My Mom, Jean Richardson, passed into the glory of the Lord, this past Tuesday morning. We are so thankful we went over to Port Orchard to visit with her as an entire family the previous Saturday.
She was comfortably sedated but she was able to hear Katharine, Andy, Peter, Jon, and me read comforting Scripture passages to her.
We are enjoying a celebration service this afternoon at Steel Lake Presbyterian Church in Federal Way, where Mom was a member for 46 years. Another service in scheduled for the Adventure of Faith Presbyterian Church in Port Orchard on March 13.
I told Mom several times in her life she was a temple musician in the house of the Lord. Mom played the piano beginning when she was 6 years old and faithfully practiced virtually every day of her life and was even able to play with amazing poise at Park Vista and Haven Care. She was the most joyful when she was able to use her musical, hospitality, and service gifts in the local church.
Mom steadfastly loved and served in every church she was a member of from her earliest days in a little Methodist Church in Vancouver, to Boulevard Park, Long Island, NY, Steel Lake for 46 years, and the Port Orchard Adventure of Faith Presbyterian Churches. Mom regularly read her Bible and prayed and was studying for and hosting her church women's circle Bible studies.
She loved her families and grandchildren with greatest care. She glowed when the entire family gathered together and she cooked awesome, big meals for us.
Mom also loved so many of her neighborhood friends as they participated in the birthday bunch in Federal Way. She so much appreciated when those friends came to see her in Port Orchard.
A week before Mom's passing, Miles, Teena, and I visited with Mom. At that point she was able to be up in a wheelchair for 20 minutes. We shared how much we love her then I read from John 14:1-3 and all about her new home in Revelation 21 and 22. She even asked me to reread a particular portion from Revelation.
She laid quietly and comfortably with her eyes closed, again. When I asked her if I could pray the Lord would take her home just as soon as possible, she immediately opened her eyes, picked her head off the pillow, and answered, "definitely, yes!!!"
My brother's family, Miles, Teena, Kaitlyn, and Conner went over Monday night, just hours before Mom passed which was a great blessing for them.
Annie, my sister, who cared for Mom during these past two years in Port Orchard along with Dan, Valerie, Nate, and Natalie, was holding Mom's hand at her side when Mom passed. Mom led Annie's Camp Fire Girls group all the way through high school.
We were able to call over to Haven Care Adult Family Home to speak with Gayle, Lauren, and Kasey the last two weeks on a daily basis. What a wonderful year of personalized and professional care Mom received there along with Mary and the Group Health Hospice Care staff. Mom also received great care at Park Vista before moving to Haven Care to receive daily nursing care.
I remember Mom packing a lunch for me every school day all the way through community college. Mom and Dad never missed a concert, play, or ball game for Annie, Miles, and me. They were able to come to Portland when I graduated from Western Conservative Baptist Seminary Seminary in June of 1984, just 10 months before Dad passed away. Mom came to St. John for my ordination service.
Once as a senior while on the risers just before we were about to sing in our Federal Way High School concert choir, my good friend Gale quietly stated, "Well, there is Mark's Mom and Dad. (Pointing) They always sit right there. They are always here." Those memories stick with me.
Mom visited Katharine and me multiple times in St. John and Union where I pastored and connected with our church families. She joyfully played the organ and piano for services. She joined us at Faith Baptist Church in Kent where we have been members since 1992 and attended several Kidz Praize musicals and our boys' soccer games.