Eulogy spoken & written by Matt
Eulogy spoken & written by Luke (with some comments from Liz & Rachael)
Matt's eulogy to Mom:
Some people are givers and some people are takers. If you spent very much time with Linda you know for a fact that she was an enormous giver. My mother was a very caring person. She was always there to offer her comfort, help or support. I can't even begin to remember the number of times she said to me, "Don't worry, it'll all be OK," and it would be. Mom was the first to pick up another's burden and the last to lay a burden on anyone else. Mom always gave us more than we needed. She gave and we took, she gave more and we took more. How much more, I hadn't realized until the last year of her life on this earth. My mom was a rock and a huge anchor in the troubled waters, always prepared to offer a cheery voice and big smile that could diminish any woe I had. My mom was also a master gardener who planted many seeds in her 61 years of life. Some of those seeds turned into beautiful plants and I know some of the seeds are still germinating.
Losing my mother has left an immeasurable hole that can only be filled with one thing. The same exact thing that my mother told me she was seeking as she lay battling for her very life. Until she was unable to respond in word, my mom continued to tell me she was seeking Jesus Christ's face, our gracious Lord and Savior, the Son of GOD and avenue to the Almighty Father. As a further tribute to my mother and attempt to germinate a little further, I earnestly ask that if you do not know Christ as your personal Lord and Savior that you realize you have two choices. Accept, believe and follow GOD's conviction of your heart, or ignore the yearning I wholeheartedly have to believe that your very being has to be in communion with your Maker.
My mother gave to me more than I could give to her, even in her passing. The last 10 days of my mother's life will be ones that I will never forget. I tried earnestly to pour some of the comfort, help, and support I had witnessed her give to myself and others out of my cup and back into hers. On Sunday evening when I watched mom take her last deep breath and give us that one last trademark smile just as the sun broke past the eave of the house and shined through the sliding glass door illuminating her entire body, I knew, even though it really, really hurt, I was watching my rock be placed upon the Cornerstone of all this world's hope and my anchor being moved to the Sea of tranquility. Then I looked down at my cup, which I had tried so earnestly to comfort my mother out of, and it was again full. So I can't worry, because I know-- it'll all be OK, because you planted this seed, Mom.
Luke's eulogy to Mom:
I'd like to read the entry on Mom's daily verse calendar for Sunday April 9th...
These, the ransomed of the Lord, will go home along that road to Zion,
singing the songs of everlasting joy.
For them all sorrow and all sighing will be gone forever;
only joy and gladness will be there. Isaiah 35:10
Most of you here knew our mom, or you experienced her influence through knowing her children. To some of you here in this room, Mom's death is the end of your relationship with her. But to some of us Mom's death is the beginning of a new chapter in our relationship with her. Those of us that have accepted God’s offer of redemption through Jesus Christ will know her again, without any of the hindrances that a fallen world and nature have created. We will spend eternity together in the praise and worship of our great God and Savior. The knowledge of God's future plan and purpose for us is a source of indescribable hope to us today. Mom found great joy in that hope even as she labored in her work here on earth.
My mom was a beauty queen, homecoming queen in college, even competing in the Miss Oklahoma pageant; she was a leader in many campus organizations; she had a college degree and was very intelligent; she was very creative and was a talented seamstress – but when she wrote out her own obituary, she included none of these things. Because Mom’s work was to be a servant to her family and friends. The apostle Paul told us that we were, "created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Mom served her husband in love for almost forty years, and she served her eight children with a devotion that would be impossible to measure. She was always willing to give, even if she didn't have it to give. I’ve always felt that the measure of a great life was that, if at the end of your life you could say, I have lived my life for a purpose greater than my own selfish wants and desires. Mom could say that. She lived her life for her family and others, she poured out her life for her family and others. Mom was ever a burden bearer and never a burden. Throughout Mom’s illness, the thing that pained her the most was that she had to be cared for by her family. That's because being served went against the very grain of her being.
I’m tempted to ask for a show of hands: how many of you ever said “How can Linda do all that? How does she handle it? I could never do that.”
But it wasn’t Linda, it was Christ working through her as her strength, day by day. Mom pointed us to the Savior, and now we want to point you to the Savior, the One who is all-powerful, all-loving, and completely trustworthy. Mom is in Heaven today, with Jesus Christ our Lord, not because of what she did, but because of what He did.
Mom fought hard to remain here with us, so that she could get back to taking care of us. She always fought for us. The apostle Paul said in his letter to the Philippians, "...to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor: yet I do not know what I shall choose. For I am pressed together by the two: having a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more needful to you." Mom certainly knew us well enough to know that we had need of her. But on Sunday, maybe over her whole last week or even the whole last year, as she heard us comforting her and each other with the great promises of an amazing, loving God, Mom knew her work here was done and done well, and she could run to Glory because of the One she had set her hopes on long ago. And she knew that our earthly father and our heavenly Father would continue to take care of us until we join her there. She is probably even now planning parties for our own homecomings! And baking pies…and picking tomatoes…and growing flowers more beautiful than anything she could have imagined here on earth. We long to be with her again, to experience the fullness of a relationship without sin or regret, and life without sickness or suffering, pain or death. That is God’s promise to us who believe.
We love you, Mom, we rise up and call you blessed. And we grieve our enormous loss with hope – hope in the Great God who gave life to us through you, and eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Thank you for sharing that hope with us while you were here. “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
followed in the service by Heather’s brother Tyler singing “How Great is Our God” by Chris Tomlin.
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