Jeannine Gatewood. Yes, I’m proud to say, my mother, was one of the funniest people I know. When she wasn’t worried about the weather, or why the mailman was five minutes late or why the politicians on CNN couldn’t get their acts together then she was laughing, joking and just having a good time. She always seemed to have a witty comment at just the right time to crack everyone up.
She would sometimes get so worried about the weather that she would just pray all the rain away…and then inevitably, we’d end up in a drought and I’d have to talk to her about it, “Now mom, we’ve got to have rain!” Finally she’d give in, stop praying for the storms to go away and then it would rain.
My mother was also one of the strongest people I’ve ever known. The inner depths of her courage and her strength were known only to her and Jesus. No one, not even myself, could ever really fully comprehend how hard it was for her to grasp the concept of living. I remember how this was brought to such acute clarity for me when she once told me,
“Ashley, I’ve learned that whenever I can’t manage what is going on around me, however trivial it may seem to most people, I always say out loud to myself ‘I can count on Jesus and I can count on Jeannine’ and I always know it will work out.”
For that moment, I understood, however vaguely, just how determined she was to live a normal life.
I thank God that she is free of her worrying and all her earthly shackles! She is now in the presence of Jesus, the Lover of her soul and I couldn’t be more happy for her. In fact, it is the source of my joy during this time. And knowing that we are not separated from her, if you as an individual know Christ as your Savior, and will be reunited with her again. It’s hard to be sad for someone who is now free. And I thank God for her life, for her laughter and for her determined strength and courage to live life and be the best person she could be. And above all, I thank Jesus who came into her life and saved her, helped her and loved her with the love that only He can give – that Fatherly love.
Mom told me once that she wanted everyone to have a big party instead of a funeral! That was just her heart and attitude about things. One of the funniest things she ever said about it was when we were discussing if she wanted a visitation and she emphatically said “Ash, whatever you do, if it’s open and people can see me, make sure my eyebrows are on straight!!”
I always joked with her, “Now when you get to heaven, go check out what my mansion looks like up there” and we would laugh. So she’s walking on those streets of gold, free to laugh, free to live, free to be Jeannine.
I love you Mom.