Wednesdays with Wanda

October 6, 2009 AT 11:40 pm 51 Comments

Where do I even begin?

How can I ever put into words how precious each of you are to me?

I know that I have told you before that my mom is the one who talked me in to creating this blog this past March.

She told me about some wonderful decorating blogs she had been following. I checked them out, and I was hooked.

I started my blog as a way to document my family life and the things we love. My husband and I were working on our guest house at the time, and I started posting pictures of the progress.

I even entered and won some giveaways! I remember winning my first giveaway and running down the stairs at my house, straight to the phone to call my mom! She was so excited for me.

When I got my first follower, I called my mom.

Every time I posted, I called my mom.

She would read it and call me back later that day and tell me what a wonderful job I had done.

She would give me suggestions on what to post about. We could talk for hours about my blog. I knew she was proud of me.

When we found out Mom had cancer on August 6th, my blog took on a WHOLE new meaning.

It became a place that I could write about my mom and what we were going through.

And you listened.

And you commented.

Your encouraging words were like medicine to my hurting heart.

My mom read your comments too.

She would smile and say, “Oh, Traci, honey, I am so glad you have that blog. It has really been a source of encouragement for you. What a blessing!”

And she was right, you have truly blessed me.

I believe in prayer and so did my mom.

One time I was sitting with Mom at home and I read one of the wonderful prayers that a person had left on my blog.

Mom said that when she hears that people are praying for her, she pictures it in her mind… you holding her hand… and walking her up to the throne of God… then saying, “Lord, here’s Wanda, I am praying for her….”

She said “I find comfort in that because there is no better place to be than at the foot of God’s throne.”

I agree. Thank you for walking me up to the throne of God with my Mom. I have truly felt your prayers.

*********************************

Mom passed away on Tuesday, September 22nd. We had to make plans for the visitation and funeral in the following days. One of the things we wanted at the visitation was a picture video of Mom for people to view while standing in line.

I had made a picture video for my dad on Father’s Day, so I volunteered to make one for Mom.

Because we had so much to do during that week, I didn’t get to start on the video until 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday night, the night before the visitation.

Anyone who knew Mom knew that she loved to take pictures. We have boxes and boxes of childhood pictures. Not albums….BOXES!

I had to sort through all of those boxes to find pictures of Mom. My heart would break as I would look at those precious pictures. She was so beautiful, so wonderful. My heart ached like never before. Yet at times, those same pictures would fill my heart with overwhelming gratefulness for the life God has given me, and the gift of my amazing mother!

It was almost 2 a.m., and I was still combing through pictures. I wanted to do a good job. I wanted my mom to be proud. It was one of the last earthly acts that I would be able to do for my mom.

I thought to myself, “I just can’t do it. I don’t have enough time. It won’t be good enough. My mom deserves the best. I’m so sorry, Mom.”

I picked up a stack of pictures and flipped through them quickly when a small, old note card fell in my lap.

It was a note written to me.

It was written by my mom.

It was Feb. 25, 1980. I was ten years old.

My heart stopped as I read the first line….

“Dear Traci,

Just want you to know I love you.”

The tears began to pour and I couldn’t stop crying. Could Mom see me? Could she feel my weariness? Could she see my broken heart? Boy, did I need to hear those words from her! It was as if I could almost hear her sweet voice.

Here’s what the rest of the card said….

IMG_3728

(the other side…)

IMG_3729

I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore. And then I found a strength within me to stay up two more hours and finish the video.

Oh the strength of my mother’s love!

I praise God for a mother who documented her love for me on little note cards.

She did it her whole life.

She would write notes to all of her children at different times throughout our lives.

Here is an example of just a few of the notes that I have…

IMG_3730

I cannot tell you the comfort and love they have given me during this difficult time.

I wanted to share this idea with you in hopes that all of you beautiful mothers out there would stop for a few minutes today and write the ones you love a little note.

My mom kept notes for us in file folders labeled with each family member’s name. Along with any cards, birth announcements, or other memorabilia that she thought we would treasure someday.

IMG_3606

I’m not quite that organized, so I write my notes to my boys in journals. I bought each of them a journal when they were born for me to write in. I haven’t written a ton of letters, but I have written about special events in their lives, funny things they have said, or things I wanted them to know about themselves when they were young.

I hope they treasure their journals as much as I treasure my notes from my mom!

For a while, I’ve decided to do a post each week called “Wednesdays with Wanda”. I want to share even more with you about my amazing mother. She was always so full of good ideas. I already have a ton of things I would like to share with you.

Growing up, she was the food editor for our local newspaper, and she also wrote for Home Life magazine. I would
love to share some of her recipes and ideas with you.

I’m really doing it for me though. And for my boys. I want them to be able to have all of this to look back on some day and see glimpses into their Nana’s heart. I know they are so young, and probably won’t be able to remember her much. Maybe this blog will help.

I know it is helping me!

Mom loved my blog. And I will continue writing it in her honor. I am looking forward to posting more regularly in the weeks to come.

I want to leave you with the video I made for Mom’s visitation.

Thank you, Lord for these precious memories…

http://www.youtube.com/get_player

Blessings,


 






Comments

  1. What a legacy!

  2. The tears are rolling down my face this morning. What an incredible daughter you are! I love the Lord's timing and His great tenderness for you and I am looking forward to many more of these special Wednesdays! Blessings to you and your family!

  3. I'm sitting here in tears after reading that wonderful post!!! I think I'll start writing the letters to my children.. I put little notes in there lunchboxes..and I have my blog where I do posts dedicated to my children.. but personal handwritten notes are so personal. You are still in my prayers.

  4. Your mother sounds like an amazing woman! Thanks so much for sharing about the letters! I am definitely going to begin that with my boys b/c I know how much something like that would mean to me.

    Have a blessed day!

  5. She would be so pleased, I think, Traci to know you are doing this. You are preserving a fabulous legacy and that is such a good thing. You had a wonderful mother. She taught you many things, and it is good for you to share them. You are teaching other women how to be a good mom.
    Thanks!
    Suzanne

  6. Anonymous says:

    What a wonderful tribute to an amazing lady!
    Lisa L.

  7. Hi Traci. I so much enjoy hearing about your Mother. I remember how difficult it was for me to see a photo of my Mom for such a long time after she was gone. What strengh God gave you to be able to do put together that video durning the most trying period of your life. Finding that note at such a critical time shows Gods deep and abiding love.
    May God continue to give you strengh and bless you and your family.

    Hugs, Tracy

  8. I was in tears reading this post! I'm glad you have so many amazing memories of your mother. I think have Wednesdays with Wanda is such a great idea. Not only will it help you, but it sounds like her life and knowledge can continue to be a blessing to others through you. That's awesome. Have a good day…

  9. What a gift your mother has left you in so very many ways. I have done this for my children through out their lives. Sometimes I wonder if one day they will just roll their eyes…thanks for assuring me that they will know the love with which it was done.

  10. And again your post has me in tears!!!! How precious that you found the note from your Mom when you did!!! She has become such an inspiration to me and I look forward to hearing more about her.

    You, and your family, have been on my mind and in my prayers.

  11. What an amazing post. I pray God gives you sweet peace today!
    My heart is praising that your Godly Momma is dancing this morning in Heaven. I have lifted you up in prayer along with all of your family who are so missing such a great Mother~
    Blessings~
    Carrie

  12. Your Mom was one special Lady. I wrote in a journal for a few years and left things in it for my kids and hubby to read later. I have also wrote them letters to be opened when I passed on. I have to admired how your Mom did things. I wished I would be that organized.

    Willow

  13. Traci~ welcome back~what a beautiful video and what a treasure to have the notes from her. Hugs to you~

  14. Anonymous says:

    Wow, Traci, I loved that precious little note! It was a way for her to remember what you girls were into at the time and document that for YOU, too! How special. What an inspiration!!! :)

    Jenna

  15. What a beautiful tribute to your mom. I know this sounds crazy, but my Nana passed away in August, and my cousins and I had the BEST time going through those big boxes of old family photos. Your family is in my heart and my prayers.

  16. Traci, that is a great idea. What a wonderful person your Mom was and how precious of you to share her with us. God bless.

  17. What a beautiful gift your mother has given you! Thank you for sharing it with us all. I'm going to go start writing some love notes. God bless.

  18. Traci, this is such a beautiful and precious tribute to your mom who was an amazing woman. What a blessing to have had her as your mother. You have been in my thoughts and prayers and I look forward to future posts about her. Your video was so wonderful, and showed such joy in her life and the joy she brought to others. Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Marty

  19. Traci-
    Dear Sister I know that this time must be hard for you. Filling that time that you would normally call your mom and share, but what a blessing it is to have the memories that you have. What a gift and legacy your mother left. Most of all what an example to you on what to be and give to your own children as they grow.

    May we all be like Wanda- remembering that we are the eyes and ears of the LORD Jesus to our children. Help us to show the LOVE of Christ to them!!

    Thank you for blessing us with a glimpse into your life and heart!
    Angie

  20. May you continue to be held in the hand of Jesus as you go through this process of grief. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of the journey

  21. Oh sweet Traci…your mother was an angel…I can just tell…she was an angel from the very beginning sent hear to do God's work, but more importantly to watch over all of her children. She had a heart of gold and so do you…and you are going to be just as amamzing to your children as she was to you. I am touched by this post, teary eyed and hoping that you can begin to feel some comfort after writing this post. I know Wnada is with, and she is smiling down on you knowing that she can trust you to continue the Lord's work here on earth. Blessings to you sweet friend.

  22. Traci, that was beautiful! Thank you for sharing that, you did a beautiful job. You did have a very special mother. I love the idea of sharing notes with our kids, and a journal is a terrific way to do it!

  23. It's so neat that your mother wrote letters to you. I should start that with my kids. I enjoyed the slideshow you put together. What program did you use to create the slideshow and how did you post your video to your blog? I've made slideshows using Windows Movie Maker but have not figured out how to post them on my blog. If you have any tips for me, please let me know. (I'm a follower of your blog).

  24. Amazing.Each time I read about her I pray and hope that I would become a mother like her.I have a great mother-don't get me wrong,but-WOW!What a special lady.

  25. Traci
    How beautiful!
    I love that your mom wrote you notes and saved things!
    I thoroughly enjoyed the tribute to your mom and I am so looking forward to Wednesdays with Wanda!
    I hope you are finding strength and grace
    God Bless
    Patricia

  26. Oh, Dear Traci! My heart is so full and my eyes are filled with tears as I read this wonderful wonderful tribute to your sweet mother. Your post shows her love for you, her family and her God and it shows your love for her! What a precious video you've made taking us through her life! What a beautiful smile she has and Traci, you look so much like her – the smile sweet smile!
    I'm so sad for I know your heart is still breaking but I love the Wednesdays with Wanda that you want to do. You mother has ministered to me through your blog and I know she'll minister and be an inspiration to so many others.
    You're just so precious, Traci, and I'm glad I'm getting to know you. You're still in my prayers.
    Blessings,
    Shelia ;)

  27. Traci,
    I have thought often of your mom and the witness she was for Christ to you and your siblings wondering what she did and how she did it and what I could learn from her to be a better mom. I'm so looking forward to your series. Thank you for being so self-less to share her with us. Her testimony to Christ and His goodness will live on…not only within your family, but now, also in mine.

    God bless you and keep you,
    Carrie

  28. Truly glad to see you back in blogland. What a beautiful idea your mother had for keeping treasures for you all. There are a couple of notes from my dad in my baby book. I should dig it out and take a look at them.

    I'm still praying for your family. Thanks for sharing even though your pain is so fresh. We are blessed because of it.

  29. Well, tears filled my eyes and I got choked up reading your post. What an amazing woman your mother was and you were/are so blessed to call her Mother. You can just see how much she loved all you. Yes, children grow up so fast and I wish I'd written little notes to my kids when they were little. But it's never too late and I will follow your mother's example … it's a beautiful legacy! Thank you so much for sharing.

  30. Dear Traci,

    Tears are streaming down my face as I write this.

    Bless you, dear sister, as you strive to honor God with this blog. How fitting that it should be dedicated to your dear mother. I shall look forward to spending Wednesdays with Wanda. What a wonderful woman she was.

    His eye really IS on the sparrow, Traci. He cares for you so much, just as He cared for your mom. You are her living legacy. Thank you for being willing to share her with us.

    Blessings,
    Richella

  31. Traci,
    Thank you so much for sharing those precious memories with us. I can hardly see for the tears flowing. I can't imagine if she were my own mother…what a beautiful and fitting tribute. I anxiously await Wednesdays with Wanda. I believe I have much to learn from her life. Praying for your dear, dear family — that God will ease the pain left by her loss. What an incredible legacy.

    Blessings, sweet one.
    Tracy

  32. You did a wonderful job of memorializing your Mom, I'm sure she was looking down on you and smiling. Hang in there, the pain doesn't ever go away, but does get easier to bear. She will always be there, in every smile, tear, and even raindrop you see. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  33. Traci,
    A beautiful tribute for a beautiful woman indeed.
    I've only been reading your Blog for few weeks now but in such a short space of time I have seen so much love and faith through you and your posts about your Mom.
    I absolutley started crying when her note fell into your hand, what an amazing way in which she reached out to you. It really shows you that love knows no bounds.
    God Bless and Take Care.
    Cindy

  34. Wow Traci. You are blessed! What an amazing mother and what a legacy she's left to you and her grandchildren. God bless you as you enjoy the incredible memories of her life with yours.

  35. I am crying at the beauty of that letter your mother wrote all those years ago…something so simple and so loving.

    continued peace and love to you

  36. Thank you for sharing moments and thoughts of your Mom with us. As I face my surgery in November I have been trying to think of ways to document how I feel about my kids for them. You have given me wonderful ideas. Thank you.

    erika

  37. aw Traci, this letter is so sweet, as I was reading through your post, then I realized how the note tied into the ordeal.
    I am so sorry you lost your mom, it is a sad state. *hugs* to you.
    keep on blogging, I know you can touch others with your sweet spirit.
    -ginai((:

  38. I stumbled onto your blog and what a sweet blessing and reminder to me of how very special we are as mothers and daughters. I lost my mother at the young age of 66 almost 8 years ago and the pain is still so very fresh. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. You were blessed with a wonderful gift from the Lord with your Mother and she raised a real jewel of a daughter in you. How proud she must be to call you her own. Take care and may God's peace give you comfort in the coming days.

  39. Came here from Wanda Slavens' blog and just wanted to offer my heartfelt sympathies. Asking our Father to shower you with comfort during this difficult time.

    Blessings, Bob

  40. This month it has been 10 years since I lost my precious mother, so I know your grief. Just know that God will carry you through one day at a time. May you find peace in your precious memories and strength in your faith.

  41. I also came from Wanda Slaven's Blog too! What a Beauty Full woman! Sending YOU love and prayers! Your boys are soOOOOOo handsome, God Bless YOU all!

  42. Those notes are precious. I will be writing some tomorrow! Thank you!

  43. Jennifer C says:

    Traci -
    You have truly touched my heart and blessed me this morning, you and your mom have done that. I was just telling my sister that you are the most amazing person I know. I see that you are living a legacy of faith that you learned from your mother. God bless you all.

  44. Traci,

    Wow, what a wonderful mother you had. I just found your blog today and I was going back to see your decorating tips. I had not idea I would stumble upon such a great story of a mothers love. It also sounds like you are so much like your mom and an amazing and loving mother to your boys. May God Bless you and your family with a long life full of happiness and joy.

    Jen

  45. Traci — I just today discovered your blog. I got here from Shanty 2 Chic blog, which I also found today recommended to me by a sweet young mom I sat next to at MOPS this morning. I'm a Mentor Mom for the group this year — old enough to be their mama. :) I started reading your blog and enjoying your delicious burlap projects…. I heart burlap too ! and I just couldn't stop reading.

    I kept thinking I needed to stop and comment along the way, but just kept hitting the Older Post button until this post. What a delightful mother you had. I am inspired by her and how you have written about her, it's as if I know her. What a precious relationship the two of you had on this earth. And what an incredible, amazing, awesome thing to know where she is this very minute and that you will see her and enjoy her again.

    Blessings on you today! Thanks for sharing your life.

    Gwyn Rosser
    http://www.gwynrosser.blogspot.com
    The Pink Tractor

  46. This has left me crying and determined to make sure I document some of these things for my children. Precious, precious!
    Jenn recently posted..Slipped In Scrap

  47. I, too, am wiping tears tonight. It looks like no one has commented on this post in over two years… but I wanted you to know that it continues to touch people… tonight it touched me. I don’t have children yet, but I think back to a couple months ago when my mom and I were looking at my baby book together, the note from your mom is so similar to many that my mom has written me. Some, that she shared from my baby book, when I wasn’t even able to read just to let me know she cared and loved me! We are blessed, Traci, to have such wonderful mothers, wherever they shall be! *Hugs*

    • Candance,
      Thank you for your sweet comment and for letting me know that my post touched your heart. I am so glad that you are blessed to have a wonderful mom as well. Give her plenty of hugs!
      bless you,
      Traci

  48. So beautiful! Thank you, Traci. I found your blog somehow on a google search about 2 years ago. I first read about your mom that day. What a wonderful and precious mom!

  49. Thank you for this inspiring post. I’ve been asked to write a letter to my daughter to be given to her at her white coat ceremony (medical school tradition). I tell her everyday how I feel about her, but the thought of a letter of such significance scared me. So I was avoiding the letter writing and browsing Pinterest for home decor ideas. That’s how I found your blog. God knew exactly what I needed! After looking through decorating ideas I saw the “Wednesdays with Wanda” posts and decided to read them. I’m so inspired by your mother’s grace, and also very inspired to write the letter I need to write. Thank you for sharing her with us!

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