My (step)mom dealt with Epilepsy for almost 9 years before being taken away in her sleep on June 17, 2009. In the almost 20 years that she was in my life she taught me a lot. Tomorrow she would have been 54 and in celebration of her life I wanted to share 10 things that I learned from her about life.
1. Spend time with God and read your Bible– My mom would sit for hours each day reading her Bible, praying, journaling to God, and seeking His will in her life.
2. Be positive– Having epilepsy meant that she had seizures. She didn’t know when the seizures would happen so her doctor told her that she could not drive. Once she went at least 6 months without a seizure she would be allowed to drive again. Every time I talked to her she told me that she would be driving soon. For over nine years she told me that she was done having seizures. For over 9 years she kept a positive attitude and believed that she would be able to drive in her near future (I really think she’s up in Heaven cruising around).
3. Always get a second opinion– When my mom was diagnosed with epilepsy she didn’t just take a doctor’s word for it. She saw specialists and got a second opinion. Her second opinion was medical but I think sometimes we need a fresh perspective and a second opinion from someone outside of ourselves.
4. Don’t forget what is important– My mom didn’t worry about being the best cook. She didn’t worry about keeping a spotless house. She didn’t worry about making her life look perfect. She remembered what was important in her life- God and those she loved- and that is what she focused on.
5. Be a good friend– My mom loved her friends. She spent time with them, she helped them and most of all she prayed for them.
6. Hug and kiss your children (even if they think they are too old for it)- My mom was a hugger and a kisser. You didn’t come or go in her house without them and she didn’t take no for an answer.
7. Tell others you love them– Don’t just assume that someone knows you love them. Tell them how much you do.
8. We touch more people than we know– At my mom’s wake I was amazed to see all the people she had touched in some way. She had left an impact on so many and I am sure that even she did not realize how many people she blessed with her love. Her kind words and smile made people feel welcome and cared for.
9. Take lots of pictures– As a mom I am always taking pictures of my children but am not in many of them myself. My mom was always taking pictures and more than that she was always including herself in the pictures. She didn’t realize it at the time but those pictures would be lasting memories of her short life and as a mom I want to make sure that my children always have pictures of me to remember me by.
10. Realize we won’t always understand God’s plan for our life– We don’t know why my mom got sick in the summer of 2000. We don’t know why she was taken away from us so abruptly in 2009. I do know though that God sees the big picture. God has a plan for our lives and sometimes we “must go through the valley to stand upon the mountain of God” (to quote Third Day).
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