Holy Week is supposed to be an emotional roller coaster. I mean, it’s the week Jesus entered into Jerusalem triumphantly, had an epic meal with his best friends, was betrayed with a kiss, put on trial and executed by the Romans by the pressure of the Jewish leaders and some of the people who were praising him, just one week earlier. That’s a roller coaster.
Add to that the sixth-monthiversary of Two Cities Church and our very first Easter service! There’s some emotion there too.
But this year, Easter weekend was marked by a life-event I never wanted to experience.
Easter Sunday I preached a message about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and how that’s the first-fruit of the resurrection of all of God’s adopted children. But what made that so extremely personal was that as I was preaching, my mom was on her death bed and hardly responsive. She had spent the previous 2-weeks in the hospital and at one point we thought she made a turn and was in recovery mode, but then took another turn.
On Thursday night, the night before Good Friday, I got a call from my sister saying, “You’ve got to come back to the hospital. She’s ready to go home.” Which you’ve got to understand home was not her house. Home meant heaven. So Erica and I rushed over to the hospital and all I could think was, “Of course. She’ll probably wait until 12:01am on Good Friday to go home.” But she didn’t, she hung on. She hung on for my brother to fly in, for my uncle Larry, my aunt Melody, my grandma Dessa and a whole host of others to come say good-bye.
One of the most heart-breaking and memorable things I’ve ever heard was my grandma walking into my parent’s house, seeing my mom on hospice, sitting by her side and saying, “I came to go with you the rest of the way. We started this journey together, just the two of us, long ago and we can finish it together.”
Two days after Easter, on April 7, 2015 Cheryl “Mots” Foster died. My biggest cheer-leader. My go-to person for some encouragement or wisdom. My spiritual role-model. My Mots. But not just my Mots, my dad’s wife, my brother’s mother, my sister’s mother, my wife’s mother-in-law, my kid’s grandma. Our Mots and maybe even your Mots.
The last thing I ever said to her was, “I’ll either see you tomorrow or in heaven. I love you Mots.” And I really do believe that I will see her again.
I could write volumes upon volumes on my mom. Maybe one day I will. But for now, I’ll leave you with this… a video of the celebration we had in her honor this past Saturday. Here are some details.
- I had the honor to officiating and planning the Celebration.
- My sister read the obituary.
- My Uncle Larry told some great stories.
- My Dad told the story about how they met in Yosemite.
- My brother talked about her legacy.
- Around 300 people from all over California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Texas came out to celebrate her life.
- The majority of us wore RED because that was her favorite color.
- She had one request in relation to her celebration… she wanted Jill Douty to sing ROAR by Katy Perry. It was her life anthem this past year.
- We didn’t have a traditional guest book, because that just wasn’t her style. So I had asked my friend’s Josh and Hilary Dildine to create a thumbprint tree for our guest book (pictured below).
- And we feasted on some great food after the celebration.
Starting at the eulogy and to the end:
Thank you to all of you who have provided meals, support, love, lent your talent, given hugs and prayed for our family. We have felt your love and will continue on with the mission of Jesus Christ. We love you all.