Yesterday I took Weston to Amanda’s gravesite for the first time. I thought it fitting to begin a new Mother’s Day tradition with him. Needless to say it was very painful. Her headstone wasn't set yet, and he certainly didn’t understand what I was trying to tell him. But I wanted him to know more about his mommy. While she was pregnant with Weston, Amanda wrote me a long Father’s Day note entitled, "Weston, I Want to Tell You about your Daddy". Yesterday I got to read him a note I recently wrote about his mommy: Weston, I want to tell you about your mommy. I’m sure I could write everything there is to know about her, but there wouldn’t be enough libraries to fill the books required to describe how incredible she was. So I’ll try to summarize.
Your mommy was beautiful. I know you get to see pictures and videos of her, but you have to believe me, pictures in no way do her beauty justice. No amount of camera angles combined would have been able to capture the many facets of her charm. When she would walk into a room everything got brighter. There was something about her smile and those crystal blue eyes, softly inlaid next to her smooth rosy skin. You have her eyes, son. You have her skin. I see her in your smile. As you grow up I know there will be something magnetic about you because of your mommy. She had that. There was something in her beauty that was most certainly beyond the surface level and yet oozed out of her for everyone to notice. It was the kind of beauty that made every man take notice. It was the kind of beauty that made every woman angry and envious. She was radiant.
Your mommy was diligent. You may wonder why every night around 8pm you get really sleepy, why every morning you wake up at 8am on the dot, ready to take on the world, why every afternoon at 1pm you’re asking to go “night-night.” Your mommy and I read a book that helped us learn how to direct healthy sleep and feeding patterns for you. Even when it was tough and exhausting, she followed the plan. She would get up with you in the middle of the night. She would cuddle with you and sing to you when she could barely keep her eyes open. She remained patient with you when you didn’t want to feed. She was determined. She always had your future health in mind for you even from the beginning.
Your mommy was nurturing. This is why you love to cuddle. One of your favorite things to do with mommy (and her favorite too) was to fall asleep on her shoulder or chest. She would rock you back and forth until whatever was ailing you subsided. She fostered your love for books, and I’m so glad she did! This is why you love to sit down and read with daddy! Countless hours in the day were spent looking through books with mommy, your eyes darting back and forth from the pages to her lips as she read them aloud to you.
Your mommy was tough. She had really thick skin and not much bothered her. She and I would run and workout a lot together and each time I was always impressed with how gritty she was. I see her toughness in you. She wasn’t afraid to take risks. She wasn’t afraid to try and fail. She wasn’t afraid of much at all.
Although she was tough, your mommy was also tender-hearted. She loved people. Her heart broke for what breaks God’s heart. When people hurt, she hurt with them. I watched her hug people, pray with people, and cry with people. The last couple weeks of her life she talked a lot about us fostering kids. I didn’t understand why she was so urgent about it since we were pregnant with your baby sister. But I loved to see how her heart broke for these kids who didn’t have an opportunity to have a loving family. That’s all your mommy wanted to provide for you, buddy. She wanted you to have a family that could love you into loving Jesus.
Your mommy was wise. She may have been young, but her youth didn’t inhibit her from wisdom. Everyone would come to her for advice. People used to confide in her. She didn’t speak much, but when she did wisdom dripped from her words. She loved God’s Word and made it a regular habit to memorize it. She would want more than anything for you to fall in love with God’s Word and make it the anchor for your life.
Your mommy was confident. She is the only woman I have ever met who was completely secure with who she was in the Lord. Confidence exuded from her. It wasn’t the type of confidence that made you nauseous to witness. It was the type that made you want to be friends with her, so that maybe some of her confidence would wear off on you. Sure, like everyone else, she battled with her insecurities, but she made it a practice to lay those insecurities at Jesus’ feet and trust what He said about her rather than what the world said about her.
Your mommy was poised. One of my favorite things to do was greet her as she came through the door at church every Sunday with you on her hip. It didn’t matter how rough that morning may have been getting herself and you ready, she never showed signs of stress. She took every curve ball life threw at her in stride and she embraced the twists and turns in the journey. You never saw her freak out over menial things. She made it a practice to trust God’s truth in her life over her feelings.
Your mommy was surrendered. She prayed everyday that God would do something great in and through her. She wanted to be used as a vessel for His kingdom. When you were born, she made a sign that hung over your rocking chair. It said “For the rest of his days he will be given over to the Lord.” That’s how she felt about you. From day one she knew Jesus was going to do something great in your life. She knew He was going to use you for a monumental assignment for His Kingdom, so she surrendered you to Him. She always held things in an open hand. I found a book on generosity on her side table as we were packing up her stuff. Even to her last breath, she was learning how to be more surrendered and more giving with her life.
Weston, you need to know your mommy was brave. When you get older you’re going to have lots of questions about what happened the morning she was killed. I know it up-ended your world as much as anyone’s. She walked you upstairs the night before, sang to you, prayed with you, kissed you and tucked you into bed. And that was the last time you saw her. I know it is really difficult without her, buddy, but you should know she would have done anything to protect you. She loved you more than life itself. I found a quote on her phone that read, “Sometimes your greatest assignment in life isn’t what you do, but who you raise.” She embraced that assignment to the fullest extent. She gave her life so you could have yours. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt she did what she had to do that morning to protect you. She loved you that much.
Your mommy was completely perfect. She was perfect for me and perfect for you. There isn’t another like her. I know today doesn’t seem as difficult for you as each successive Mother’s Day is going to seem, but I want you to know The Lord isn’t going to let you go without a plethora of “mommies” in your life. There are many women that love you and loved your mommy. They’re going to tell you all about her as you get older. And one day we’ll get to see mommy again. We’ll get to play with her in the park again and soak up the heavenly sunshine. And on that day you’ll get to give her a big hug and kiss and wish her Happy Mother’s Day.