It's been 6 years since Gabe's mom left us for Heaven. Her body ravaged by cancer, her spirit bright and resilient, she clung to life and the people she loved with amazing tenacity. Her faith in Jesus is what really made her special though. It made her trust and love and pray and sacrifice and show kindness in a way I couldn't understand. I was an often ungrateful recipient of her love, and she loved me anyway. Only the Holy Spirit inside a person can do that. She showed Jesus to me by forgiving me when I had no right to expect it. She served us wanting to always stay in the background. She was an example and a friend to me as well as a mother in law.
I know how much she would love hearing all about this trip. Maybe she even would have joined me! Once she finished setting Gabe and the kids straight trading off with my mom, of course. Mary was a homebody, but she would feel very comfortable in Ukraine. When I'm heating water on the stove for my bath because there's none in the building, I think of her. She did it just to save electricity! When I see the grandmas here with their chickens and enormous gardens, I could see her in them. Minus the headscarf and long skirts. When I go to the orphanage and am surrounded by kids needing love, I know she would be with me. And when Asher(or Anya!) needs a good dose of respect I know she would have my back!
How do I know this? I'm married to her son.
"I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also." 2 Timothy 1:5
"Her children rise up and call her blessed" Proverbs 31:28
"All your children shall be taught by The Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children" Isaiah 54:13
Mary's faith in Christ and unconditional love are bearing fruit in our lives like you wouldn't believe. (She always did have a green thumb!) God took her home, but He continues to work far above and beyond every prayer she prayed over us. I can't wait it catch her up on all of it someday. Until then...We miss and love her. She left us an enduring heritage of faith.