10 Years without Mom

Tens years ago today, my mom left her earthly home to live forever with Jesus in her eternal home, Heaven.

I cannot believe I have been without my mom for ten years.  

Many of you have been reading my blog ever since my mom passed away, so I also can’t believe that you and I have been together for a decade. 

We’ve walked a lot of roads together since my mom has been gone.  I feel so grateful to have you in my life. 

This past week, my heart has been very reflective, and I have talked about Mom a lot to Cy and the kids.  The idea of her being gone 10 years is hard for me to take in.  Ten years.

Oh, y’all!  What Mom wouldn’t have done to still be living!  To see her grandchildren and great grandchildren grow!  She would have only been 74 years old today.  I know she would have still been so full of life.  She LOVED living.  She LOVED her family.  And she LOVED Jesus. 

She also loved writing letters, and I found this one that she wrote to my kids after babysitting them one day for me…

My boys called her “Nana.”  She lived to make them happy.  There is nothing in the world she wouldn’t have done for them.  

When she passed, Jonathan was 11, Luke was 9, Adam was 7, and Eli was 3.   This was my four handsome boys on the day of her funeral.  I snapped the picture as we left the house to go to the funeral home.  I wanted them to look their best for their Nana. 

Before she passed, she asked Jonathan to sing Amazing Grace (Chris Tomlin’s version) at her funeral.  And he did.  It was the most beautiful song I have ever heard, and I know that Mom was smiling in heaven.

Ten years.

So many things have happened over the past 10 years.

  • Your first granddaughter got married.
  • You had two great grandchildren.
  • Your daughters became full time bloggers.  :)
  • I miscarried.  (I needed you so much then.)
  • Dad remarried.
  • We adopted Sania.
  • Aunt Sue, your sister passed away.
  • HGTV filmed our family.
  • Grandkids graduated high school.
  • Grandkids and great nieces and nephews became Christians.
  • Jonathan was on The Voice and signing a publishing deal.
  • There were struggles and healing in marriages.
  • Our family moved to Tennessee.
  • Birthdays, holidays, ordinary plain days…

Ten years of them without Mom. 

I’ve missed her so much. 

I think of her often and wonder if she’s proud of me?  I always wanted to be just like her, and I fail so many times.  But I try so hard to honor her legacy.  The legacy that she focused on daily to leave for her children.  A legacy of faith.

One of my mom’s favorite verses that she always had as a magnet on her refrigerator was…


That was her ONE desires.  For her children to know and love Jesus. 

Well, Mom,

Your family is not perfect, but we certainly do love Jesus.  And since hearing that your children are walking the truth brings you joy, I thought I would write you a letter.  :)

You would be so proud of the father and husband, Blake is.  And Ande works at a church, just like you.  You would be amazed at Cyndi’s strength and how she has walked in grace and great faith.  Wayne loves her and his family so much!  And you would still be laughing everyday at Cy.  He loved to tease you.  He loves me and our kids so well.

You wouldn’t believe your grandchildren!!! Courtney is married to the funnies guy, AJ.  You would love him.  And she is the BEST mom ever!  And her babies, Colt and Claire, (your great grand children!) well, you just wouldn’t be able to get enough of them!  Cory is a lawyer and doing so well.  He’s still single though, so if could you talk to Jesus about that one.  haha!  Kinsey is doing great in college, and Drew and Ryan are doing well in school!  You should see Drew play football!! He’s a stud!  You would have been at every one of his games!  Speaking of Drew, he and Luke have girlfriends!  I know, I know….you would be giving them plenty of advice in that area!  But they have found two sweet girls, and it is fun to watch them in those relationships.  

Mom, you really wouldn’t believe what has happened in Jonathan’s life.  I know you were always so worried about his hearing.  I know you prayed countless prayers for God to restore his hearing, I’ve read them in your bibles.  The Lord has never restored Jonathan’s hearing, but he has given him a beautiful gift…his voice.   Jonathan is singing and writing music, and man, would you love it!  Thank you for all the prayers you prayed over him.  Luke is such a great photographer and is super creative like you!  And he would have you laughing all the time.  Adam looks just like Dad, and he would be your best buddy.  He is more quiet, and has a heart of gold.  Eli would have your heart, mom.  He has the biggest personality, sometimes hard to contain! ha!  You would love talking to him for hours, and he would love it too!  And mom, Sania….sweet Sania.  You wouldn’t even believe the miracle she has been in our lives.  I know you would be worried about her and her special needs.  I know you would be praying for her all the time…that others would be kind to her, that she would learn well and be able to thrive, and you would be telling her about Jesus every single day.  Sania would have been your sidekick in the kitchen,  She loves to help and would do anything you ask.  

And then there’s Dad.  How do I even start?  Mom, YOU WOULD BE SO PROUD OF HIM!  The way he has loved us all.  The way that he has held our family together in your absence.  The way that he has continued your legacy of faith.  He loves Jesus so much, and he prays for us all.  And God blessed him with Janet.  You would love her too, mom.  She’s so much like you, and you would love the way she takes care of your family.  She’s never tried to replace you, but only to make sure you have always been remembered. We talk about you all the time and share funny stories.  We laugh and we cry, but we always feel loved when we talk about you. 

Mom, there’s no one like you. I am so thankful for you and the Gift of Heaven.  I can’t wait to see you again, and we will have so much to talk about when I get there! 

But for now, know that I love you.  I miss you.  



Your Legacy


For a year after Mom passed away, I wrote a blog post every Wednesday about her.  From her cancer diagnosis, to her passing, to special memories and favorite recipes…I put them in a series called, “Wednesdays with Wanda.”

If you would like to read some of my posts in that series about my mom and the legacy she left behind, you can find them HERE.



  1. Tears streaming…. Beautifully written! My dad passed away 11 yrs ago to pancreatic cancer. I know your sorrow as well as your joy as he is in heaven with your mom and we, too, will see him again someday ❤️🙌

  2. Ten years, wow! I’ve been reading your blog almost from the beginning and watching your children grow up. I know your Mom would be proud of you.

  3. Oh my goodness! Traci, this post today has me all choked up and in my feels. My Daddy graduated to Heaven 7 years ago this November from cancer and it sounds like he and your Mama were two of a kind! He also did everything he could to stay here with us. I miss him so much, but try so hard to celebrate the amazing love he gave our family while he was here with us. Thanks for being real and vulnerable with us. Hugs for you and your precious family.

  4. I’ve been reading your blog since before your mom passed. It’s so hard. I am coming up on 7 years without my mom. I miss her terribly. It never gets easy, you just get used to it. You know she would be so pleased with you and your family.

  5. What a beautiful tribute to your mom. Brings tears to my eyes. She certainly left a legacy that will not be forgotten and will carry on. I admire your faith (where would we be without it !) and for sharing your honest emotions with us. I just lost my dad in March at the age of 87. While he lived a long life and I was blessed to have him all those years, I can feel the emotions in your words. I miss him so. Thank you for this today. For the reminder of that day when we will meet again… the gift of Heaven.

  6. Thank you for sharing your tribute Traci. What a beautiful message and heartfelt outpouring. My Dad went to his heavenly home 16 years ago and it is amazing that time keeps marching on while our hearts stand still with memories and the comfort of meeting up again in heaven.

  7. Oh sweet Traci, how I wish I could just hug you right now. You don’t know me, but we are sisters in Christ and will meet someday in heaven (but I wish someday here on earth too!) Your beautiful letter to your amazing mom just brought me to tears! I can resonate with so much of what you wrote. I lost my daddy to cancer 25 years ago when he was just 52 and I was just 24. Yes, so much time has passed, so many life changes. Wishing so much that our parents could be a part of it all and build into our children. Our family is very much like yours. (Having grown up in a Christian home with parents who daily lived their faith and pointed their kids to Christ.) We can be sooo thankful for the legacy our parents (your mom, my dad) have given us. Such a godly heritage! How thankful to know that we will see them again someday. There will always be that pain of not having them here with us on earth, but we know that unspeakable joy will someday replace all of that pain. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Know that I’m praying for you (and for your sister Cyndi, whose blog I also follow).

  8. Your post touched me to tears as I too lost my mom several years ago. People say you get over the pain as time goes on. I say you just get used to the pain as time goes by. Still miss her so much. Thank goodness we know they are with the Lord…so comforting.

  9. Your mom sounds like a wonderful person! Loved your letter to her. So very sweet! Isn’t it wonderful to know that you have an eternal family, and that you will see her again.

  10. I have been falling you since right after she died. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years. Thanks for everything you have done for the blogging world and for spreading the love of Jesus. You and your family are blessings to so many! Xoxo

  11. Like many others who commented, I have been following you for many years. My dad passed from cancer as well. It will be 5 years this coming January (it was the day before my 50th birthday). Your letter to your mom is beautiful and I am struggling to type because of the tears. Your letter also makes me want to write a letter to my dad, then pass it down to my 15-year-old son when he gets older. Your blog is my favorite and I love how you share your faith, your heart and your family. So, thank you for all that you do. Hugs! Kim in Texas

  12. Hello Traci. I am 64 years old. That means when I started reading your blog I was in my early 50s. I remember when your Momma passed. You have been a very blessed woman to have her as your Mom even though she isn’t with you in a physical way, she is with you in your heart, in your memories and one day you’ll see her again in Heaven. So she is in your future. God bless you and keep sharing in blogland. God has great things ahead for us as his Daughters. I know she’s very proud of you…..how could she not be?
    d in kansas

  13. Beautiful, simply beautiful. And I’ve cried all the same tears. My mom has been gone 18 years and she would have been 75 if still living. She also died of cancer and was so strong and fought a tough battle until the end. Like your mama, she loved Jesus with her whole heart and was far more worried about us than herself.
    I love the letter you wrote- just love it. Hugs my friend, I’m sure you need at least one today.

  14. Traci, That was beautiful message. I had tears in my eyes reading every word you wrote. Your mother would be so proud of you. I’m keeping you in my thoughts and prayers today.

  15. Beautiful tribute to your sweet mom. She would be so proud of you and all your accomplishments personally and professionally. I lost my mom at the age of 17 to cancer. It’s been a long, hard 32 years but I know one day we will have eternity together.

  16. As I was reading your entry today, I was listening to ‘Walking on Air,’ a song played when a snowman who has befriended a little boy, takes him up above the houses. (It’s a video based on a children’s picture book, The Snowman)
    It was a fitting song for what I was reading. What a beautiful tribute to your mother. You look like her, and I think you probably write like her, too. What you shared was both beautiful and poignant.

  17. Traci, this letter is so beautiful. Your sharing this has brought so many memories to my mind of my sweet dad. He died 22 years ago. As greatly as I miss his, it eases my sorrow to know he’s been 22 years in the presence of God like your mom. Thank you for sharing your heart, your family and your faith with us daily. Love and hugs!

  18. Wow thank you for sharing this. What a beautiful way to remember your mom. It has been 8 years Sept. 2nd since my mom died. She would be 64, and like your mom she loved her grandchildren like crazy. My daughter was 4 when she passed away so her memories are few. My mom also died of cancer. With the passing time grief is different. It hits hard like in the beginning and the tears roll, but now quickly fades to joy that she is with Christ. The hardest part of grief now is I am getting so weary of missing her. I am going to write my mom a letter I haven’t done that. Love and hugs to you on this day of remembrance of your mom, I hope the memories bring you comfort and joy!

  19. As I read your post, tears streaming, I looked at my fridge at the one magnet I keep on it, from my mom who I lost in 2015. Of course you know the verse “I have no greater joy…”. My mom raised 5 children by herself after my dad left. We are all married to our original spouse and on any given Sunday you will find all 10 of us in church. A faithful mother is God’s greatest gift. Loved reading your series 10 years ago!

  20. Traci-
    Thank you so much for this post. My Mom, who is 77, was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year. She has been through chemo, radiation, and now is undergoing immunotherapy. We will find out in a couple of weeks how well the treatments have attacked the cancer when she gets the next PET scan. I can’t tell you how much your blog and Cyndi’s have meant to me the past 7 months. I sent my Dad daily texts of support, often with Cyndi’s BFTH messages, while Mom was going through the roughest days. It was as if God was sending us a lifeline through Cyndi. Your Mom would be so proud of the two of you; and I am eternally grateful that both of you share your faith so openly in your blog posts. Your faith is a beacon to all of us, and I am blessed to have found your blogs. Gog is good, all the time!

  21. Years streaming down my face for your loss and mine. My sweet sister went to her heavenly home nine years ago today. She was 61, I thought we would grow old together, sharing children and grandchildren. She enjoyed my grandchildren so much. Her first grandchild will be a year old in November. She would have been over the moon in love with him. So glad we will be together again someday but I miss her so much now.

  22. This post is so beautifully written, your Mom sounds like an amazing person, mom, friend and Nana, how lucky to have shared your life with her!

  23. When are they going to cure cancer? My husband died of colon cancer when he was 38. He will all ways be in my heart and mind. I have lost my mom and dad, and a sister. I loved your letter and all that you do. So happy for you and Cy. God bless you all!

  24. What an absolutely beautiful letter to your sweet mama. I have tears! You have been so very blessed to have such a wonderful woman as your mother! I’m so sorry it’s been so long without her. Your words did her justice. I feel as though she is right here. May God bless you and hold you tight. I know it’s never easy to move on without a patent. Big hugs to you!!!!

  25. Writing this through tears. I never knew her except through your blog, but I loved her. She certainly would be very, very proud of you and don’t you ever doubt it. She lives on through her family and I’m sure that will continue through many generations. I’ve been with you for the last ten years, and more, and I can’t believe it’s been that long either. I love reading about your family’s journey and really enjoy your photos and videos about the renovations.
    Love and blessings,

  26. Traci,
    Thank you for sharing your Mom with all of us! Your Mom has left a beautiful legacy in you and Cyndi and your families! I love your heart and authenticity to share the funny, the good, and the hard places in life. I totally understand why you, Cy, Coleen and David were friends in Wilmore! I can remember Coleen talking about you and your family and how much she appreciated and loved you. Coleen and I need to make a road trip south and do some shopping in Brentwood and Franklin! You are blessed for having a Jesus loving Mom! I do to and appreciate her more and more each day!
    Beautiful way to honor your Mom!

  27. Your letter surely mirrors what a beautiful person your mom was and what a beautiful person her daughter is! Although she may be physically gone, she will always live in your heart. Blessings to you and your lovely family xx

  28. Sweet, sweet Traci…there is no doubt in my mind that your wonderful momma would be very proud of you each and every day! You are so fortunate to have had a mom AND dad in your life that loved you and supported you and prayed for you. There are so many of us out there that wanted that so badly and never got it for whatever reason. You are carrying on her legacy in your own beautiful way.

  29. What a beautiful tribute. Isn’t it strange how it feels like years and yet yesterday all at the same time? We’re never ready to lose our moms, no matter what age. I have no doubt that your mom would be proud of you. Sending you love!

  30. Dear Traci,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I feel your pain as my mom has been gone 13 years in July. A day never goes by that I don’t think of her and all that she has missed and that we miss her. I am grateful to God that he blessed me with a wonderful mom. My only condolence is I know that she is in the arms of our Saviour Jesus Christ. She went way too young as your mom did. She was only 68. My heart goes out to you. God Bless you!

  31. I just recently found your blog and have been looking at post that you have recently written. This one stopped me and caught me. What a loving tribute to your mother. Yes, she is in Heaven whole and watching over her family that she created and loved.

    In a few short days will be the anniversary of my father -Oct 8. My father had been through a lot health wise and just in living but he left a loving tribute with wife that loves him and 7 children and 12 grandchildren and countless other family and friends who know he is whole now and not in pain. He is in Heaven with my grandparents and his younger brother. It still feels like yesterday though it will be 2 yrs in just 4 days.

    Know your mother is always with you as she helped create the person you are.

  32. You are incredible! I could feel you through the phone as we share so much my sister in Christ ! My mother passed away 10 years ago too and she would’ve been 51. I’m 30 this year and pray and long for my mother everyday too. Your story brought tears to my eyes. I will pray for your beautiful incredible one of a kind mothers full of love and vibrance !!!!! You and your blessing of a family are in my prays now and grateful for life thank you. 🤍🤍🤍🤍🤍🤍

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