Thursday, October 9, 2014


Norma Rushing
October 19, 1945 - October 3, 2014

I've been silent on my blog for a while. A few months ago I got word that my mom was sick and had decided to go home on hospice care after a long hospital stay. We all knew what that meant. We all knew that she'd struggled since before Jace got sick with her own health. What many did not know is the behind-the-scenes of my relationship with her. I tried to be very careful and respectful of her about our struggling relationship. 

Much of my life was spent trying to make that relationship exactly what we both wanted. It was difficult on both of us for a long, long time. Months before she got sick we had stopped talking. I know why she shut me out and I know that I was only coming from a loving, caring place. There were some toxic people talking to her telling her things that were untrue about my motives for visiting. I struggled weeks before she passed with deciding the right time to travel the 11 hours to see her; to say goodbye. I knew my visit would cause stress and didn't want my presence to create any tension. 

As God always does, I finally felt led to make that long journey. I knew it was time. 

Thursday, I drove with my cousin to visit. We were prepared for what we would experience. We'd both been bracing ourselves for the reality of the future. 

Thankfully, we both made it in time to tell her we loved her and to say goodbye. 

I will never forget that moment. I took her hand. I looked into her eyes and said "I love you." She nodded and raised her head closer to mine and said "I love you, too." I kissed her on the forehead and stroked her hair. 

We left Thursday night knowing that would be our last visit. We got the call the next morning that she was gone. 

I've been preparing myself for this for a long time.  I knew what this would mean for my family. My mom was the caretaker of both my brother and my dad. Without her, we knew they would both need things put in place for their care. 

Many of the things normal families discuss and put in place were not discussed at all. 

I've had a full range of emotions since the time I knew she only had months left. Anger, sadness, hope. . . 

The thing about both of us is that we both said exactly what was on our minds. We both lived different lives. We both approached pain and struggle differently. 

She tried so hard for many years to escape all the painful experiences she had, including my brother's death.

Here's what I read at her memorial earlier this week: 

Unfortunately, my dad is unable to be here today. He is struggling with Alzheimer's and is, currently, in the hospital in NM.

"For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creating, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." 
Romans 8:38

The moment right before my brother died was the very moment I realized just how loved I was. It was the moment I knew God was in the middle of everything we experience. Nothing can separate us from the love He has for us.

Everyone sitting here today is a testament of just how loved my mom and our family was.

Each one of us have different memories of her and had different experiences with her.

What you may not know is just like in any family there is the highlight reel and then the behind the scenes. My relationship with my mom was a difficult one. Like some of you here, I continued to try to reach out, love her, pour into her and remind her just how cared for she was.

My brothers death was a pivotal point in our family. My mom struggled very much to come to terms with that day. And though we have been lucky enough to still have our sweet Jace, I do know how difficult that journey was for her.

Those experiences can cause us to isolate ourselves from everyone and everything. It can cause us to believe no one cares and is just going on about their lives. 

Since that day I have prayed so very hard she would realize that abundant love. I'm choosing to believe the minute she was gone from this earth, she not only realized it but opened her arms and ran to it.

Thank u to each of you for your presence here today and for loving on my mom one last time. 

There were so many people that loved my mom and reached out to her often. Some got through and some didn't. It didn't make them love her any less, including me. It's been heartwarming to read and hear stories of how she helped others, made people laugh, or just made them feel special.

In this season of my life, cancer with Jace, losing my mom, losing my dad also in a sense, and being so far from my brother, some look at me from afar and probably say "Man, I'm glad that's not me!" 

I say, "THANK YOU, GOD! In this season, I'm closer to You. I am closer to Your miracles. I'm closer to others. Thank YOU for showing up every single time I've needed you and for leading me to honor not only my mother, but the life I have and, ultimately, You. " 

One thing my mom did for me every year was try to join my 40 Days of Thankfulness Challenge. We would love for you to join us this year! 

October 8 - November 16

RIP Mom. You and John-John are together again finally. <3 

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