Saturday, January 22, 2011

Darlene's Celebration of Life Service Dec. 6, 2010

Mom, Grandma, Wife, Sister, Aunt, Neighbor, Friend --- We may have all known Darlene by a different name, but one thing is for sure… we all knew her by her love.

She loved us. She loved life.

My mom had a big heart. She was always giving.

It was devastating to get the news she had ALS.

I think of the book Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. In the book Morrie said he had two choices when he received the news he had ALS – he said he could get busy living or get busy dying. He chose to get busy living.

My mom was faced with the same choice. She chose to get busy living too. She chose well.

Boy, did she get busy – she got busy sewing. She sewed for family and her friends. She sewed quilts for the little children in a shelter for abused women. She sewed a quilt for the single mom in her chiropractor’s office. My mom felt sorry for the single mom who was struggling. In her illness she never quit reaching out to others.

Her quilting friends were important to her. They were with her on the day she took last breath. What a beautiful story that was. Thank you to those beautiful friends.

She never looked back. She never gave up. NEVER GIVE UP became her motto. She lived this motto well. She was very courageous in her fight with ALS. She gave us courage.

She set an example for us. She never felt sorry for herself and never allowed us to either. My mom used humor in response to the dreadful things this cruel disease threw her way. She inspired us. She helped us cope.

We met beautiful people along the way. We made precious friends at ALS support group.

She could light up a room when she walked in. She didn’t have words, but she didn’t need them. There was a spark in her eyes. She communicated with “thumbs up.”

Mom was a cowgirl. The cover for her celebration of life service was a picture from Wind River Ranch. A place we loved in Estes Park, Colorado where we rode horses and God touched her life.

Faith was important in her battle.

I’m proud to call Darlene my Mom. She’s my hero. I’m even more proud to be able to call her my friend.

She didn't talk much about dying. How could she? She was too busy living.

But in one of those rare moments where she did mention it, she told me she was going to be here until God needed her to make a quilt, and then she would go and make Him one.

She’s there now. Her life was like a beautiful quilt and now she’s making the most beautiful one of all in heaven.

She’s walking with Jesus. She’s riding a horse too.

Darlene Mae Harvatine was a remarkable woman. She loved you. Remember her for your love.

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