The picture that goes with this blog shows Lois’ mother and mine talking together at our wedding. I called my mother “Mom” and Lois’s mother “Mother”—don’t know why; just know that it is so. Mom was short and feisty; Mother was taller and gracious. (Mom could be a gracious hostess; I’m not comparing, just reminiscing.)
I have told the story elsewhere of the first encounter I remember with mother as a hostess. She cured me (without meaning to) of using sugar in my coffee. I say the first encounter I remember because my family of origin used to stay with Mother and Dad Heise when we were on furlough. I remember such a visit when I was 15; but all I actually remember was that they had a son my age, Glen. We played table tennis (Glen put a mean spin on his serve that I never did master) and chess.
I did not notice his younger sister, although many years later I married her—nor did I notice his parents, except in the general way that a 15-year old might. Just Glen, and chess, and table tennis.
Mother was a good hostess—wonderful food and good conversation at the Heise table. She valued having everything in its place. Food was prepared just right, from vegetables to main course to dessert, and the presentation of the food was as good as the food. When Lois and I formed our own family, I was struck with how clearly the Heise family remembered menus, and shared those menus with each other in our weekly calls home. All part of good hosting!
Mother valued her relationship with God. She and Dad drove 30 miles every Sunday to go to church, often morning and evening. Dad was a deacon in the church, which reflected the people’s awareness of his spiritual maturity, but was also a statement about mother. In her last days she anticipated the joy of Heaven explicitly and clearly, which was a statement about the way she had lived her whole life.
She was also an athlete when she was young. When Lois was in school, one year the mothers of the band members played a game of basketball, and she was one of the best players. In March basketball fever would grip her, and she would follow the progress of the University of Kansas through March madness. NCAA basketball was one of the few reasons she would turn on the TV in her house.
Mother loved Dad, and her children, and her grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren; she enjoyed playing Scrabble with Dad and with her family. We miss her, and we miss talking with her and visiting her. One of the joys of Heaven that we anticipate eagerly is our reunion with Mother, and with Dad, and with my mother, and with all of those who have gone before.