I received the dreadful news in the middle of the night. News I knew I could expect. All the same, it smacked me in the face. Shock. My healthy though declining – as age tends to do for us – 84-year-old mother, passed away suddenly.
I’d called my mom at the same time on the same day every week for the last sixteen years I’d lived away from the iconic seaside village of La Conner, where she lovingly made her home to raise us kids. Because I’d also phone her whenever I received big news, my first inclination was to call her. “Hey Mom, you won’t believe what happened … you died.” It’s that kind of thing that chokes me up the most. “A toughie,” as my sister would put it.
Allow me to share a few things about my mom. She loved her tea, relished gliding walks through her picturesque town greeting friendly faces, and her favorite flowers were irises. She and my late father, Hal, cherished each other for the almost fifty years they enjoyed married life. They could be spotted holding hands like teenage sweethearts up through their golden years. Oh, how she missed him!
Although she was shy, she possessed great compassion and prayed like a fierce warrior. She had calluses on her knees from having spent so much time on them, interceding for others. Patient, kind, steadfast, humble, selfless, gentle, she was the kind of mother you’d want to wrap you up in her arms and sway. I will miss the gentle fragrance of her skin, and her lyrical voice humming her favorite hymn, “In the Garden.”
A woman of faith, she proved the real deal, composed of soft answers, sacrificial love, guiding wisdom, quietude, a true peacemaker. When I think of my mom, a scripture pops into my mind. And whenever I come across this same Bible verse, my mom is ever present. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9
That is my mom’s legacy. She lived it daily, an example to all those who had the blessing of coming in contact with her. I find mercy in that she slipped away, peacefully, in her sleep on November 25. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am grateful – though we are all heartbroken, as we miss her so terribly!
Dainty and petite, for all of her four feet and eleven inches, Lois Grabke left some mighty big shoes to fill. She is survived by her daughters: Heidi Hayes, Arden Rundell and Tessa Stockton.
Grandchildren: Victoria Hayes, Miriam Rundell and Fletcher Stockton. Sister: Catherine Ruschak.
A coffee and cookie reception will be held at Lois’s home from 4 p.m. to 7p.m. Friday Dec 1. Anyone who knew Lois is more than welcome to stop by.
Written by Tessa Stockton