Life Goes On: Motherhood! Holden Beach Photographer

Please bear with me…this will be a long one!

So today is the 7 year anniversary of my moms accident which took her life and the life of my grandmother.  I found this old blog post that I wrote the day after….here are a few of my thoughts.

I’m sitting here at my dad’s computer with tears streaming down my face. The last 18 hours have been such a blur. I find myself writing just to try to journal some of my feelings.

Last night at about 2:30 am, I received a phone call from the Lycomming, PA corners office, “I’m sorry Mrs. Caudle, your mother was in an accident and passed away…” my heart sunk. Thinking of the fact that I had just talked with her at great length on Friday. She and I talked about many wonderful things and the fact that she was joining her church on Easter morning and she wished I could be there..

I know that my mom is happy today…we get to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, but she get’s to sit at his feet. What a glorious Easter for her.

I miss her deeply…as I was packing…I just cried…I need her..I need her.

Again, realizing she is with her Almighty and rejoicing

I was blessed to call her mother…there were times when our relationship struggled, but more recently, we came to a place of understanding and thankfully I was able to tell her on Friday how much I loved her.

Every year on this day, I read what my dad wrote about my mom…his words tell it all!

I received a card last week that said, “God gave Mezzie a beautiful soul; that beauty is now perfected in his presence.” If you take nothing else away from this service, please take that thought with you.

On behalf of my family, I want to thank you all for coming here to celebrate Mezzie’s life, and, above all, for making that life richer and more beautiful. I think that in the end what defines the life we live is the quality of our friendships and relationships. By that measure, Mezzie’s life was wonderful beyond compare. All of you enriched Mezzie’s life immeasurably. If I try to take hold of what defined Mezzie’s life it was five great loves – love of her Lord, love of her family, love of her friends, love of the new home she found in Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania, and love of life itself.

Mezzie was a dedicated follower of Jesus and her love for Him was the cornerstone of her life. When she was passing through troubles she turned to Him for support. One time she had a vision of God holding her in the palm of his hand. She was dressed in a white mink coat, and God was whispering in her ear over and over, “I love you.” That image thrilled her soul, and her greatest desire in life was to hear that voice say those words. I am sure that is what is happening right now.

Mezzie loved her family fiercely. Many of our early arguments revolved around her determination to give her daughters everything whatever the cost. She made motherhood her full-time job. She committed herself totally to her children, always looking for ways to prepare them for their adult lives and to strengthen their Christian walk.

She was devoted wife, following me wherever my career led me – to Kenya, to Nigeria and to the wilds of Northern Virginia. She loved doing little kindnesses for me. I doubt my handkerchiefs and sheets will ever be ironed again. Her judgment was almost always sound, and I learned to follow her instincts more closely than my own. It was her commitment to our Lord that led me to seek him out as well, and that has been her most precious gift to me. She was my closest friend, and I’ve found over the past few weeks how much of a vacuum her passing has created in my life. Perhaps once an hour I think of something or experience something and think, “I have to tell Mezzie,” and then realize that Mezzie is no longer there to share with.

She was a spectacular Mimi. She loved bringing her grandchildren to Eagles Mere and sharing the mountains with them – counting red barns with Maddie or picking baskets of flowers with Makaley or teaching Micah the names of herbs. She loved reading to them and showered them with love and wisdom.

She was a wonderful daughter, extending her father’s last days – bundling him up in that last winter, taking him out on our porch, and getting him to march which worked in alleviating the pain from his pancreatic cancer. And you all know how much of her life in these last few years has been dedicated to caring for her mother Rose.

Her third love was for her friends. Mezzie was an encourager. When we arrived at Eagles Mere we found the dining room table filled with cards and notes she was preparing to send out. In fact, at her funeral, the pastor asked how many people received a card from her in the last three days, and at least a 20-30 people raised their hands. There were little evidences of this around our house – a letter from a Sister Ruth-whom Mezzie met once and to whom she gave a skin lotion for her rash and wondered if Mezzie could send her another one. Mezzie was the queen of small gestures. She forced me, grumbling all the way, to stop at different pet stores so she could find the right toy for a friend’s dog. She baked cookies for the electric company linemen, and discussed faith with the house painter. Everyone she met was accorded her complete attention. She wrote to a young man in national guard training who she only knew because she knew his mother.

Mostly, she led people to Jesus and discipled them. I know of at least a dozen people to whom she was a spiritual mother. She must have given away at least 100 bibles over the years, to friends, to an Iranian hairdresser, a Turkish neighbor, to someone ahe met waiting at her doctor’s office.

Fourth, she loved her adopted home, Eagles Mere, as only a convert can. Mezzie was a true Luddite, who would have been more at home in the 19th century. She didn’t watch TV or go to the movies. She literally didn’t know the difference between Britney Spears and Cissy Spacek. She loved the peace, the pace, the old-time, small town graces of Eagles mere and Sullivan County, a place of fifteen minute Fourth of July parades, outhouse races and wild ramp dinners. Those graces were so evident to us in the few days we were up there preparing for her funeral, in the many kindnesses we received.

Last, she loved life itself. Even though she struggled with depression and insecurity, she loved life. She was an informaniac, wanting to know everything about everything. Her friends and family know that she was a walking encyclopedia; nothing was uninteresting to her. She was a person of infinite enthusiasms. Only by the grace of God was I spared from raising sheep so she could spin their wool.

For us, she was the center of our universe, the celestial body around whom our lives orbited, and we will miss her like we miss the sun on a cloudy day. It is a great comfort that many said to me that she had recently felt the shroud of depression lift, and that she looked forward to a refound freedom. 

Yesterday I had the joy of spending the day with my daughter.  She helped me model for my Mom’s with Camera Class 2.0 and then we needed to get her ready for her first Middle School dance.  I found myself reflecting on these precious memories and times that she and I were building.  Oh how I wish I had a few more moments with my mom to build some lasting memories.  I was sharing a few with Makaley and it was so evident to me how life just goes on.  As sad and as hard as it was to loose my mom, over time, the pain is duller (still there) but the memories are so sweet.  

My heart misses my mom so much…so many things in life happen that I desperately want to pick up the phone and tell her about….about the fact that my husband has a 3.9 in graduate school, about the art fair that Micah was chosen to be in and won an “Excellent” (she would have been so so proud).  I would love to get her wisdom (she was so wise) about all the struggles Makaley is enduring in middle school and hear her thoughts.  There are times when I just need to cry and I just want my mom to be there on the other side…with her listening ear!

I don’t understand why people are taken from us in an untimely manner, I don’t know why it wasn’t in God’s plan for her to see her grandchildren grow into these beautiful young adults, I don’t know why, but I do know that she taught me so much, she poured into me, and I pray that I can do that with my dear daughter.  That the cycle of life, carries on.

Mom, I miss you!  I think about you all the time…My kids think about you and I talk about you with them. I never want them to forget you.  I know you are rejoicing and in a continual celebration and that gives me such peace.  I can’t wait to I get to be reunited!

I love you!

This picture is so special to me.  One of my attendees (Joanie Kindley) of my Mom’s with Camera Class took it yesterday and it struck me how priceless this is…it captures the two of us on a special day for her.  I hardly ever get to be in the pictures for those.  So thankful for this!

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