My mother has passed from this life to her new home in heaven. Though I will miss her, I am grateful she is out of her failing body, out of pain, and in a peace I cannot imagine – such a contrast to the sickness in this world!
As a tribute to Mom, I thought I would tell some of my “Mom” stories. I originally wrote them in the letter, “Shout Out to Moms,” written for the week of Mother’s Day, 2012. In that letter, I added a daily “mom” to whom I was “shouting out.” Some were friends, some strangers, and some relatives. I saved my mom for last.
However, just this past spring, Mom called me and said, “I just read that letter you wrote about a shout out to moms! That was so sweet of you to write!” She thought I had just written it! She had never seen my 2012 shout out! That made me laugh, since I had of course sent her the specific link back then, but at 76-years-old, she admittedly was not the most tech-savvy. In God’s perfect timing, she read the shout out as one of her last readings.
In my parting words to her in hospice this week, I said, “Mom, I love being a mother – and I am sure much of it is because of the mother you were. Thank you.” She is worthy of a shout out! Here is the tribute, quoted from “Shout Out to Moms!” published in May, 2012:
Lastly, and of course most importantly to me, I would love to shout about my own mom, Sue Estes. An amazing cook, she defined volunteer work by cooking for 80 children every Wednesday night at the church where I grew up in Carlisle, PA. She knows food is a love language, and she is fluent in it! Famous for her pies, she would make an entire pie for every person who attended our Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
Hospitality was her natural gift. I don’t mean the pinky-in-the-air matching place-settings, (which she had!) but I mean the door was open to whoever walked in, and they would feel welcome to live there, anytime. Her freezer and cupboard were full “just in case” someone stopped in “unexpectedly.” She expected it.
Jesus said, “What you have done for the least of these, my brethren, you have done for me.” My mother served “Jesus” on more than one occasion. Once there was a bad car accident on the highway near our neighborhood. We children heard the collision and ran to the fence to see. My mother followed through with more than rubber-necking. I don’t know if she jumped the fence, or jumped in the car and followed the ambulance, but I do know that the family that was far from home on vacation was hospitalized and released at different times from each other. My mother offered our home to the father and children while they waited for the other children and mother to be released from the hospital. In my memory it was months, but knowing how children’s brains work, I guess it was probably a week that this family “moved in” with us, with bandaged wounds showing, as they awaited the mother’s medical clearance.Mom had a dream to be a nurse, but when she was a teen, she came upon a bad car accident and fainted. Because of the experience, she “chickened out” from nursing school. The dream never faded, even after her courage had. Years later, when my oldest brother graduated from high school (and her youngest of four was in 4th grade), my mom tenaciously picked herself up by the bootstraps and went to college, 45 minutes from home, full time. She graduated from college as an R.N. the same week as her oldest child.
I don’t know if it is possible to identify, much less quantify someone’s greatest trait, but Mom surpasses the world’s standards when it comes to being flexible and conforming to circumstances that change. She has been babysitting for me and ended up voluntarily taking on other people’s kids when their sitter didn’t show up. Once on family vacation, when our car ran off the road on the way back from a remote fishing lake in Canada, embedding in sand and needing a tow truck, she immediately got all of the fish out and started lining them up on the ground to make a photo shoot out of the time we had to kill. What would have been a stressful, bad memory turned into fun. (Although, we did laugh AT her sometimes, I think she knew deep down we enjoyed it.)
In 2008, when I had to make the call to let my parents know I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, I really think Mom was in the car before I hung up – ready to make the 1600miles drive to be by my side…for a doctor’s appointment. Wild horses had to hold her back until a few weeks after surgery, when I really needed someone flexible enough to let me try some steps back into life, but take over when I got exhausted.
“Shouting out!” about her kids has never been held back by my mom. She would tell a complete stranger in Walmart or Wendys (the two places I specifically remember witnessing!) all about her children and grandchildren’s accomplishments. She is president of fan clubs for 4 adult-children and 12 grandchildren [and a 2014 great-grandchild] ! I love you, Mom!
J.R. (at 3-yrs-old) summed it up best when he asked, “Who is God’s mommy?” I told him God did not have a mommy, and he exasperatedly replied, “Oh, He must be so sad!”
God truly blessed us when He gave us mothers.
In love and thankfulness for Mom,
Obituary: Estes, Sue
ESTES, Sue — Age 76, of Aurora, CO, entered heaven on August 14, 2015. Sue, also known as “Sudie,” “Mom,” “Grammy,” “Mimi,” and “GG,” will be missed. Her piano-playing reached the hearts of the listeners. Her tenacity led her to finish a college degree (as a Registered Nurse) at age forty-five. She added her own touch to geriatric nursing, in the form of piano playing and homemade pies for the residents of the nursing home where she worked. She will likely be most remembered for the “open door” policy of her home, which always included desserts! Much of Sue’s active adult life was spent in the throes of motherhood and serving at church in Carlisle, PA, before retiring with her husband, moving to Colorado.
Her life will be celebrated with a service, followed by finger food and “Dessert with Sue,” featuring Sue’s recipes on Saturday, October 10th, 2015 at 11am, at 2nd Presbyterian Church, 528 Garland Dr., Carlisle, PA. Black tie attire will not be allowed.
Sue is survived by Ron, her husband of 55 years, and children: Larry D. Estes (& Julie), Timothy R. Estes (& Lori), Terri M. Brady (& Chris) as well as Sue’s brother, Charles (and Mary Jo) and brother-in-law, Edward E. Seitz (of the late June R. (Hodge) Seitz). She is preceded in death by her beloved son, Michael E. Estes (deceased Jan. 2014). She was loved by many, including twelve grandchildren, one great-grandchild and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to one of the following:
- Porter Hospice Foundation, (where Sue and family received excellent care following her stroke) 1391 Speer Blvd., Suite 600, Denver, CO 80204 or online at Porter Hospice Donation
- 2nd Presbyterian Church Kitchen Renovation. Checks to: “2nd Presbyterian Church” 528 Garland Dr, Carlisle, PA 17013. Write “In memory of Sue Estes” on the memo line, or give online at 2nd Presbyterian Church Donations.
Rowena Sue (Hodge) Estes was the youngest of five, born February 15, 1939, the daughter of the late Joseph C. Hodge and Annie P. Hodge. She was a 1957 graduate of Talladega High School, in Talladega, AL and attended University of Montevallo. She married Ronald L. Estes on April 3, 1960 and was a 1984 graduate of Harrisburg Area Community College. Together, they resided in Festus, MO; Penn Hills, PA; Carlisle, PA; Ft. Collins, CO and Aurora, CO until the present.
So sorry for your loss Terri. Thankfully she is in God’s arms and no longer in any pain.
Amen! I am so happy for her; I “can only imagine” what she is doing right now!!
We are so sorry for the passing of your mom, prayers and comfort to you and your family…
I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. May God be with you and your family. I know your mom is proud of the Godly women you are. Thank you for sharing this wonderful shout out to moms! Love it! God bless you Terri
So sorry for your loss Terri. Our hearts are with you as you say goodbye and begin to heal. Thank you for sharing your blog and your memories of your mother. You are such an inspiration to so many. God bless you and your family!
I am so saddened to hear about your Mother. It is wonderful news to know that she is resting in the arms of her Savior, and I praise Him for that! Praying for you all!
Love you, Amanda
Our condolences! You and your family will be in our prayers 💜
I am so sorry for your loss, Terri! Your mother sounds like an amazing woman! I am so happy you were blessed to have a mother like her!
Our deepest condolences on the loss of your beloved mother. Our hearts go out to you even as our prayers go up for you and your family.
I have so many feelings for you right now, I have no words adequate for them. Just know we are here for you, even as you were here for us when I started my own walk through this Valley 18 short months ago.
Sending love and hugs across the miles . . .
Terri and family-
We are so sorry for your loss. Please know that you and your family are in our prayers.
Terri , I’m deeply moved by your heart to share these writings at a moment of loss .
It shows how big your heart is for your friends in the life community . Your truly a blessing . It’s so obvious the love & time your mother treasured with you out pours to your family and friends . Your an amazing example of HIS strength . Prayers and love to you at this time of transition as your mom moves onto Glory .
Love and Prayers to you through this transition . Praise God she is in her glory . Xxoo
What a beautiful testament of your mom, Terri. I’m so sorry for your loss. Thankful to hear she is in a much more glorious place and no longer suffering. Praying for you and your family.
God Bless you all!
I’m praying for you and your family iat this time. I pray the Lord envelop you in grace and sustain you in the days ahead.
What joyous reunions await us in heaven! May your entire family feel the love and support we are all sending your way. I am so thankful for your mom…because she brought us you.
sorry for your loss
Our dear Terri and ALL your dear family, we give God the Glory and Praise for Him being in your lives. You truly are a woman filled with the Holy Spirit, and it literally “drips” from every pore in your body as you share your family with us all at this very sad time in your life. We shall all miss Sue and all she had to share also. We are here for you….let us know how we can be of help. ‘will say again how happy we are to have been neighbors to your parents. We love you all, and currently, we are praying for you and your family.
Dear Terri, Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with you & your entire family during this time.
Praying for you and your family. So sorry for your loss. She is no longer in pain and dancing with Jesus!
Terri, I just want you to know that, through tears, you and your family are being lifted up in prayer. Heaven has surely gained one incredible angel. Her example, as you so beautifully described it, is truly an inspiration to me! May her legacy live on!
Our prayers are with you and your entire family during this time. God bless!
Terri I recall your mom reaching out to our friend,Diana back when she was struggling with cancer. She was always offering to come and pick up her boys for the day or cook a meal for them multiple times. What selfless giving of herself and her time since she didn’t even live close. and most important the encouraging words on Diana’s blog through God that were always encouraging. She was and is a special child of God. God bless her and your family. Love you and am missing you this weekend:)
You are right, Sheri! I had forgotten that. Mom fell in love with Diana as quickly as I had. Now they are together:)! Maybe their rooms that He prepares for them are near each other, haha.
I truly understand your mother- I have been blessed with the same- my rick, my go to. My heart goes out to you at this time
Hi Terri, Sorry for your mom’s passing. She left a world of love from her family, and she also left one precious gem in you. I am sure that she realized what a great daughter she had brought into this world and one who shares her love and wisdom with all of us who are so fortunate to know her (that being you).
So sorry for your loss, yet another Angel has been born and i am positive she will always be by your family’s side watching over all of you. she was an amazing woman that with every memory told and relived will never be forgotten.
Terri, my heart is lifted up in prayer for you and the family. It is difficult for for all the lives that have been touched by the passing of your mother. Now in the loving arms of all that has gone before, she will be able to watch and pray over so many of us. GOD Bless you and your family.
I’m sorry to hear about your loss but I’m confident that your mother is in a better place. Times like this make us reflect on our life and appreciate the things that are most important to us. Assurance of Salvation, (what else do we really need?), family, friends, a free (still) country, … We are really blessed. Come to think of it, I gotta call my mom.
Perfect reflection and calling Mom is the perfect reaction! Go bless her! God bless you!
So sorry to hear about your mom! Prayers and hugs to you and your family! Miss and love you!
Terri, I’m very sorry to hear about your Mom’s passing. I lost my Dad 8 months ago. As it is such a sad time it really soothes the soul having faith and knowing they are in heaven…Praying for you and your family.
Terri, so sorry for the loss of your mom. Prayers to you and your family and knowing that the Lord has her peacefully with Him in his Kingdom.
Dear Terri, so so sorry to hear of your mom’s move. I love reading your blog and this one honoring your mom is a wonderful testament to the impact she had on your life. The strong faith you have is your support and those that know and love you will see remnants of your mom as you continue the amazing life you and Chris have made for your family . Peace of mind comes to us all at different times for different reasons. I hope a little more peace will come your way now. Lynn
What a wonderful testimony! Terri, I am so very sorry for your loss and for all who knew and loved her. I hope to meet her one day! Lori Arvey
Terri, I can relate to your grief and joy in the passing of your Mom; grief in losing the presence of a very special person and joy in knowing that there will be a reunion. Her legacy continues in you. God bless, Huey
I am sorry for your loss Terri.
What a tribute to your mother, Terri. I know she was/is so proud of you. I believe Hebrews 11:1-Hebrews 12:1 refers to the saints who have gone before us. I also believe the veil between us is so thin and that she has complete awareness of you and the life you live. I also believe Hebrews 11:39-40 tells us that the legacy they leave has such a ripple effect that their final reward will only come with Jesus’ return. From your description of her, I know her legacy will live on through so many people whose lives she touched. In the final weeks before my mother went to heaven, my sisters and I finally released her to God. She held on for us. Even though that was almost 14 years ago, I miss her every day but would not bring her back from the glorious place where she is living now for one more hour here. You will have a great reunion some day. God bless you. Sabra
Terri, we are so sorry to hear about the loss of your dear precious mother. At least you have the comfort of knowing that she is with Jesus and is no longer in pain. You an Chris and your family will be in our prayers.
Jeremy and June and Abbe, and Allaina Post
Terri, so sorry to hear about your Mom passing. You know how much we loved your whole family. It would be hard to pick out one story through the many years, but I still remember she called Frank and I once to come over to help scrub someone’s furniture that was in a fire. I don’t think she even knew him other than hearing this young man needed help. So for the next 6 hours we were out on your front lawn where all the soot and smoked covered furniture was spread out! Christmas Day caroling at our house and Sunday morning brunch with biscuits, gravy and chipped beef are a few of the stand-outs in my memory. Peace and blessings to you, your family and all the Estes families. Judy and Frank Castrina
That’s a great memory! I don’t remember that, but it sounds so characteristic of her! I am starting to see where I get some of my cockamamie ideas that rope other people in, haha! Thanks for being “roped” by my Mom. I too cherish the Christmas Day caroling memories at your house! And by the way, I hope your 50th was a joy!
Terry. sorry to hear about the loss of your precious mother I know the filling of see our love ones to go with God before us my prayers are for you and your family
Loved reading about your Mom! I had a Mom very much like her and I imagine they have already met in their new home. Love you and will be praying for you and your family.
Our sympathies to you and yours in the loss of your one and only Mom. Her new journey is just beginning…. 🙂
Hugs from Toosh and Paul
So sorry to hear about the loss of your precious mother. She will live on forever in you and her wonderful grandchildren. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of sorrow. We know that she is in a beautiful place free of pain and smiling down on you and your family.
So sorry for your loss. I can sympathize a little. My brother, older than me by a little less than 2 years, passed away two weeks ago, this past Saturday.
Isn’t it comforting to have the perspective of the good news of the Gospel to comfort us in the loss of a loved one? Thanks for your posts and principle centered living. You bring a light to the world by what you write.
Thank you for sharing Terri. What a precious tribute. Now we know where you get much of your beauty!!
Terri, That’s an amazing tribute to your Mom. What an awesome, kind, loving, giving, caring, and funny Mom you had! The one story gave a whole new meaning to the phrase “Ambulance Chaser”. 😀 What a blessing she was for that family and it sounds like she was a walking talking blessing to just about all that knew her and lots that didn’t. We should all aspire to be like that!
Thanks for sharing. We’ve not met yet, but we will. I have to say it’s obvious the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. I’m certain she couldn’t be more proud of you! What a legacy she has in you! ((HUGS))
Our church family is praying for you and yours in this time of sadness and thanking God that she was a saved lady…… This world is not my home I’m just a passing through…..my treasures are layed up somewhere beyond the blue
Sorry for your loss God bless you
Thank you so much for that beautiful tribute to your own mother, as well as to all mothers. You’ve made such a difference in my life with your words of comfort, hope, and encouragement. You are truly God’s servant here on earth. He serves his children through people like you. Thank you again for your example.
I had the blessing to be along side my mother as she passed from this life to her eternal home. I would like to share the words of John Piper from his book, Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ, which I read to her during her last days. They are so fitting for your wonderful mother as well. “For those who have tasted the joy of Jesus, surely nothing is more compelling than the all-surpassing hope of hearing his final word, “Well done, good and faithful servant….Enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:21) The city of God is a city of joy. And that joy is the indestructible joy of Christ.” Praying for your comfort, and rejoicing at the eternal joy your mom is surrounded in..
you look at your mom’s picture and you just have to smile. such a joy and love for life that lived in that smile! y’know when I hear “to be blessed you must first be a blessing” I think of your mom. blessings to you!
What lovely things to be able to say about your mother – all entwined with her faith in the Lord Jesus. Truly a beautiful legacy. “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” Psalm 16:6
When my father died years ago, we talked to our then 4- and 2-year-old children. We asked them now that Grandpa was in heaven, who would he be with – and without missing a beat our 2-year-old shouted, “MOSES!” We just had to laugh. Yes, indeed, how many saints are there from over the millennia! I love the thought of your mom’s eyes lighting up to meet Sarah, Hannah, Anna…Eve! And then to behold the Lord Himself.
Your mom was a Psalm 128 wife: fruitful, mother to many “olive branches”, her table full in many states, seeing prosperity and her children’s children. And I know you are following in her footsteps! Blessings to you!
I am so sorry for your losses this year, but rejoicing in the beautiful memories and legacy left behind.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories. I was diagnosed this year and rushed into emergency surgery. I am working on finding a balance between being a mom, a woman, and a daughter of God. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. I feel deeply for your loss. Thank you.
I am sorry to hear of your latest diagnosis and struggle. May God carry you and your family during these tough times and into brighter skies ahead. Blessings, Terri
The news of your mothers passing was sad, but joyful knowing that she has gone home. Recently having listened to your CD LT548, and hearing her story always brings tears to my eyes reminding me of my father who passed on August 15, 2014.
When Chris first shared the news of your mother at the major in Green Bay it brought back some difficult memories of watching him pass. He had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease years before, and it had now finally overcome him. My dad went into the hospital just before the Fourth of July weekend that year with pneumonia, and the doctors said he wouldn’t make it beyond two weeks. We brought him home, Oceana County Michigan, he never said another word, and about two weeks later never opened his eyes again. As you see he didn’t pass for almost four more weeks! He didn’t eat and only barely was provided water that we were able to get between his lips.
What my father was waiting for was time to be alone. Once everyone had been there to say goodbye I seems he was holding on for everyone to leave! My brother and sister in law had scheduled on the weekend of August 16th their 40th wedding anniversary to be held back in Wisconsin. Mother shoveled all of us out the door to go celebrate that grand moment, and low and behold the moment he had time to be all by himself was when he decided to let go. You see even that evening on the 15th my mother had been spending time with him, talking and reading, but she needed to refresh herself for a few moments. That’s when he said thank you, and good bye to all!
Please forgive me for writing all this here, but as I mentioned the news of your mother’s circumstances always brings tears to my eyes reminding me of those last moments with my father. Thank you for opening up your heart to share about your mother. I know she was a great woman, she raised a great daughter!
God bless you,
1 Cor 13:13
I am so sorry for your loss, and grateful for the legacy that was left with you. Thank you for writing!