Yesterday morning I attended a memorial for an amazing lady. Linda was a wife, a mom, an educator, an advocate, and a warrior in her battle with cancer for more than a decade. Her story is one of triumph in the face of adversity, strength in the struggle, and courage to face each new day with unflappable faith. She is survived by a husband, daughter and son.
As a mother, she was her children’s advocate, cheerleader, teacher, counselor, security, provider and friend, to name a few. Each image on the screen contained it’s own story of a life well lived. Her children never questioned her love for them. I had the pleasure of teaching and coaching her daughter while she attended the school where I work.
My most vivid memory of Linda, comes from late last spring when her daughter was in the hospital for health issues of her own. Linda lovingly attended to her daughters needs, was always in arms reach, and advocated for her offspring; all the while was having to make trips to another medical facility for her chemotherapy appointments. Though her frame was frail, her heart was covered in courage and her smile – infectious. Laughter continually consumed the room as we all exchanged tidbits and takeaways from our own recent experiences.
After the slideshow laden with stories, it was time for her friends and loved ones to share. Her courage and the content of her character were continually conveyed through each of the memories spoken. Though she did many incredible things in her short life, her heart for others, her ability to love without reservation, was the common thread that wove together the pages and paragraphs people passed on of her story. When her daughter stood to share, it was then that the empathetic ache in my heart became horrendous heartache for her loss. This young lady who has grown up so well under her mom’s tutelage, was now left to go it alone. Not really alone, but without her best friend by her side. The arms that were so quick to hug and hold her, now in heavens hands. What made the most lasting impression, was that at all of seventeen, her daughter was able to recognize and relay that though she will desperately miss her Mommy, she knows that she is in a much better place. The suffering silently endured for so long, stopped. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4) His comfort for the family, extremely evident as each was able to express a sort of celebration in the midst of such sorrow.
How will I be remembered? Will I be recalled for what I have done, or will it be for who God has made me to be? Though I hope to accomplish whatever He calls me to do, I desire even more, to walk out all of my days as who He is calling me to become. I long for His light to illuminate the dark places, His love to embrace the hurting, and His kindness to clearly convey immeasurable worth to those who desperately need to hear. I want to forego fear and love without reservation.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present