Today, 22 June, is the memorial of our precious Mama’s passing. Oh, how we miss her! Our home is filled with remembrances of her, but our hearts continue to overflow with memories and legacies of her love.
Our Mama did not want to go to the hospital during her final illness, so we honored her wishes to be at home. My siblings and I looked after her those last few weeks with our lovely hospice nurse, Eve, regularly checking in on her (and us.)
The last week we kept vigil by Mama’s side through nights and days, singing hymns, sharing, caring, praying. Holding each other’s hands, holding Mama’s hands.
Until she passed, quietly, with all five of us around her bed singing Amazing Grace.
With my brother’s permission, sharing this picture today that represents so much. Dwight’s the youngest & was born with a hole in his heart. Papa said when Mama brought him home from the hospital, she never wanted to put him down. She loved on him (& all of us) so faithfully and so much… and then let us love on her.
Precious Mama, we miss you and love, love, love you so much!
grace, peace & precious mothers
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.” Lamentations 3:22
p.s. Here’s a poem I wrote for Mother’s Day years ago while working overseas. Several folks requested a copy after Mama’s Memorial Celebration service (where I read it under sibling pressure that all of us should share something.)
The Mystery of Magnificent Motherhood
From the outside Motherhood doesn’t seem so mysterious, just simply mastering responsibilities and physical tasks. Responsibilities that include raising children to know right and wrong, not to hurt themselves, to study, and to grow from turbulent twos through the terrifying teens into functioning adults. Physical tasks involve delivering babies (washing them, carrying them, helping them walk) cooking, cleaning…
These, admittedly, amount to a great deal of work.
Magnificent Motherhood, however, is a mystery that involves more than just responsibilities and tasks. To understand this mystery, special qualities are required:
Magnificent Motherhood is SACRIFICE.
Selflessly sacrificing (all the time) & the last piece of chocolate cake.
Magnificent Motherhood is JOY.
Joy even when illness strikes, the pots overflow, & we act unruly..
Magnificent Motherhood is BEAUTY.
Beauty seen in us (even with pimples) & nurtured in our surroundings.
Magnificent Motherhood is GENEROSITY.
Generously sharing special gifts, checks, and Mr. Madison’s fudge.
Magnificent Motherhood is MUSIC.
Music composed in a heart overflowing with the joy of Jesus.
Magnificent Motherhood is ACTION.
Hugging us, holding our hands, and helping us through each crisis.
Magnificent Motherhood is PRAYER.
Unceasing prayer – faithful communion with God (often on our behalf.)
Magnificent Motherhood is FAITHFULNESS.
Faithfulness to God (1st), and 58 years (!) with the Fabulous Fossil.
Magnificent Motherhood is LOVE.
Love shared from an inner spring that never diminishes…
It’s actually very simple.
The Mystery of Magnificent Motherhood is
Virginia Francis Johnson Woodward
With love & appreciation from her daughter,
Virginia Lea Woodward
What a beautiful tribute. I’m so sorry for your loss. Dawn
Thank you, Dawn. My mother suffered from severe rheumatoid arthritis for many years. She may have been a delicate southern magnolia on the outside, but she was steely strong on the inside the way she took care of our bedfast quadriplegic father for so many years. Blessings to you – your RV journeys look like loads of fun! Virginia 🙂
You’ll be in my prayers, Virginia–I know the coming days and weeks and beyond will not be easy. There are no words of sufficient comfort. She sounds like an amazing woman. What a wonderful role model and best friend. Hugs! Dawn
Your tribute is beautiful, just like your Mom. She was so kind to me as a new Christian at the Chapel and such an example of Christ’s love. I will always love her and remember her.
Norma, thank you for your remembrance & love for Mama. She lived the love of Jesus day in and day out (on good days & challenging ones.) Her testimony of faithfulness – to God, to Papa, to us – continues to inspire.(Your comment made me a little teary considering how far back we our families go.) Love & hugs to you & Gil!
so touching and beautiful, it made me cry. How beautifully said-you made me love your mom!
Michele, you & my Mama would be kindred spirits. She was a violinist & teacher (before she had 5 of us.) She loved bluebirds, bunny rabbits, butterbeans (& Silver Queen corn on the cob) flowers & special things you so beautifully describe in your blog. Hugs to you!
gosh-your mom and I did have a lot in common! It does sound as if we would have been fast friends. I am glad you and I met. xx thank you Virginia
Thank you, Virginia for your writings about your Mama and pictures..comfort and peace..
Carol-Jo – thank you for your encouragement & support as we looked after Papa & Mama. I know you miss your mother, too. Hugs of comfort & peace to you!
Tears in my eyes for you, and remembering my own ‘magnificent’ mother. She raise 10 children; when I say ‘she raised’ it is literal. Although he wasn’t in my life, my father just shouldn’t have been… Like you also, I so miss her… She loved and was loved so much! Lovely remembrance and poem of your mother Virginia…. Diane ❤
Diane, your mother sounds like an AMAZING woman! She ‘loved and was loved’ -highest possible praise. We could only hope one day that might be said about us (with lots of God’s grace & love to help!) Hugs of comfort to you today! Virginia
A beautiful tribute, written with so much love! I am sorry for your loss. Mothers are precious and I am reminded of my mum’s mortality too. Garfield hugs and much love.❤❤⚘
Thank you for the love & hugs! We treasured the time we had with Mama, & now that time is treasured in our hearts. Much love & hugs back to you!! 💜🤗💜🤗