From the perspective of someone who had 12 months to live in May 2010 and is now close to 24 months of life, I appreciate time to prepare. Time for everyone to try to get used to the idea of life without me. So, on that count, I am so grateful that Mom Shumway has left us bit by bit. Even though the sorrow of her loss is still very much there, we have all had a chance to see her physically slow down, diminish, begin to transition for lack of a better way to say it. And so many people have had a chance to come and visit her and show their love for her. She has touched so many people's lives with her generosity and love and great cooking and hospitality.
Subsequent events include appreciating the fact that Mom really did have a very long and for the most part healthy life, apart from the ups and downs and annoyances that happen as we age. She had three children, seven grandchildren, six great grandchildren and one on the way. Chris has the most wonderful picture of Mom with Chris, Chris' daughter Sarah, and Sarah's first son Griffin. You can't look at it without crying. Four generations, wow!
Additionally, I have shared prayers and support with four women in their thirties who have struggled with breast cancer. They are cancer free right now, having gone through surgeries, chemo, radiation, and all the accompanying side effects. So, I am thankful that Mom didn't go through that. That she spent her time caring for others and for the most part had no serious health issues. Living a long healthy life is a blessing we too often take for granted.
I remember my mother telling me that it was terribly hard for her to come home one day from school in her early teens and find out that her beloved father, a detective, had been killed in the line of duty. She told me that she would far rather have had time to get used to the idea. So, as a final subsequent event, one of Margot's friends, Maria, lost her mother last Sunday. Maria and her 7 siblings found out that their mother had about two days to live last Friday. It was a dreadful shock to everyone in addition to the terrible sadness of losing their beloved mother. This is the opposite of the time to prepare scenario.
So, for a lot of reasons, I can't help but feel joyful that Mom was surrounded by love, and day by day took a small step on her journey into God's nearer presence. From little things she said, it seems that she knew what was happening and was looking forward to being with her beloved husband Art again. I was blessed to have her as a mother-in-law, and my kids were lucky to have her as a grandmother.
We will miss Mom Shumway always but she and Art and my parents have gifted bits of themselves to all our children, for which we are very grateful.
|Thanksgiving, 2010 -- Front row: Adam, Nate, Jack, Grandma, Josiah, and Griffin; Middle row: Judy, Kathy, Chris, Sarah and Bennett, Josh, Susan, and Me; Back row: David, John, Dan, Tom, Stephanie, and Margot.|