Sunday, July 27, 2014

Celebrating Mom

Hello dear Friends,

As most of you know, my sweet Mom, Colleen, 
moved back to our Heavenly Home on June 17, 2014. 
I miss her so much but feel her around me very often. 
She's joined us on our mission and I know is helping hasten the work
 of the Gospel on both sides of the veil!

Mom was our biggest supporter for being missionaries! 
She was so happy that we were serving this mission. 
Every day I called her from North Carolina and on week ends we Skyped. 
She was always so grateful for modern technology. 
There were moments when I'd get a little teary and she'd say, "No tears". 
I was OK most of the time but there were some very sad moments, I must admit.

President Craven encouraged us to go home to spend time with Mom in May before she died. 
 It was a surprise for her and what a wonderful surprise it was!
We spent a few precious days with her and with family. 
Every day we had a new adventure. 
Saturday, Kat drove us to Logan for Aunt Minnie's funeral. 
Mom didn't once complain about being tired. 
But she never complained! 
It was wonderful to pay our respects to  beloved Aunt Minnie. 
We also surprised dear Aunt Pauline at her home in Springville!

Mom ate at grand kids homes, Zupas, JCWs and 
we had a picnic in her favorite spot in American Fork Canyon.

The last thing she had on her bucket list to do was to ride a horse again.
So we took her to Provo Beach Resort and she rode the carousel! She was so happy!

We had to squeeze into the photo booth!

Mom spent several hours with us at our home on our last morning in Utah. 
We took a little walk and talked and talked and talked. 
There was JOY amidst my sorrow.
Mom was filled with peace and almost an eagerness to see her ancestors again. 
Mom's greatest desire is to be with her family forever. 
She was ready and had prepared herself by the life she lived
and her faith and hope in our Savior, Jesus Christ. 
As I knelt beside her hugging her tight I couldn't stop my tears.
She looked into my eyes and whispered, "It's OK to cry".  
We both knew that this would be the last time
 we would see each other in this life.

We flew back to North Carolina later that day and Kat called me
 the next morning and told me that mom could no longer walk...
she had a painful large growth on her heel that we hadn't noticed the day before.

Three weeks later, with many of the family gathered around her to say good bye,
Tom and I were able to join in singing to Mom via Skype. 
It was a sweet tender mercy. 
Mary Colleen Jibson Justus passed away on Tuesday evening June 17 
surrounded by the love of children and grandchildren. 

I'm so grateful for the tender care given her by Kat and Ken, 
some dear special friends, Gary, Rick and our children. 
Members of her Cedar Hills Ward family, Hospice and Shawn Warenski 
were angels among us and we love and appreciate them too.

Mom was blessed to see all of her family
 including all of her grandchildren before she left us. 

Tom and I were able to fly back to Utah for a few precious, sacred days 
to honor Mom as we gathered together with family and friends to celebrate her life. 
How very grateful we were to be there.

Releasing yellow balloons to heaven. We'll always remember you, Mom!

Highland, Utah Cemetery

Right next to Mom and Dad's headstone is our Cuellar Urban headstone.

I have a couple of sweet and funny videos that I tried to post unsuccessfully, of Mom. 
I need help from my grand kids. Please!

In honor of Mom I want to quote from Lloyd Newell's book, 
"He Shall Fulfill All of His Promises"

Though you sometimes may not be able to see the way,
know that your Father in Heaven will never forsake His
righteous followers. He will not leave you comfortless. He
will be at your side, yes, guiding you every step of the way.
Joseph B Wirthlin

The words of the psalmist inspire:  "I will lift up 
mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my
help" (Psalm 121:1.) The principle taught is familiar 
to experienced hikers. They know to keep their eyes
 fixed on a landmark in the distance: a tree, a rock, a
hill. Then, even if their path takes them in directions
they did not expect, as long as they keep that land-
mark in sight, they eventually reach their destination.
Likewise, during our journey of life we can do
our best to fix our eyes upon everlasting things. Elder
Joseph B. Wirthlin said, "All too soon, our time is
finished...Let us walk in the right direction, taking
one step after another. That is easy enough. 
We don't have to be perfect today. 
We don't have to be better than someone else. 
All we have to do is to be the very best we can." 

My mom kept her eyes fixed on eternity. 
Her end goal was to return to her eternal home. 
She made no pretense of being perfect but she did the very best she could. 
She endured to the end!
I have no doubt that she is receiving the blessings 
the Savior has promised each of us who love Him and keep his commandments.

There were many unexpected sorrows and challenges in her life
that could have taken her focus away from her goal....
But she stayed true to her covenants with God. Her hope remained bright.
I pray that I may honor her by following her example.

Sending love to y'all!

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