Reflections On Our Mom

About a month ago, my healthy 59 year old mom went into the hospital for chest pains. What was initially diagnosed as pneumonia, quickly became known as pulmonary fibrosis, and she died from it three weeks later.

Today we had her Celebration of Life service, and it was so very sad and so very good. Though I couldn’t help my steady flow of tears, I was so incredibly proud of my parents and my siblings. God was glorified and Mom was honored-and I couldn’t be more proud. Here’s what us kids had to say 🙂 IMG_3234.JPG

David:

Our mother died on August 1st 3:30 p.m. during her life she was a fairly unique individual whom we love very much she had the odd habit of watching the same thing on TV over and over again one of her favorite things to watch was the Christmas carol I don’t know how considering she could barely keep track of the remotes but somehow she got the VCR to play that darn cassette over and over again without having to ever get out of her bed soon as it reached the end it would rewind itself and start over again

The movie is about a man named Ebenezer Scrooge he’s rejected by family goes through  the loss of loved ones lose his people’s respect  friends  and what’s important and only by taking a personal inventory and scrutinizing his life and the way he lives does he realize his mistakes  he sees the horrible harmful things others have done to him he sees the horrible harmful things he has done to others he sees how others choose to live how they have overcome their own adversities and he is forced to see what is life could end up being

Our mother was a wonderful person despite all of her faults she experience loss of loved ones rejection by family she battled addiction struggled in her own personal hookups and doubts with God and faith but she found salvation she became as good a wife as good a woman as to be found anywhere and it could be said she truly understood the blessings of God not just in church on Sunday but everywhere and all year long the final words of actor Alastair Sim as Scrooge are I don’t deserve to be so happy, then with raucous laughter and joyous tears he exclaims I just can’t help it

Our mother died on August 1st at 3:30 p.m. and in heaven she will now know uncontrollable joy and eternal laughter and she just can’t help it.

Betty: 

Hi, I’m Betty- the middle child-please don’t hold that against me.

Mom, was wonderful in so many ways. She was strong. She was selfless. She was humble. She took us on walks and talked through things with us, she helped us with homework, she did countless crafts with us (some of us were worst than others), she was mom. A mom who cleaned up bloody knees after we crashed learning how to roller blade. She was a mom who volunteered in our schools and brought in snacks and taught us how to do chores and how to decorate. She took us on vacations, and shuttled us to soccer games volleyball practice and shows. She cared about who we were friends with. As we grew she talked with us about sexuality (often times a LITTLE too explicitly), and about the value of education and being a life-long learner. She invited us into her work world and vice versa showing us the value of loving every human being and of hard work. She taught us about finances, and wise decision making, and the importance of being responsible for my own emotions. She believed in us-and thought that we could do anything we put our minds too. We know that she loved us deeply. And I know I can speak for all of us when I say, we are extremely thankful for her.

As many of you know, and as David alluded to, Mom also had some really hard things in life.  But here’s the beautiful, wonderful things about her life and legacy. She fought and she won and by the power of God her life ended with SUCH GRACE. She fought through the mental illness of depression and anxiety. She fought through the addiction of alcoholism. She fought for faith and for family and for relationships. It was not easy. And transformation did not come overnight. It took a long time-but I will forever remember Mom’s legacy as one of perseverance and victory.

The song of Mom’s life ended beautifully. The melodies she and God wrote the last few weeks, months, and years were among the most beautiful of her entire life. Mom’s story is a reminder that you are never too far, and it is never too late to grasp a hold of God’s loving hand. And when you do—thought it isn’t easy-oh my goodness is it good.

I am heartbroken that mom is gone. I hate that she won’t see my wedding day, and I’ll never be able to laugh at her over FaceTime for being distracted by the filters. I hate that dad’s alone, and that there is no one to defend David now when we all gang up on him at family functions.

But even with the heavy sadness, I have peace knowing that she ended with a grace that makes me so incredibly proud to be called her daughter, and right now-even as we meet here today- she is in heaven, and happier and more fulfilled than we can even begin to imagine. And that is a reason to celebrate.

Glenda:

As we gathered around Mom’s bed to say our final goodbyes we all cried a lot. It was so sad to see her like that and to know that going forward she would not be here.  We sang and cried and prayed and then the nurse asked each of to tell her about mom and before long in true Pompell fashion we all started laughing.  I can almost hear mom saying “Cry just a little bit for me, maybe a few tears but then be happy” So that’s what we did. And while we miss her greatly there are so many awesome and fun things to remember about her….

Like she loved dessert! So much so that she more often than not ordered it as her main meal! She love to take naps any time of the day and anywhere! She loved coffee, especially coffee with her daughters! She loved Stargate, Star trek and LOTR. So much so that she named her dog Arwen…whom she also loved. She loved to eyeore. She loved pepsi maxx (never ever coke) she loved watching the christmas carol over and over again. She loved her sisters and the time she spent with them. She loved her church and Jesus.  She loved our dad and how he loved her! She loved us kids and all her grandkids and spending time with each of us. And she especially loved it when we would take a nap with her!

If you ever spent anytime with Mom you know that she had a quirky and dark sense of humor. Sometimes she would tell jokes that only she would get but her laugh was so contagious that she then had us all laughing! I will definitely miss her laugh! She was sweet and thoughtful and when I think about how she loved each of us kids it was different in that she was able to see the differences in the three of us and love us the way we needed to be loved.  One of the last gifts she gave was to say thank you for something. When I told her she didn’t have to get me anything she said “i know but i also know that gifts is one of your love languages.”

When I was 15 or 16 mom spent several months reading Pride and Prejudice with me. Each of us taking turns and reading it allowed to each other! It is still my favorite book and that is my all time favorite memory of me and her. Mom claimed a children’s book for each of us that she felt represented our relationship. Our book was I’ll love you forever. It’s a tear jerker! But it is so true to life! Life wasn’t always perfect. We had our ups and downs…I was a teenager once upon a time! And we both did things over the years to make each other angry and we made decisions that the other one didn’t agree with.  But at the end of the day I knew that I was her daughter and she was my mom and I never doubted her love for me!  And the last paragraph of that book has never been more true “ I’ll love you forever, I like you for always, as long as I’m living my mama you’ll be”

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Our little favor:
Mom's Favor.jpg

My Parent’s 40th Year Anniversary

Forty years ago today, my parents- Robert and Karen Pompell- promised themselves to each other, for better or for worse, in richness and in want, in sickness and in health-till death do they part. I have seen them faithfully love each other in each of those circumstances, and have been deeply blessed by both the delightful and the difficult aspects of their marriage. I asked them this weekend what sort of lessons they have learned over the 40 years, and here’s what they had to say:

  • Mom said she learned…
    • He cannot read my mind, he cannot read my emotions, and so if I want him to know what’s on my mind or how I feel–I have to tell him!

    • He doesn’t do stuff to particularly make me mad–that’s just my perception, and I had to learn to let it go and believe the best about it

    • Just because we see the same thing, doesn’t mean we see the same thing

    • I’ve learned to love him more, to be a friend, to be a confidant, and to enjoy his company.

    • I’ve learned to support him in all his endeavors

    • I’ve learned that it is never good to say negative things about the man you’re married to in front of your children, or in front of friends.

    • I’ve learned I DO need a confidant, but you have to pick that confidant very carefully

    • I have learned what true human unconditional love is. ❤

    • I’ve learned to replace negative thoughts playing in my mind with positive thoughts and to let God’s spirit shine through me in our marriage

  • Dad said he learned…
    • As you grow older together, there are different stages you go through in life, and you adjust to meet each others needs and changes

    • If you love unconditionally, she just gets more beautiful every day

    • When I feel my worst, she gives me her best. She is a great encourager to me and is supportive.

    • Over the years, we learned how to become better communicators

    • We had to keep God at the center of our marriage. When we depend on him-in prayer and in Scripture-he takes us through the storms and helps us stay focused in our love.

    • There may be times you don’t like each other-but you still have to love each other

    • With love, comes true forgiveness. When you have your disagreements- you don’t say “Remember when” , that’s not forgiveness. Forgiveness is the way Christ forgives us-it’s gone! It’s forgotten!

    • Don’t dwell on the past, focus on the present, work on the future together.

    • Holding her hand or rubbing her feet is a love language I have learned over the years. It means just as much as me looking at her and saying “I love you”>

    • There is nothing she loves more than getting her feet loved-so she gets her feet rubbed everyday

    • We are going to mess up and get mad at one another, but it’s the forgiveness. And keep working at pleasing one another

    • Prayer together, keeping Christ at the center is when our marriage is the strongest

    • You need friends you can confide in, to talk to, to pray with you, to encourage you, when things are not going so well. Don’t share it with everyone, but find believers you can trust and pray for me. I have seen so many miracles in our marriage!

    • My wife is the ultimate gift I. I have been so blessed. I could not ask for more beautiful, loving wife. Not always been easy, it has been difficult, very difficult at times, but my love never wavered and I just thank God every day for every day that we have together. I think no matter what comes our way, all I can say is “thank you”.

Thanks for your wisdom, love, honestly, and example Mom and Dad! Happy 40th wedding anniversary! I thank God for you and pray He gives you many, many more!

Love,

Betty

Make ’em Laugh

Growing up, I LOVED watching old musicals! Among my favorite songs were “Bless Yore Beautiful Hide” from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, “The Chimney Sweep Song” from Mary Poppins and “Make ’em Laugh” from Singing in the Rain.

In the 1952 film starring Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor -“Make ’em Laugh”- was performed perfectly by the character Cosmo Brown and enamored my brother and I at young ages with the skill of physical comedy.

Make ’em laugh, make ’em laugh,
Don’t you know ev’ry one wants to laugh?
My dad said, “Be an actor my son,
But be a comical one!”
They’ll be standing in lines
For those old honky tonk monkey shines
Oh, you could study Shakespear and be quite elite,
And you could charm the critics and have nothing to eat,
Just slip on a a banana peel, the world’s at your feet
Make ’em laugh, make ’em laugh, make ’em laugh!

Reading back over these lines and watching this clip- I just thank God for the gift of humor! He didn’t have to give us funny bones, but HE DID! Graciously, brilliantly, and loving-he gifted the world with laughter.

Remember that God is the giver of EVERY good gift-including humor. In thanksgiving and love,  be careful not to make light of and laugh at the things that break God’s heart.

 

Another Puritan Prayer

Sometimes, I don’t know what to pray. In those moments, I allow pre-written prayers of saints gone by to minister to my spirit and remind me how to pray.

O Lord,

Whose power is infinite and wisdom infallible, order things that they may neither hinder, nor discourage me, nor prove obstacles to the progress of Your cause.

Stand between me and all strife, that no evil befall, no sin corrupt my gifts, zeal, attainments. May I follow duty and not any foolish device of my own. Permit me not to labour at work which You will not bless, that I may serve You without disgrace or debt.

Let me dwell in Your most secret place under Your shadow, where is safe impenetrable protection from the arrow that flies by day, the pestilence that walks in darkness, the strife of tongues, the malice of ill-will, the hurt of unkind talk, the snares of company, the perils of youth, the temptations of middle life, the moumings of old age, the fear of death.

I am entirely dependent upon You for support, counsel, consolation. Uphold me by Your free Spirit, and may I not think it enough to be preserved from falling, but may I always go forward, always abounding in the work You give me to do. Strengthen me by Your Spirit in my inner self for every purpose of my Christian life.

All my jewels I give to the shadow of the safety that is in You—my name anew in Christ, my body, soul, talents, character, my success, spouse, children, friends, work, my present, my future, my end. Take them, they are Yours, and I am Yours, now and for ever.

Amen