Barbara Irene (Miner) Young
March 16, 1931-July 27, 2020
I’m not going to give a timeline of Mom’s life. I’m just going to share a couple of stories that come to mind when I think of Mom. They were just daily kinds of things that still have an impact on me, all these years later. I’m surprised and honored that I was asked to write something for today, and the things that come to my mind are subtle moments and memories.
Mom read to me. She prayed with me, and those bedtimes taught me how to be calm and present for my kids. Once in a while, she would fall asleep in my room, her back against my bed. Those were good nights. My cat, Minnie on my bed… my brother in the bed next to mine, and my mom, just being present. That is more than a lot of kids get, and I realize that I was very fortunate to have her as my mother.
Jonathan’s dog Pokey had to spend the night at the vet, and that night, Mom prayed for each of us, as she always did. But I remember her praying for Pokey, that he wouldn’t be scared, spending the night in a strange place without us. That told me a lot about Mom’s thoughtfulness and compassion. I didn’t know you could pray for a dog, but I think Mom prayed about everything.
Every school day, Mom made our lunches and put them in brown paper bags. She would write our names on them, which was important, because I liked fluffernutters, and Mark did not. What I remember about this, is loving the look of my name, in her writing on my bag.
Earlier this month, I unpacked a box that I had brought home to Minnesota. It had an envelope of pictures from when my children were little. On the outside of the envelope, Mom had written “Tim (kids)”, and it reminded me of the lunch bags. I love the added word “kids” because my children are so important to me now.
I hope that when I am gone, my kids will feel the way I feel about Mom. I hope I make them feel important to me, the way Mom did.
I remember getting off the bus, coming into the house and hearing the sound of the vacuum coming from a distant room. When you come home to the sound of a vacuum cleaner, you know things are alright in your world.
Most people would probably give a big spiritual lesson, looking back on Mom’s life, and knowing what was important to her. This is what you get when you ask me to deliver a eulogy. That spirituality is not just in being head deaconess, teaching Sunday school classes or even serving as a missionary in Africa, which she did. It’s in inviting the lonely into your home, and comforting those who are going through a hard time.
Your spirituality is apparent in what seem to be the most insignificant details of life.
There are no insignificant details.
Every moment is important. Each of my brothers and I will recall different things when we remember Mom.
We each have 24 hours a day to fill with the things that are most important to us. What I’ve realized in a new way this week is that those days are limited.