It’s the opening chords of a song, the smell of her shampoo, or the glimpse of one of the kids in her favorite sweatshirt…these are the things that draw me close to her memory. In an instant I’m standing at that altar in Springfield, Illinois on a warm July day in 1998. I’m standing in the delivery room, awestruck, holding our baby as Jana wearily smiles over at me. I’m taking pictures of her walking through the park on a beautiful spring day… I’m laying in a makeshift bed, next to her hospital bed on the cancer floor, adjusting ourselves to look into each other’s eyes, scared for what the future may hold…
Mother’s Day has given a reason to remember, and be thankful. Jana was a wonderful mother. She was full of love, care, and gave so much of herself to the work. I will forever be grateful for the loving attention she lavished on the kids and I. My daughters will continue to grow into beautiful, strong, Godly women because of their mother. I celebrate that today.
There are special days and holidays that conjure up these memories more intentionally than others. These types of days are purposeful and important for us to recognize the living and those who have gone to sleep. It hurts, it makes me cry, but I am so happy to have the memories I do…and, Mother’s Day helps bring them out.
If I could erase all of the past year, I would. If I could go back to our family dinners, laughing around the table and simply enjoying each other…I would. If I could relive all 22 years again, I would. My life was that wonderful, my family was that happy, my wife was that special to me. Mom was the heart of this group, her departure has left our little band in tatters.
We learned to depend, even more, on the Lord. He held us close in the darkest of days and gathered us, like chicks, keeping us warm as we recovered. We have stayed close to each other, as that is also an important part of who we are as a family. We’ll never be the same, but God is good and He repairs broken hearts.
It’s still an unbelievable thing to think that Jana has gone home. Death is mysterious and final…on earth. I live, striving for what is to come, trusting for the future God has planned for the girls and I. I look forward to many wonderful memories, knowing that the sad ones will come along, too.
Victory is in Jesus! One day, this will all pass away and we will be gathered to Him, living in His glory forever!
So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.