Dear Joy, Peter, and Kari:
I know we haven’t spent a lot of time in the mountains but I want to tell you about the Aspen trees because they remind me a lot of your Mom.
Aspens have one purpose; they grow just to protect the spruce tree when it’s born. As the spruce tree grows bigger and bigger the aspens gradually grow old and tired and they even die after a while. But the spruce, which has had its tender self protected in its childhood, grows into one of the forest’s most wonderful trees. One of the aspens’ most interesting attributes is the beauty of its leaves which seem to tremble and quiver at the slightest breeze.
Think about Mom as aspen trees standing there quaking in the winds that blow, catching the cold snows of life, bearing the hot rays of the sun, all to protect you from those things until you are strong enough and wise enough to do them yourself. Mom was never quaking from fear, but from the joy of being able to see your lives develop and grow into strong, God-fearing adults.
Just like the spruce, you have reached the point where you don’t need Mom as much as you used to even though you miss her very much. In the months between her diagnosis and death we talked often about how all three of you have developed and matured as followers of Christ. We were (and are) amazed at the privilege of seeing you grow this far and have influenced you all we could in this adventure we call life.
The spruce tree is like that, too. After having grown for years under the protection of the aspens he reaches the point where he’s on his own, but what he grows into after he goes on his own is up to him. Will his branches reach towards God’s sky and protect those weary people who come to rest under him? Will you in your growing become a person the world wants to know because you reflect the love of Christ whom your mother loved and served?
Don’t think of this as the first Mother’s Day without your Mom. It is your first Mother’s Day when God (and your Mom) knew without a doubt that you are prepared to practice the disciplines necessary to fully embrace this life-adventure.
So live in the fullness of God’s purpose being worked out in you. Confidently face each new day, and every circumstance, wholly aware that God will guide and direct as you remain faithful, obedient, and humble before Him.
And remember, I love you!