Being a member of the United Church was a very important part of my mother's life. As a young woman she belonged to CGIT and taught Sunday School. She was a welcome addition to her church choirs and when other obligations made it too challenging for her to commit to the choir, she was often praised for her singing by the people she stood behind in the congregation. She was part of many bible study groups, baked for many bake sales, helped out with the pageants at St. Mark's and volunteered whenever she could. Yet when it came to her religious practice, she was a woman of quiet faith. She didn't push her beliefs on her family and friends and never chastised us when we didn't attend with her.
My mom's illness was lengthy and I know her faith gave her great comfort. Today, on the first anniversary of her passing I'm posting these "Promises of God" from a paper we found tucked into her bible. Some of you may remember that I read it the funeral service. I suspect these promises summarized her beliefs and helped sustain her through the challenges she faced though almost two decades of life with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
I can't help but think as I read it now, that it's also a message from her to us. These promises tell of the unconditional love and support she was comforted by, but they also describe the unconditional love and support we all long for from friends and family, and the unconditional love we long to give back. In reality, some days it may be harder to share than others.
As I'm typing this out, Paula Cole is on the radio singing "I don't want to wait for our lives to be over..." and I'm reminded of the stories I've heard of people who wait until the end of their lives to share their feelings, admit their vulnerability and imperfections, and share forgiveness. I'm reminded that we are meant to share the love we have with those around us, whether it's perfect or not. On this day of personal remembrance, of loss and love, I'm thinking of you, missing you and loving you.