8 years ago today, an angel got her wings

20 04 2010

Eight years ago today was probably the worst day of my life. In the very early hours of April 20, 2002, my mom, Karen Rae Busbey, succumbed to the pancreatic cancer that had ravaged her body for months. She died with her family by her side, remembering her as the amazing, strong woman that she had been for the first 48 years of her life, not the frail, weary shell the cancer had made her in the final weeks of her life. I still can’t stand to picture her that way, because that was not her.

My mom was one of those strong silent types, but not in the traditional way. At 5’4″ and 120 pounds, she may have been a diminutive woman physically. But mentally and spiritually, she was a giant.

My mom was never a CEO or a doctor or a lawyer. But she was one of the smartest women I’ve ever met. She graduated high school in three years. Just weeks after graduation, she married my dad at the age of 17. For the next 31 years, she dedicated herself to being the best wife and mother that she could be. She worked as a waitress, house  cleaner, grocery store clerk and other such jobs when needed. Even though she could have been so much more, even though she could have had a career and been a success in the world’s eyes, she felt called by God to be a success as a mother and as a wife. And while I can’t answer if she succeeded at the latter, she definitely succeeded in the former.

 I was so lucky to have her as my mom for 29 years. My mom was one of the most Godly women I have ever known. She lived a consistent, Godly life for us to see every day. The fruit of the spirit were so evident in her life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfullness, self control. You could see each one of those in my mother. I learned so much from my mother. She taught me to always have faith in God. She taught me the value of hard work. She taught me the need for sacrifice. She taught me that patience truly is a virtue. Well she tried to teach me that one, anyhow. I’m still working on really learning that one. She taught me to store up my treasures in Heaven not in earthly things. So many people in this world are always looking for a way to get ahead, to get more things. Hustling, bustling, scamming, stealing. Doing whatever it takes to get a buck to buy a bigger car, a nicer house, the newest high-tech toy. Not my mom. She was content. Wow. How many of us are truly content? She was satisfied with what God gave her. It was a running joke in our family that if she got money or a gift card for a holiday or her birthday, it would be months before she spent it. Personally, those gift cards I get every year at Christmas are burning a hole in my pocket within a few days. But she wasn’t concerned with buying more stuff for herself.

My mom loved music. I remember as a kid, our house was always alive with the sound of music. Whether we were playing or cleaning the house or just hanging out, music was always there. And as anyone who knows me can attest, that love of music has been carried on in myself, and my brothers. I surround myself with music now. My CD collection numbers in the thousands and my iPod has over 10,000 songs on it. I also love to sing, as did my mother. Although she wasn’t one to sing loudly, she had an angelic voice that I can still hear.

It’s been eight years, but I still miss her like it was just yesterday. Sometimes, something will happen and I start to pick up the phone to tell her. And then I remember. Or I’ll have a dream with her in it and for just  a second when I wake up, it’s as if she’s still just a phone call away. I guess I can say it’s a little easier to deal with now than it was 8 years ago today. But not much. My brothers, my dad and I sang “Amazing Grace” at my mom’s funeral. I still can’t hear that song without breaking down in tears. In fact, I can barely see to type right now because I’m crying. I miss my mom so much. I still don’t understand why God had to take her when He did. But I trust that He had a reason. I likely won’t ever know that reason, but it’s not for me to know. He knows and I just have to accept that in faith. Sometimes that’s easier than others. Other times I still want to yell at God and ask Him what was He thinking taking this Godly woman from us when there are so many evil people living long lives. I just want to scream “Why?” at God. And I think that’s OK. At least I hope it is. I know God wants us to tell Him everything we’re thinking and to be honest with Him. Since He knows what we’re thinking anyway, might as well be honest.

In the weeks before Mom died, I started writing a song expressing some of these feelings, and also sharing God’s answers to my feelings. I read the lyrics to it at Mom’s funeral. I’ve never song the song in public. In fact, I don’t think anyone has ever heard it but me. I sing it to myself in my head all the time. I’m going to share the words here again since pretty much just my family heard it at the funeral. And I’m sure that’s kind of a blur for everyone. I know it is for me.

Please pray for me and my family today if you read this. I know we all would appreciate it.

I love you Mom. I hope somehow you are watching down on us and know we still love you so much and miss you. And someday we’ll come home, too.

In God’s Hands

Into every life a little rain must fall.
But I’m drowning in this flood.
I don’t understand, God, how You could let this be.
How can this be Your will.

Why did she have to go?
Please God, let me know.

She heard Your voice, God. She tried to do Your will.
Your words were her way.
She loved like You did, giving of herself
Each and every day

Why did she have to go?
Please God, let me know.

Then I heard my mother saying,

Don’t cry for me
Cause I’m not alone
Don’t cry for me
Cause I’m going home
Even though I’m gone, I want you to know
I’m always in God’s hands.

But what about me, God. How can I go on?
I need my mother here.
To help me, to guide me down all life’s bumpy roads.
When the way’s not clear.

Why did she have to go?
Please God, let me know.

Then God answered, My child, I understand.
I truly know your pain.
I sent My son to die, hanging on a cross
So you could live again.

That’s why He had to go.
I wanted you to know.

Then I heard my mother saying,

Don’t cry for me
Cause I’m not alone
Don’t cry for me
Cause I’m going home
Even though I’m gone, I want you to know
You’re always in God’s hands.

Now I say to your Mom, your job is complete.
You’ve run the good race.
God has decided it’s time to go home.
You’ll see that glorious place.

Thank you mom for showing me the way.
I know I’ll see you again some day.

Then my mother heard me saying.

Don’t cry for me.
Cause I’m not alone
Don’t cry for me.
SOme day I’ll come home.
Even though you’re gone, I want you to know
I’m always in God’s hands.
I’m always in God’s hands.

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2 responses

20 04 2011
Karen Rae Busbey – March 16, 1954 – April 20, 2002 – Remembering My Mom « Tim's World

[…] year on this day, I wrote a blog about my Mom. You can find it here if you want to read more about the great woman my mom was. One year later, I have to say, the pain […]

20 04 2012
Karen Rae Busbey, March 16, 1954 – April 20, 2002 « Tim's World

[…] and the life of hundreds of other people in her life. You can read my last two blog posts here and here if you are […]

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