This is definitely the hardest blog I have sent out while on our mission. When we got home from church this afternoon, we had an invitation to hang out with Mark. I knew it would be the bad news I have been expecting for the last few days. My dear, wonderful, happy, loving mother passed away today. I really feel completely drained right now. I am still trying to grasp the fact that when we get home, she won't be there. She has always been there in my life. I can't remember a major decision I ever made or a time of hesistation in my life that she wasn't there to advise, counsel and cheer me on. She raised five totally fine children, well most of us are totally fine, and always gave us a perfect example to follow. She could kiss a skinned knee or a cheek wet with tears and make everything instantly better. There have been very few times I have seen her cry, namely because she had Sjorgren's disease and didn't have any tears. But I have seen her soul rocked with sobs and her heart about to break usually due to something affecting her children or grandchildren or great granchildren. She was a perfect wife and mother. She could bake, sew a little, clean, laugh, holler and hug like no other. She was an instant friend to anyone she met. She had an art of making you feel at ease and that you had something interesting to tell her about your life. She was the glue that held our family together. She was the reason we all wanted to go to Granma's house on Sunday nights. Oh how I am going to miss those Sunday nights. Sometimes people who marry into our family can't understand the Sunday nights but they were a time for us, all of us, to cry with each other, to cheer each other on, to laugh over silly things that only a 'Cowles' would get. But mostly they were a time to love each other, no matter what was happening in our lives. We knew we would either have 20 people on Sunday night who would be happy for us or there would be 20 people who would be disappointed in us. A true test of a potential marriage partner was the Sunday Night family 'meet and greet'. If you couldn't pass this test, you were doomed. And my mom was always the reason we were there in the first place. I have felt so lost these last few days, knowing she was graduating and going back home. Mark and I think she was reading her new "Handbook of Instructions" before she actually made it back. She too is now on a mission. My mission has a release date. Her mission is eternal. But she will be there to greet us when our earthly missions are over. And like I told her on the phone yesterday, "I will come running Mom. I will come running towards you so very fast you'd better be well planted so I don't knock you over." What a joyous occasion to look forward too. I have such a hole in my heart right now that it makes it hard to breath sometimes. My mom's name was Grace and she was full of Grace and beauty and truth and virtue. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, praiseworthy or of good report, it was Grace. The world is sadder and heaven is jumping for joy! I Love You Mom.
Always Have. Always will. T H I S M U C H! H2C