Behold me, my beloved Jesus, weighted down under the burden of my trials and sufferings, I cast myself at your feet, that you may renew my strength and my courage while I rest here in your presence. Permit me to lay down my cross in your sacred heart, for only your infinite goodness can sustain me; only your love can help me bear my cross; only your powerful hand can lighten its weight.
Mom cherished the Good Word. This is the start of a prayer she read every night before she went to bed. Mom knew she would not be getting better, and reading this only strengthened her faith.
Mom grew up on the family farm in Missouri Valley. She loved horses and roller skating. In December 1957, at home for a two-week leave from basic training, Dad walked into Spyers Rolling Rink in the Valley. Standing across the room, Mom took one look at him and told her friend he was the man she was going to marry. Dad didn’t know, but right then was the start of the next 52 years with the love of his life. She LOVED to tell that story.
Eighteen months from that night in the roller rink, Mom and Dad were married. For the next 50 years they never left each other’s sides. Adding Melody, Toni, Todd and Daphne, our family of six started an adventure with never a dull moment. Dad built homes, and Mom loved to decorate them. Her taste in decorating became exceptional by our 17th one. We did move a lot. There was always a special Karen touch to every one; we had some colorful front doors.
Mom never left Dad’s side. She was a part of his home-building business for the last 47 years, keeping books and decorating new homes. She stayed active with the Home Builders Association and Omaha Realtors. She was an active member of the Metro Omaha Builder’s Association Women’s Council and served on many of its committees, including being a past council president. She was also a member of their current homeowner’s association.
Mom loved to sing. Starting in the choir at Peace Lutheran in the 1960s, she continued when we transferred to St. Mark’s, and then to Divine Shepherd in 1981. She sang in the choir until the disease started to take its effect.
There are so many stories, but sharing a few of them has helped us cope. She is our inspiration and joy.
Momma’s bedtime prayer continued:
O Divine King, Jesus, whose heart is so compassionate to the afflicted, I wish to live in you, suffer and die in you. During my life be to me my model and my support, at the hour of my death, be my hope and my refuge. Amen.
At 5:45 on Friday afternoon, the 7th of August 2009, it was time and she knew it. Peacefully, she looked into Daddy’s eyes, and they shared a kiss as she took her last breath.