Maria A. Mansfield
Your Heart Lives On
By: Maria. A. Mansfield - 7-27-21
Tomorrow’s a month that my Mom passed on. Losing someone you love is always grievous. I feel like her heart lives on in all of us who knew her, though. She’s left an imprint on our hearts.
At her service, it was a cold afternoon in Buenos Aires, but everyone was there. They mentioned how blessed they’d been to have her in their life as a friend, neighbor, and Grandma. I’m so grateful to God for picking her as our Mom. For all the “lessons for life,” she taught us by example. To live with purpose, to be generous, to love and serve others. To keep our faith in God and in ourselves. To have hope even in adversity and to try our best to forgive.
I am so thankful we had the chance to spend a few weeks together during May and June after she’d been in hospital. As an expatriate living abroad, this time was so meaningful to me, and I guess, for her too. She finally got the long visit she always wanted. We had time to chat and spend time together. Unlike my other shorter stays, we laughed, watched movies, ate meals together, read, and listened to music. -I got used to her slow-paced days. They were filled with simple things. She enjoyed telling me her stories of when she was younger as I listened like it was the first time.
While sharing lunches outside on her sunny patio, and enjoying her beautiful flower garden, for a moment, it seemed she’d pull through. Now I realize it was a “grace-full” window when family and friends could visit her, being mindful they were really saying their last goodbyes. I get a lump in my throat, remembering when I had to say my final goodbye, after six weeks of being with her, before boarding my flight. Ugh! Still so hard for me. Yet I’m forever grateful I could come to stay with her all that time. All those weeks I thought I had accompanied her, truth is, I realized this past week that she was the one accompanying me. I think she knew all along how hard this next month would be and how much I’d miss her.
I’ve had about four weeks to rehash all the logical reasons she’s much better where she is now because she was in so much discomfort towards the end. I’ve also reminded myself I gave my best while taking care of her. It’s just that the heart lingers for yet another hug, or at least one more chance to say I love you. I miss her smile, the sound of her voice, her simple life, her love for family, friends, and nature but mainly -the positive outlook she had on life.
Despite the heart-rending loss, I still think my Mom genuinely lived a fulfilled life.
She was healthy for most of her life, except towards the end. We had a great big family, and everyone loved her! She made friends wherever she went. She would set a beautiful tea table with her best china for every gathering and made one-of-a-kind scones! She loved nature, her plants, and her pets. She loved kids, and her patience to teach them inspired me to raise our boys. Maybe the most challenging thing for her was to outlive her husband and her two older daughters. That takes incredible resilience, unimaginable courage, and Bible-like faith. Well, she had all that.
My Mom lived a simple lifestyle but with unwavering faith. She trusted God for everything in her life. She prayed for all the family every day, by name and for anyone who needed prayer. Who knows how many hand-me-down blessings or good breaks we got -just because she was praying for us. She wrote us all hand-written letters and greeting cards and stayed in touch old school style. That was so cool. We all still cherish them cause they’re part of her legacy.
Mom, your heart lives on. You will live inside of the memory of every person you befriended, helped, encouraged, and prayed for. All that I am today, I owe it in part to you. All that I gave my boys, I learned from you. Thank you for having a huge heart and loving us just as we are. I wish I had another chance to say how much I love you. But I do. Because your spirit lives on.
Have you lost someone in your life? There’s hope. I’m no expert but I know it gets better because I’ve lost a few loved ones already. It’s a slow process, but we learn to hold on to the good memories and let go of the loss; because their life lives on. So thankful for every day we got to share with them and how lucky we were to love them and have them love us back. Their heart lives on.
Maria A. Mansfield, PRS