2016 Cherished Blogfest entry: Life is so beautiful


cherished-badge16My laptop is a technological marvel that connects me with people all over the world, but it is three pages of cheap stationery that I cherish, for they connect me with only one.

After my mother died, I found the pages inside the front cover of a photo album. In flowing cursive, Mama professes love for family and friends, but also for her god.

Life is so beautiful

When you are diagnosed with cancer, the small insignificant things become very important. Things you have experienced before take on such a deeper meaning.

A butterfly flying past the window, a morning sunrise witnessed on the porch of your home and shared with your husband and your son, who came to visit, is such evidence of God’s creative beauty.

Love, concern, and prayers of family and friends seem to waft around you, enveloping you in such a spirit of peace, that it feels like you are wearing them like a warm blanket of God’s wonderful love.

You seem to be able to communicate better with those you love and who love you. You are invited into their hearts and souls, thoughts that you never realized were there. You can laugh together and cry together and not feel ashamed.

Blessings come in such unusual ways. A neighbor bringing a beautiful framed prayer, another bringing a white rose bud to your door, with a friend quoting helpful scripture, cards and letters in the mail from friends whom you love. Your daughter, who has had cancer before you, who will be your rock as you see the love light in her eyes. A son-in-law sending you an inspirational book containing angel expressions. A phone call from each of your five precious grandchildren, each uniquely different, but with the same wonderful love flowing out to you, as you have for each of them.

The visits of friends from a distance and from the park where you live.

Those are just a few of my observations from the first week.

God is so good!

I don’t often remove my mother’s words from the box where I keep them, but when I do, they move me to tears, and not just for the reason you think.

Mother and son, in happier times.
Mother and son, in happier times.

How sad would Mama be to learn that the son who stood beside her and witnessed the dawn, would be driven from her god by the horror of her death, and a resolve that I would worship no god that allows such agony as she endured.

Alas, Mama would only blame herself for my fall.

Her “observations from the first week” are amazing, inspiring, but I recall her misery from pancreatic cancer, which got worse — far worse — before it ended.

But through it all, Mama was steadfast: “God is so good!

Tears flow. Hands that hold the pages shake.

Through three pages of stationery we briefly connect, but soon she drifts away, a chasm of disbelief between us now, wider even than the span between life and death.

My father and sister at my mother's grave after the placement of her headstone. Daddy now rests beside her.
My father and sister at my mother’s grave after the placement of her headstone. Daddy now rests beside her.


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  1. Wonderful tribute to your Mom. Love and loss are so hard to talk about but you’ve done it beautifully.

    Thanks for participating and sharing this with us!

    Damyanti, co-host, Cherished Blogfest 2016

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Those 3 pages of handwritten lines of your mother are filled with love and inspiration. This is a wonderful tribute to your mother. I am visiting here from Cherished Blogfest linky.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As I’ve mentioned before, I love this piece, the words precious and poignant. Thank you for sharing your mother’s letter with your readers.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This made me tear up. My mother liked to write, not artsy stuff I like to write, but, well stuff. And I find pleasure just to see her notes from old notebooks, datebooks, even her timesheet when she was still teaching. I still see her handwriting everywhere. I have less stuff from my father, but I love seeing them…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I think it’s important that we not lose the ability to write with pen and paper. I think if my mother’s words had all been digital (and the same goes for your own mother, too), something would be lost even though the thoughts might have been preserved. I’m so glad to this and a few other examples of her handwritten thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your mother sounds like an amazing woman, Glenn. When I read her letter (thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful gift), I could feel her teaching – passing on her wisdom – reminding us that we should all appreciate and value every simple moment. Stand up and pay attention to the beauty that surrounds us. It is so hard to watch a loved one suffer and the emotions do run high – anger and grief (for me) go hand in hand. But we have to let go of the anger. Remember our loved ones, how they would have liked to be remembered. This is part of the healing process. It seems that your mother left you a lot of treasured and happy memories. Hold tightly onto those, especially if the anger pokes its head up. Belief in your mother, which from reading this we can tell, is a bond that cannot be broken, is one of the strongest beliefs a child (or grown man) can possess. Wishing you all the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such beautiful words, showing how your mother felt that she was surrounded by love and caring as she came to terms with her diagnosis.
    Cancer is a cruel disease. I remember saying to my mother’s doctor that, had she been a pet animal, we would have acted to end her misery. He leaped back, as if I was actually asking him to do something there and then – of course, I was not, but the agony of witnessing her agony was dreadful and left me in a very dark place once it was over.
    I’m not big on a formal “God” person and I shy away from traditional belief structures (that seem to me to mostly squeeze the good stuff out and focus on rules). But there is goodness in the world, of that I am certain. And I think you are, too, from your writings? Good people, good actions. I think that counts. And it helps.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Watching the people we love suffer is probably the hardest thing we ever have to endure. You have a connection to your mother, and to her spirit. At the most difficult point in her life, she could still notice the good things around her. I think that’s important. I hope that time will ease your pain and that the feelings of loss will be replaced by good memories. Thank you so much for sharing this story with us. It is one we can learn from, as all of us are likely to face similar challenges.

    Dan – cohost – #CBF16

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Your mother’s words are so moving and your reflections on her writing and how she passed are so poignant. I can see why you cherish these pages so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m almost into tears reading this because in a way it reminds me of my mother. She was so close to me. I don’t have her writings, but I have her signature on my school report card, so in a way, I have also preserved her original writings. It is very hard to see the people we love just walk out of our life never to return, but I believe that’s what life is all about. When my mother passed away, I lost my faith in God. I thought He was the worst of all who snatched my mother away from me when I was just 15, but I realized I wasn’t alone. I met friends who had lost their mothers, fathers, brothers and eventually my faith in God restored. Today, I am glad and thankful that I continue to meet people like you, make friends, have over-the-table and online conversations, laugh and comment on multiple things. As a co-host, I thank you for being the part of the Cherished Blogfest and I hope you’re having a great time meeting new and existing blog friends.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Hi. I am so glad you joined the blogfest to share your story. I am Cheryl, one of the cohosts. You and I have traveled a similar road, although there was no real name for the illness that took my mother other than deep depression. Through it all she had faith and love in the God she knew. Over the years I have found notes, letters and scribbled prayers throughout the pages of her bible which I have. While my own spiritual path has been different from hers I have made peace with the God I felt abandoned by and know my own connection with the All That Is. They leave such lasting treasures theough their words, actions and energy, things that are eternal.. Hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Your mom was truly inspiring. She saw so much good and positivity around despite the challenging time.This post of yours truly reflect your love for your mom. Thanks for sharing a part of your life with us! Stay blessed and happy always!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow, that’s really nice. Truly puts things in perspective. God is indeed good. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve shed a couple of tears reading this post. It is a lovely tribute to your Mother, and I know that she will love you for eternity whether you believe in what she believed in or not. Mothers are like that. 🙂 Those three pages of handwritten cursive expressions are such a special remembrance. Do you think down the road anyone will ever say that about a tweet? I don’t think so. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. These pages are a wonderful keepsake. (And your mother had BEAUTIFUL handwriting, if I may say so.) My mom died when I was 13 and even though it took me many years to learn it, what I finally was able to take away from it was this: People we love die and it hurts. A lot. But sometimes something beautiful blossoms from that pain. We learn not to take things or people for granted. It can teach us the importance of being kind to one another and loving each other in spite of everything. I always found comfort in one Bible verse in particular. “The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.” (Isaiah 57) That definitely gave me a different perspective on death, when I viewed it as something positive for the deceased rather than something negative for myself. I used to think that loving was a basic emotion, easy to do. But I’ve since come to believe that loving is one of the hardest things in life, and sometimes we need a powerful reminder of why it’s so important to do it. I’m not sure we could truly appreciate life without ever experiencing the agony of death.

    Thank you for sharing your mom’s encouraging words today. I certainly appreciated reading them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the kind and thoughtful words, Wendy. Although we may reach different conclusions, I never tire of thinking about the role of deity in our lives. Thanks for the follow, and be sure to visit my alternate site, A Year in the Death of One Man.


  15. Your mother sounds very brave and courageous. I’m glad you have her words to keep with you.

    Susan Says

    Liked by 1 person

  16. For those of us who have also lost a loved one through a difficult and painful death, this post really hits home. All the feelings of hopelessly, anger, frustration, and above all else – love and gratitude, come flooding back.

    Right now you may feel the huge chasm between her faith and yours. That’s ok. Your love for each other bridges any gap – including this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Your mother left a beautiful letter for you to find. She had an incredible faith and love for her family. I’m sorry your parents are gone, but know you will always have very happy memories of them. Thank you for sharing the wonderful and cherished letter from your mom.

    Mary J
    CBF Cohost

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Such lovely tribute to your mother. She had the faith and her belief talks through those words. Loss of life of a loved one is so hard to deal with but these memories will keep us going.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Hi. Very powerful emotions in those letters. Seeing a loved one suffer is truly devastating. Take care and be well.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. dconnollyislandgmailcom July 30, 2016 — 9:58 am

    Your mother’s words are a true inspiration — even to those who did not know her.
    Thank you so much for sharing. Your post is very powerful!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I love that your most cherished objects are such precious words. They made me want to cry (good tears, of course!). Her reflections in such a difficult time are so moving and the beauty of her soul shines through. Thank you so much for sharing! I’m sorry for your loss, but glad that you have this piece of her to hold onto.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. A lovely tribute to a mother who raised her son right. God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Thanks for sharing your mother’s letter.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I have a Saint Jude card from my Mother. Like you and yours, she had a Christian faith and I went my ways into another spiritual path. But I carry her Saint Jude card. Thanks for joining us on #CBF16, Kate, your co-host

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Beat About The Book August 1, 2016 — 10:57 am

    What a sad poignant post. Loss affects different people so differently. For some it reinforces faith in God’s will while some are driven away. What a precious memory to have saved up. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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