My mama always told me “Robbie, don’t wish your life away”

That’s something I can say my mama never did. She made every one of her 90 years on this earth count.

From teaching young children how to problem solve with her 5 count, too counseling many women with marriage and family advice, to learning how to play canasta with the ladies at her retirement home, she was a person who never stopped growing and learning. 

When I was a teenager, I asked my mama what it felt like to be old, she laughed and she said “Nothing changes on the inside just what you see on the outside”  I remember the first time my sisters and I took her to Bella Vista retirement home to see if she wanted to live there. My mama looked around and said in a loud voice “I can’t live here, these people are all old”  we chuckled knowing she was about the same age as everyone else.

My mama modeled many things to me throughout her life. Strength and courage as she willingly followed my father on many crazy adventures during their marriage. Faithfulness, grace and forgiveness as she walked through years of hardships with her teenage and adult daughters. She was a woman who never gave up on her family, always praying, always believing! 

My mama paid attention to her words, many times choosing to speak words of encouragement rather than lashing out in anger. She would repeatedly tell us we could have our 10 minutes pity party and then we needed to get over ourselves and start thinking God’s thoughts, not my own. Her favorite quotes were “Stop that stinking thinking”

Saturday December 7th, 2016, my mama went to be with her father God. Saying goodbye is never easy, but when you have to say goodbye to your mom, it is one of the hardest things in the world.  I wondered how the days and hours would play out; I scripted it in my mind, but even the best writer could not have written a better ending for such a godly woman. 

I will never forget the blessing I received as I gave her her last shower, or the joy I felt putting her pretend lipstick on so she would feel pretty again. I remember feeling honored that she would reach out. She was afraid and struggling to breathe, remembering all the times she wrapped me in her arms when I was a fearful little girl.

 At the end of her life, it was the privilege of holding onto her hand as we sang her favorite songs that will stay in my memory forever. 

 My mama never wished her life away, she lived it on purpose and she lived it well, loving and serving people but most of all loving and serving God!