on! There’s nothing we can do.” I tried not to cry. I tried to be strong. The next I’m letting everybody know so that nobody’s upset they have to find out the wrong way. It goes to show that you never know which way life will go. I thought my mom would be here for a few more years. I knew she was sick and battling with health issues. I had no idea that God would take her home so soon.

I watched my mother pass on. Now I’m mourning. I’m taking it one day at a time. One step at a time. I’ve been overwhelmed with letters, phone calls, and everything else. Everybody’s asking me if I need anything? How do you know what you need when the only thing you need is your mother back?

Your mother to push you forwards like she always did? Your mother to love you again with the unconditional that she had? Your mother to remind you who you are when the world can’t always see who you are? I am strong when I talk to everybody because I’m strong for them and their grief. After I put down the keyboard, after I turn off my phone. I cry myself to sleep.

Tears start falling from my eyes. Tears of memories I took for granted I wish I made more of. Tears of regret for apologies I feel I should of said even though I know I spent my moms last day cooking her a feast. Tears for my ungratefulness thinking we’d always have tomorrow to do all the things I planned for me and my mom when I got my dreams sorted out. I was selfish. I wanted so much to give up my self-sacrificing life to chase my dreams and become somebody that people were proud of. I failed. I forgot to see that my mom was always proud of me. That should of been enough for me. She was proud that in a world so many forget about their families. I continued to put mine first. She was proud that when I could of chose a husband. I chose to take care of her. I sometimes didn’t really know how much I was appreciated by her doing what I was doing which was helping her and my family when she needed somebody most. It was her friends who told me after she died just how much I meant to her and how she always told them to watch over me for me to understand.

They wanted to make sure I knew how much my mom loved me. They were willing to talk to me for hours on the phone to make sure I knew. I guess just when things go up – they go right down. I was fighting for something I wanted and getting close to it and just when I was right there in the process I lose my mother. My rock. My strength. My backbone.

My mom loved each and every last person she ever met. Rich or poor. She never looked at the outside of anybody. She always looked beneath the surface. If she saw you struggling she took the lowest seat to see you winning. She gave me a soft heart for all people. She always brought a million gifts just to put a smile on everyone’s face.

Every-time I brought a friend to meet my mom. My mom treated each and every last one like one of her own children. When I read all the letters from my friends over the years I realize how big my mom’s heart was. She befriended everybody and always understood that tomorrow was never promised. She shaped me into a bold courageous woman because I could never be her if I tried. She had faith in the darkest shadows. She had love in the darkest places.

She just loved everybody literally. Her forgiveness was never conditioned on anybody. It was always unconditional. She understood life in a way most of us could only dream and she had a way to the hearts of people. I think I get my heart from her. No I’m sure I get it from her. She never wanted to be a burden to anyone ever. If you all want to know how my mom felt about all of you. She loved to be everybody’s caretaker. It fulfilled her. I watched her even with cancer volunteer in every organization, festival, and event she could. I watched her raise up other people’s children so their parents could work and I watched her want the best for everybody always taking the last seat at every table literally.

I lost my mom but with each letter I read. I realize how many others lost a mom me and my siblings were blessed to share our mom with.

It’s never easy losing your mom, but now I have to learn to move forwards into the next chapter of life without her.

 

Happy Easter : The Cross

I usually have a Easter Dinner on the Sunday to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ in the form of a feast.  I usually spend Good Friday in reflection mode respecting the story of the crucifixion of Jesus. I’ve spent so many Easter Long weekends in church for as long as I can remember. It’s the story of Jesus and what he did on the cross that is recognized in Christianity as the greatest love of all. I’ve learned through it how to be humble even when life starts to crumble.

I think the story of the cross is a valuable one even if you’re not into Christianity. It teaches many valuable principles. I always feel like Easter is a time for me to build a closer relationship with Jesus, and realize what’s important in life.

I know were all excited for this long weekend. The majority of people are preparing for Easter Egg Hunts with their children, celebrating the Easter Bunny, Going on trips, and eating lots of chocolates. I’ve done all that too. I’ve also participated in trick-or-treating and parties on Halloween although it wasn’t really part of my Christian upbringing. I’ve been on my own faith journey.

I think we all go through a different growth process in our walk with Jesus, and in the end it’s for God to judge. I admire people like Mother Teresa. She created a lot of controversy like many of those in the christian faith. She also built a legacy of what it means to be humble.

Here is my reflection on what it means to be a Christian taken out of my diary:

Dear Diary, 

As a christian. This world is your battleground. You are a warrior for GOD. You are a soldier in a army (God’s army.) You are defeating an even bigger army (Satan’s army.) The earth was cursed by God with sin and death when Eve sinned in the garden of eden. The earth was given to you to tempt you to join the other side. The earth is your temptation to hold onto. The bible was given to be your staff, your sword, and your vessel. Your life was given to be your journey of faith and hope. Your challenge is ministry, and obedience to GOD. Your job is not judgement, but ministry, and prayer. You don’t know whom GOD chose. Sin was created to be so much more fun, and give you an easier life. Standing up for the cross is what you need to do each time sin tempts you. You have no shame in it. If you have a little bit of shame in Jesus, and the cross you must question your intentions. Ask yourself: Why should he have died for you? Answer: He shouldn’t of. Ask yourself: If he died for me… why? Answer: He still did. Answer: Because he is a God of love for those whom he chose. 

There are many people who question themselves every day because they understand the cross. They say: “Jesus, why did you choose me, and if you did, why me?”

 When you can finally ask yourself that question. You understand salvation is not something to find comfort in. You understand that as Ephesians 2:8-9 says it is a gift and only a gift. You don’t need to put on a show for everyone. You just need them to see through your actions and your words where you stand. You need to stand firm in your faith, and your beliefs. Your salvation remains between you and god – not you and people. Everybody made their mistakes, and everybody sins. Sometimes you will slip, but you have to remember to repent. You have to remember to ask forgiveness not just from GOD, but from those whom you hurt. They may hate you, but you must show respect regardless. People may hurt you, and break your heart. You must show respect regardless. You must set the example. The example Christ set for you. 

 They may wonder why you’re being so easy on them, and they may laugh. Remember your past, and Jesus died on the cross, and was easy on you. Remember he gave you the gift you didn’t deserve. If people don’t see your attitude. They won’t see your faith. When you fight for GOD, and God’s army. You will get mocked, spat on, laughed at, hated on. In the back of your head you will remain humble always remembering God’s promise. 

 God’s promise of eternal life, and you will continue to fight for your GOD. If your life is too comfortable. You have stopped fighting. Remember you’re a warrior. When Jesus died on the cross. He died for you so that you could live. So why do you think he would let you have a comfortable life? Get out there and let him lead you exactly where he needs you. He gave his hardest battles to his strongest warriors. His strength is already in you. You must first have faith in yourself so that he can put his faith in you. 

 Remember, it doesn’t matter who hates you. Critics will always be there. As a christian – you have no time to hate because in your heart you know you already have Jesus. 

 ”The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit and a contrite heart.” (Psalms 51:17) 

I’ve had a busy month working on projects for all sorts of things. I’ve had an emotional month as well. I think having something to keep at the center of your life is so important. I keep Jesus at the center of mine. Happy Easter!!!!

Struggling With Faith

I go into my solitude sometimes. I get down on my knees and I fold my hands together. I close my eyes. I meditate and I start saying my prayers.

“Dear Lord,

I’ve strayed far from you. I know you are a God of Grace. I know you are a God of Mercy. I know you are a God of forgiveness. I know you are a God of love. Please forgive me for the mistakes I made yesterday. Please have mercy on me for all my imperfections. Please grow me into a person who lives accordingly to your will. Please give me courage. Please give me strength. Please give me hope to face tomorrow. I just want to be the best person I can can be. In Jesus name AMEN.”

I open my eyes and I read over my poem that I keep with me through all hard times. Through every heartache, and every heartbreak.

Tele-phone-ing Jesus

by, Irene

I’m just sitting here at home.

Silently, I’m all alone.

Waiting by my phone. You got me waiting by my phone.

You got me checking. You got me checking my missed calls.

You got me counting. You got me counting our downfalls.

I keep on checking. I keep on checking my in-box.

I keep on texting. I keep on texting your in-box.

I keep on focusing, trying to distract myself with school.

Player, don’t you know – you got me looking like a fool?

You got me calling – wondering why you haven’t answered mine.

You got me stalling – asking did our love run outta time?

 Here I am still chasing ; all this time you have me wasting.

All this time I spent forgiving ; now it’s time for me to start living.

Time is up – it’s time for you to go.

All your act was only show.

All this time you had me thinking

My life just slowly sinking.

My life just fading slowly away.

My dreams wishing for one more yesterday.

Player, don’t you know? It’s time for you to go.

Yesterday, I picked up my phone.

I was attempting to dial your phone.

Someone answered ; it wasn’t you.

He told me he understood what I was going through.

All that time I spent knocking, knocking on your door.

All that time I spent begging, begging for more.

This man told me he was doing for me, what I was doing for you.

This man told me he was doing for you, what I was doing for you.

Now I don’t need to cry no more tears.

Now I don’t need to have no more fears.

Now I don’t need to feel alone.

With love, and protection, he’s filled my home.

All I need to say is THANK-YOU JESUS.

All I need to say is I LOVE YOU JESUS.

So now I’m praying for you instead.

No more troubles running through my head.

Now like an angel – I’m going to shine.

It was JESUS on the other line!

 

I had to find forgiveness for you because I knew the way Jesus always found forgiveness for me. I was raised in the church but I’ve always felt driven away by them – no matter which one. As a child I went – it was easy to memorize every verse in the bible. I’m very good at memorizing. It was easy to do good works. I have no problem doing the motions. It was easy to pay attention to the sermons, and show up every SUNDAY. My heart wasn’t in it.

Growing up in a religious home – I’ve read the bible probably more than most people. I’ve listened to it. It’s all my father ever played in his house on his surround sound speakers. I just often found it boring. I found it an obligation. I often found myself more confused than blessed by it.

Every church I go to seems to say they’re the only right church with the only true doctrine. Every single church I’ve gone to – I found something that doesn’t make sense. I prayed on it. I read on it. I did daily devotions. I was still confused. Pastors and Leaders in the church often act like they save people. They treat parishioners as if they have power over their congregations and that the parishioners should make an idol out of them like a God or a Celebrity figure.

Pastors can preach the bible to the best of their knowledge, but nobody understands it 100%. In the end it’s GOD who opens our eyes as we read through it and he gives us knowledge about who he is. Hopefully through doing our daily devotions we will come to know him and Christ as our personal lord and saviour. In the end it’s GOD who decides. God knows who is standing for him and who is standing against him.

The churches I went to always drove me away, and that’s when I didn’t have standards any-more. I didn’t have fake morals to lead my life. They worked for a bit ; eventually the discipline the church had on me wasn’t working any-more.

I was only doing the motions. My heart wasn’t in it. Baptism didn’t purify me – it was only a symbol. The church shouldn’t be able to have that kind of control over us and our lives. We should be able to live a CHRISTLIKE life without the church watching us 24/7. I believe when the church isn’t around us ; that’s when we know what our desire for JESUS really is.

I know I myself have messed up so much in my life. There was a time I hated GOD so much and I asked him: “Lord if you really exist – Why is my life so miserable?” I rejected his presence in my life completely. I became atheist, and that way I didn’t have standards to live by. This lifestyle I started to live made temptation more accessible and more acceptable.

I pushed my family away when I needed them the most. I was so miserable, so unhappy. There were days I was overwhelmed with depression. Life was a lot to bare, and I didn’t want to deal with it any-more. I wanted to escape.

Even in church I felt I couldn’t go to the people in there. They didn’t make me feel worthy of being there. I’m not the type of person who continues on in a place where I feel unwelcome and unwanted.

So WHAT DID I DO? I did the next normal thing people do. I surrounded myself by people who were like me and were willing to listen without judging me. I became my own worst enemy caught up in all the peer pressure. I found myself attracted to drama and attracted to pain. I was having pre-marital sex with men who didn’t love me. I became a handful to deal with. I was always in tears and I always felt like a victim.

I tried to be strong and hide my tears. I hid my pain in void fillers and empty relationships. I didn’t want to be anybody’s burden. I felt alone and depressed. The more I left GOD. The more I lived it. The more acceptable it became.

Society accepted it, so I guess it was okay (at the time.) I felt like the people I surrounded myself with were the only people listening to me. I felt like they were the only people who cared. I felt better like I had friends but they weren’t real friends. I couldn’t talk to them about anything because I didn’t want to be the center of anybody’s gossip.  I know how people could use prayer as gossip.

I know I haven’t always lived the best life. I know I’ve made my own set of mistakes I’m not proud of. I know how hard I tried to be nice to everyone, but the truth is, a real friend never is. A real friend tells us the truth, and tells us stuff we need to hear, not stuff we want to hear. That I wasn’t. Those are the kind of people we often push away.

Those are the same people who look out for us through the toughest times. I thank my family every day for that! They never been fake with me. At the same time sometimes being a friend is showing people tough love, and sometimes we have to let people make mistakes so that they can learn to appreciate life more. We need to be ignorant and just pray for them and let GOD do the rest.

I’ve had to overcome a lot of depression in my faith journey. I’m not perfect, but I’ve come a long way from where I was. I know everything that GOD puts us through is for a reason. God will never put us through something we can’t handle. God tests us in many different ways. Somehow, we always seem to fail God’s tests. God always knows what he’s doing even if we don’t.

I’ve learned that life is never easy for anyone. I think sometimes GOD makes our lives so miserable to see how far we will go to stand by him or stand against him. Sometimes our lives are unhappy and God puts us through things because he wants to know if were willing to stand strong in the test he has for us.

God wants to know we will never quit on him. We may preach stuff and we may teach stuff. When god comes to test us he will test us to the end of our limits to see if our faith, trust, hope, belief, and strength is really in him. At the end of the day we need to learn to have faith in the one who created us, and that he will always pull us through it.

Disobedience to GOD will only lead to more misery. No matter how bad our struggles are. We need to have the desire to do what’s right, and GOD is a loving GOD. Once we put our faith in him – he will guide our path and maybe he will bless our life, and by our example help to bless someone else’s life as well.

God is an amazing GOD full of grace, love and compassion once you understand him.

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