Would you know my name, if I saw you in Heaven?
Would it be the same, if I saw you in Heaven?
Tears in Heaven, Eric Clapton, 1992
It is never easy when a loved one dies, regardless of the situation. My mother-in-law, Mary, died yesterday. (Not to be confused with my sister with the same name.) My mother-in-law was more than ready to go. Her body had betrayed her in the last few years, first sending her to walker, and finally to a wheelchair. She had rheumatoid arthritis.
Last year she said she didn't know why God was making her stay on the earth, she was ready to go home. She and her husband, Joe, had to move to the nursing home. Her independent spirit didn't like her increasingly dependant situation. She'd had a long good life, she loved Jesus and she was ready, at the age of 86.
So, it isn't with sadness that she is now walking on her own two feet into the presence of Jesus. She is filled with joy. I can't help but think of the children's song, "He went walking and leaping and praising God, Walking and leaping and praising God, 'In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.'" Though she was never one seeking attention, I picture her walking and leaping and praising God. And it's a good thought.
But still we are sad. We will miss her. Having never had a loving mother figure of my own, she helped fill that void. She loved me, not because I was John's wife, but because I was Kelly. She encouraged me to be the strong woman I am.
She took in a scared 11 year old boy, who was my husband, and raised and loved him as her own. Her headstone, which she & her husband pre-arranged, is engraved with the words, "Parents of Richard and John." He was their son, regardless of birth.
I know there are no tears in heaven. But excuse me if I shed a few on earth. Still, I know I'll see Mary again and we'll be reunited...in heaven.