Keeping it real
The outpouring of love and support has been tremendous this week...from old high school classmates of Mom and Dad--from my own high school, even--to Tres Dias people I've never met, it's really been overwhelming. There have been tributes from people far and wide that I can't really fathom the scope of it. I had NO idea how many lives Mom had touched so deeply. But she had that uncanny way of making everyone feel like a close friend or relative. Just ask the ex's. She took everyone of them under her wing and made them feel like her very own children. I know my ex-wife still does. And Dad has welcomed her into his home with outstretched arms. He reiterated to me yesterday, "Tracy and Barb are just like blood to me. They'll never get too far away that I won't love them just like they are my kids. They ARE my kids."
That's how my parents are...they just love people. Mom's love, which she wore on her sleeve, drew people in. Take her Hospice nurse who she only met in September, MaryStar is now like family to all of us. She and Mom had a special bond instantly, the day they met! Only my Mom can do that. She just has that maternal instinct and that open-heartedness that she can draw you in, make you feel so comfortable just bearing your soul to her and give you a warm hug and a smile that say, "it's okay...you are loved and accepted."
So it's no wonder that every person who knew her at church, knew her from Tres Dias or just had made acquaintance with the family at some point, have such wonderful memories and feelings towards her. That part, and we've only touched the tip of the iceberg, has really blown me away.
I posted the video of her testimony from church. Even that short video of how she's stared down cancer and death with grace and gratitude has touched people who never even met the woman. Guess I never fully realized the power of Mom. She was a life force.
That's what we'll be celebrating on Saturday. I fully expect a standing room only crowd at Cicero Christian. I just don't know what I'm going to say...or how difficult it will be to say it. I've already offered to share my sister, Keely's, tribute/testimony. That's just what big brothers do. But I could be a bumbling, sniffly mess on Saturday. I don't know. It hasn't fully hit me yet. A part of me is still in disbelief. Call it denial if you will. But I haven't even been able to write about it for days...and that is so unlike me...no journal entries, no blog posts, only a few Facebook memories and photos. Being busy has been good, but now with a couple of down days and family arriving, I don't know what to expect. I'm a very emotional being, so I'm sure it's going to be rough.
Thanks for allowing me to ramble here. Leave a comment or a post on my FB timeline. Peace.