Time has proven to me that it will forever keep marching on. The world doesn’t stop, even when someone special to me ceases to exist in my living world on Earth.

This past week marked one year since my mom passed away.

One year.

It’s been one year since my siblings and father stood by her casket receiving family and friends, each of us trying to comfort the other. It’s been a year since I have talked relentlessly over the phone in her ear. I called every day. It’s been a year since I took one of her most beautiful pairs of Keen mary jane’s home with me to wear and remember her.
One Year Gone   www.herviewfromhome.com

But it’s also been a year since she has dealt with the pain and discomfort that came with her mortal body. It’s been a year where I know that I have an angel on the other side. She has quietly whispered in my ear to clam my anger when my daughter peed on the floor for the thousandth time. It’s the courage I felt when it was time to bring a new baby into our family without her by my side. And it’s the encouragement to keep being a mom and wife when I feel like the demands are too great. She’s there and I know she always will be. And I am forever grateful for a mom who loved me, even though our time together was a short 31 years.

There’s a funny thing about death. I have gained a new perspective on my relationship with my mom. We didn’t have a perfect relationship. We fought and sometimes she bugged me. But since her death, I’ve realized that most of that was me. And although I remember those frustrating feelings, I don’t feel them now. All I feel now is that I love her and miss her. She wasn’t perfect, but she was amazing nonetheless. And I feel very close to her.

It’s this desire to continue a close connection that likely fuels my fire to quilt. I feel a close connection as I follow in her footsteps to create something that wasn’t there before. My mom was an excellent quilter. Her pieces are perfect. And although I don’t have the patience to reach her level of perfection, I feel close as I sit down at her old sewing machine she gave me. I’m surrounded by pieces of fabric she stashed for a quilt someday. I’ve inherited countless scissors, pins, thread, rotary cutters, knickknacks, and one awesome seam ripper that I call my “pterodactyl claw.” All these physical reminders are worth more than face value – they represent my mom. And that memory is priceless.

This process of creation has led me down paths to remember her more fully, with something tangible and soft to help recall different memories in my mind. I remember the various shades of pink and red shirts she wore. She looked beautiful in pink and red. With these seemingly ordinary articles of clothing, I tried to create a moment forever etched in time where her family is forever remembering her goodness. We look up at the beautiful sun and earth and can feel her love around us. Encouraging each of us to be a little better. Be more loving and patient. To do our best. Because that was her message here on earth.

Through making various quilts for family members, my siblings and dad, and her siblings and parents, I have hoped these quilts are loved. Because they were made with love. From the fabric that was sewn into them and worn by my mom, to the hours spent at her machine sewing them into existence, they represent love. And my goal is to one day be able to give these types of memories to others after they have lost someone special to them. To give them an opportunity to wrap themselves up in a quilt made with clothing from someone they loved. And be able to remember them and their messages.

So time continues. The three year old is potty trained. The baby starts crawling, and I feel guilty sometimes that time hasn’t frozen with her passing. I know she’s happy about our future here. And that makes living without her okay. If she were here, she would whisper “Go on! Get on with things! I will still be here in the end.”

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Stephanie Keller

I am wife to Jake -- the modern day superman. He truly is my better half. I am mother to Sam, Olivia, and Timothy. I love them fiercely! I like to say they grow up too fast (and some days not fast enough!) I am a lawyer by education, but now a stay at home mom. I stay sane with my three littles by sewing and blogging. I'm beginning my first year of homeschooling and I'm scared. I hope you enjoy reading about my journey through life! Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/hopeandabreath/

A Letter To My Mother in Heaven

In: Death of a Parent, Grief, Motherhood
Wide open sky at sunset

Dear Mom, I miss you. I wish you were here. I can tell you a mom is irreplaceable for a child. When a mom dies, her child is no longer whole. The loss makes it hard to breathe. That child flails in the wind like a cottonwood seed. A piece of fluff that gets knocked about the world by the wind. Sometimes I landed on solid ground, sometimes I landed in a pond and almost drowned. But I’m still here. I survived. RELATED: To Those Who Know the Bitter Hurt of Losing a Parent In the year after your death,...

Keep Reading

The Grey Sweater

In: Death of a Parent, Faith, Grief
The Grey Sweater www.herviewfromhome.com

Folding the laundry gets me down sometimes. It’s a mindless activity, really. My brain runs on autopilot as it remembers the old days when laundry only took up a small percentage of my time. Nowadays, I can spend up to four hours in one afternoon doing laundry for my tribe of six people. I drift into a mechanical rhythm as I go through my three step process: retrieve fold put away (Granted, this is an ideal scenario- I don’t typically make it through all three steps in one day!) While I was going through the motions this morning, my hands...

Keep Reading

Even Though You’re In Heaven, Your Grandchildren Will Know You

In: Death of a Parent, Grief, Motherhood
Mother and little boy looking down road

The well-loved picture frame sits on the shelf in your grandkids’ room; just high enough to be out of reach from curious toddler hands, but low enough for me to pull it down each time they ask about you. That photo of you— it has always been my favorite. You look so happy, so healthy, so whole . . . just the way that I want these sweet grandbabies of yours—the ones you never got to meet—to know you. Because although you may be in Heaven, they will know you. You’ll never bounce them on your knee, or sneak extra...

Keep Reading

He Died Getting Sober For His Granddaughter: What My Father’s Death Taught Me About Grief

In: Death of a Parent, Grief
He Died Getting Sober For His Granddaughter: What My Father's Death Taught Me About Grief www.herviewfromhome.com

Years had been spent trying to tell my father that he needed help. He and his wife had separated, gotten back together, and separated again. His alcoholism was controlling every facet of his life and he was in complete denial about it. That had been the way for years. When I finally became pregnant, my husband and I decided to drop the bomb on Dad with humor. He had what we called a “thriving” waistline (due to excessive drinking and poor diet) and so I pointed out his gut and said “give me a few months and I’ll catch up....

Keep Reading

Moving Through Grief With My Sensitive Son

In: Death of a Parent, Grief, Kids
Moving Through Grief With My Sensitive Son www.herviewfromhome.com

My middle child, Austin, is not the extrovert like his older sister and younger brother. Though he doesn’t hide from a crowd, he’s most happy at home, reading books, riding his bike in the alley, and cuddling in our big chair with me. He’s always been this way. My husband, Shawn, and I spent a painful year watching Austin scream and cry every single day when we’d leave him at the preschool doors. The next year was less dramatic, but he still shed many tears. Finally in kindergarten he could walk into the classroom without crying, but he would still...

Keep Reading

My Mom Died and It’s Not Fair

In: Death of a Parent, Grief, Motherhood
My Mom Died and It's Not Fair www.herviewfromhome.com

“I think we should leave,” I whispered to my husband through clenched teeth as my two-year old daughter, Hailey, wailed in my arms. We were at my cousin Ryan’s house for his daughter’s birthday party and Hailey was having a typical overtired toddler meltdown. Tears started to well up in my eyes, but not because of my daughter’s less than ideal behavior. As I surveyed the room, I could see my aunt smiling and laughing with her granddaughter and Ryan’s wife’s mom right beside them, doting on the little girl, too. Witnessing this made me think about my own mother...

Keep Reading

A Love Letter From Mamas in Heaven to Their Beautiful Daughters on Earth

In: Death of a Parent, Grief, Journal, Loss
motherless, motherless daughter, grief, loss, heaven, faith, grieving, mom www.herviewfromhome.com

“We know days don’t come easy for you and so we chose to band together and compose a love letter in your honor. Funny thing when it comes to mamas in Heaven: we find each other and form a tribe like a sisterhood on earth. We comfort one another when you’re hurting and we brag up the wazoo when you accomplish anything. Actually, we brag from morning till night. Yesterday Kim’s mama made us gather around and listen for over an hour how her daughter graduated college with honors although she had mononucleosis for two semesters. Right now, Sara’s mama...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Know the Importance of a Dad, Because I Lost Mine Too Soon

In: Death of a Parent, Journal
Dear Husband, I Know the Importance of a Dad, Because I Lost Mine Too Soon www.herviewfromhome.com

Dad was enlightened. He knew that every small moment mattered. He was silly, too. He made funny faces at me in every situation. He told stories of sailing to China on container ships, and he practiced Tai Chi every morning. He knew how to engage my creativity, spreading butcher paper all over the living room floor so I could draw on and on and on. His collection of string instruments and the bright, whimsical canvases he painted in oil decorated our home. We danced and sang to Ry Cooder and David Lindley and ate slices of juicy red watermelon on...

Keep Reading

To Those Who Know the Bitter Hurt of Losing a Parent

In: Death of a Parent, Grief
Sad woman head in her hands sitting against a wall

To the young adults out there who have lost parents, this one is for you. You experienced a great loss and you’re still so young with so much life ahead of you. You often wonder how you can make it through the rest of your life without the parent who is no longer here. I see you struggling. On the outside, you hold it together. You keep a smile and hold your head up high; you want to take on the world and embrace life. You meet new people and want to tell them your story because maybe they understand....

Keep Reading

Mother’s Day Magnifies the Loss of My Own Mom, and It’s Still Hard

In: Death of a Parent, Grief, Motherhood
Mother's Day Magnifies the Loss of My Own Mom, and It's Still Hard www.herviewfromhome.com

“Your mother’s gone,” my dad said as he walked into our apartment. Those words still haunt me, even 19 years later. My mother’s death wasn’t a surprise—she had been battling lung cancer for sixteen months—I just wasn’t ready to hear it. The finality of it all. My mother was gone. Those few days, weeks and months remain somewhat of a blur. I was very angry and bitter. I had recently started dating a wonderful man (my now-husband, Brian) and our lives revolved around parties and other social events.  But I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready to be happy. While out...

Keep Reading