Karen Rae Busbey, March 16, 1954 – April 20, 2002

20 04 2012

Note: I am taking a break from my week of book reviews to remember my mom who died 10 years ago today. I will post my fifth book review of the week tomorrow, with more book reviews coming in the near future. I hope you will come back again and see what new books are lining my shelves or filling my Kindle Fire. Thank you all for taking the time to read my posts.

Ten years ago today, in the early morning hours of April 20, 2002, my mom, Karen Rae Busbey, lost her 6-month battle with pancreatic cancer. It’s no stretch to say that was the worst day in my life, and I hope it’s a long time before I have a day that tops it.

Even though it has now been 10 years since her death, it doesn’t get any easier to live without her. I still have dreams with her in them and wake up hoping for just a second that it was reality and she is still alive. I still have things happen where my first thought is, “I have to call my Mom and tell her that.” But then I remember that I can’t and she really is gone. But I hold on to my memories of her and how she influenced my life.

This is the third year I’ve written a blog post on the anniversary of her death. I want to find some way to remember my mom without merely repeating everything I’ve written the last two years. And even though I have a way with words, there are only so many ways you can say the same thing without getting repetitious. So I was struggling to find something new to say about my mom since I had already said a lot about what an amazing woman she was and what a profound influence she had on my life 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 interested.

This year, I decided to focus on the positive and share some of the big ways my mom was an influence in my life. Here are my top 4 memories of my mom.

1)      Mom playing the piano or organ. From an early age, mom loved music, and that love only grew and blossomed as she became an adult. In most of the churches my dad pastored in, she would play the piano or organ. I even took organ lessons for a while in grade school, in large part because my mom played. I didn’t stick with it, but I wish I had. I used to love hearing my mom play and hear her sing. She usually sang alto while someone else sang lead, but there was no denying her ability to harmonize. When the three of us boys got older, the five of us or some combination of family members would sing together. The Busbey Family Singers. We could have taken our show on the road, especially once my brothers Paul and Dave started learning to play instruments. All three of us kids have a love for music and that is in no small part due to my mom.

2)      Mom teaching and playing with children. Mom loved kids. She loved teaching kids. She loved caring for kids. She loved playing with kids. Mom just loved kids. She taught Sunday school for most of her life and was a huge influence on the hundreds of kids she had in class. My mom was a perfect person to work with kids. She was patient, understanding, compassionate, soft-spoken and big-hearted. I won’t say that I’m as good with kids as my mom was, but I definitely have a love for teaching kids and helping kids learn. Sometimes I wish I had become a teacher. But I have been called to write and I have answered that call. But I still find ways to work with kids. I help coach my daughters’ T-ball, softball and soccer teams and I have taught Sunday school in the past. I love working with the kids and watching them learn and grow over the course of a few months, or in some cases over the course of years. Unfortunately, my mom was only alive to see one grandchild born. I am sad for her because I know she would have loved being a grandparent to all the kids she would be grandma to today if she were still alive. And I also am said for the kids that they didn’t get the opportunity to have such a loving grandmother in their lives.

3)      Mom making time for us. My mom was a busy woman. She often worked part-time jobs outside of the house. She worked as a waitress, a house cleaner, a grocery store clerk, baby-sitter and other such jobs to help our family make ends meet. On top of that, she always did laundry, made dinner and took care of the house. But no matter what, she always took time with us. No matter what age we were, she tried to find a way to be involved in our lives and relate to us. I can remember her going out and playing ball with us, even though she may not have been super athletic and it probably wasn’t her first choice of things to be doing. But because it was what we wanted to do, it was what she wanted to do.

4)      Mom being a Godly example for us. I mentioned before some of mom’s personality traits that made her perfect for working with children. Well those traits, if you noticed, are traits that God wants us all to have, and we can have through Him. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. All those things were evident in my mom’s life. There are few people I have ever known who so truly exhibited how to live and love like God wants us to. And I’m sure if she were alive she would be quick to tell me that it wasn’t because of anything she did, other than letting God rule in her life. What a great lesson that is for all of us.

I have to admit, I thought it would get easier by the time we hit the 10 year anniversary of mom’s death. But I have come to realize, it will never get easier. The pain is a little less sharp than it used to be, I suppose, but it still is there. I can think about her a little more often with just a smile as opposed to a tear, but the tears are still there all too frequently. Especially on days like this.

Please pray for me and all my family today. I know they all will appreciate it.

In closing, as I have done each of the last two years, I am going to share the words of a song I wrote in the months leading up to mom’s death and then immediately after her death. I read it at her funeral and it will always have a special place in my heart. I thought about actually performing it in public for the first time to mark the 10 year anniversary, but I don’t think I could get through it without breaking down in tears. So for now, it will merely remain words on a page and a melody for me alone to hear. Although I’m sure mom has heard me sing it from Heaven. So I guess it’s just for her and I to know.

I love you mom and miss you tons. I’ll see you again someday. Save a place for me.

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.




2 responses

24 04 2012

Tim, thanks for sharing this post about your mom. It is a beautiful tribute to your mom and the love you have for her. I am sure she is saving a place for you.

25 04 2012

Thanks, Kate

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