It has taken me a while to get pulled together after this last trip. Our assignment was in Belize, and Guatemala. I posted only once while we were there, we were so busy, that there wasn't much time for extras, and the Internet service not like home, so I was waiting to be home to post about our trip. It has been a whirlwind after we arrived home. 2 days after arriving in Salt Lake, we went to visit Mom and Dad, Mom wasn't feeling well, said she had bronchitis, and I believed her. Not one of my best diagnosis of time. I did call my brother, and left a message on his machine, I thought mom needed antibiotics, what did he think?
By that evening Milan, Kim, and Dad had Mom in the emergency room, where less than an hour later she crashed, and was put on support, and transferred to another hospital. By 1 am she was put in the machine I posted on this blog.
Tuesday afternoon, we were advised of our options, and by this time she was on total life support and her kidneys had quit functioning too. She gave her last breath at 5:55 Tuesday evening, with her family members at her side. All of us there to be with Mom.
Here is Mom, with her beautiful smile at 81 years old. She doesn't look that old does she!
The funeral was on Saturday, we gave her the best, because she is the best.
Her carriage of glory, our tribute to her.
White on White on White
I was asked to talk at Mom's services. Dad asked me to talk about her life centered in Christ. This is my Tribute to my mom.
My mom lived her life as a disciple of Christ. She loved the Savior and centered her life in Christ.
She loved to read. As a young girl in Germany she would sneak a flashlight with her to bed, and when her parents thought she was asleep in bed, she would read under her covers. She came to the United States at the age of 18, where she met Dad, fell in love and married him. They moved around many, many times in their young marriage, but one day in Silmar, California - 2 young missionaries knocked on their door, taught them the gospel, and they were baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I remember the day, dressed in white, at the altar of the Temple, Dad, Mom, Marko, and I - Sealed in the Los Angeles Temple. And years later telling Mom of another spirit I saw in the temple with us, Kelly you were there too. At the time, Mom was with child with Kelly.
I remember standing in the long line at the Oakland Temple as a family to view the temple before it's dedication. I was deeply affected by mom and dad in their dedication to attend that temple often. I wanted to grow up and be just like that.
I will never forget Mom at my side as I entered the Manti Temple to marry my eternal companion, and after she helped me dress in the robes of the Holy Priesthood, she took me by the hand and told me how beautiful I looked.
Mom loved the gospel, the "good news" that the Savior brought to the earth. She always enveloped her life in reading and studying the gospel. Every morning for hours she would dedicate her time to this. The last years her eyes were getting so bad she couldn't see the words anymore on a page. Technology became her best friend, and with a new Ipad she was able to access anything she wanted to read, and she did. I loved to watch her touch the icons on the pad, and move from place to place. One of the last times I spent with her, she was showing me places she was finding validating the dates of her family history.
What would mom want me to tell you, and what message does she want me to share with you? If we were all together surrounding her bed, what is the message she wants us to hear?
1. The gospel of Jesus Christ is true. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on the face of the earth.
2. She loved the Savior, she is His disciple, she walked in His footsteps.
3. There is eternal life AND everyone can obtain it. She is happy to be on the other side of the veil. She spent her life living in the footsteps of the Savior so she could live with him again.
4. She looks down on us from Heaven and desires more than anything that you too will have the desire to live in the Celestial Kingdom with her. This takes commitment and the desire to change- to take upon you the Saviors name, and to serve and to love Him.
5. She desires that there are no empty chairs in the Celestial Kingdom. That ALL her children and grandchildren will live worthy to be there with her.
6. She challenges all of us to Follow Christ, to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ, to be His disciples. Can we do this without being dedicated to His church and then live in the Celestial Kingdom forever? No, we can't. We must attend church, study, learn, partake of the Sacrament, renew the covenants we have made with him at baptism each week. We must teach our children the meaning of this, and live our lives in serving others and Christ. And last but not least, we must endure to the end. Meaning, following Christ in all that we do- becoming his disciples, and not faltering.
7. She desires that we live worthy to attend the temple and make covenants therein. Those covenants give us the knowledge and strength to endure to the end. It was and will ever be important to her that Families are Forever. That her Family IS Forever.
The greatest honor you can give to Mom is to follow Christ, to commit your soul and your heart to the gospel of Jesus Christ, to love and serve each other, and to prepare yourselves so you too can have eternal life. This isn't always easy. We must promise to accept the atonement, to repent of our sins, to trust in the Lord, and to know that the Savior gave us grace, because he knew that we would need help to come back to him when we make mistakes. The plan of salvation was given to us on this earth to help us understand what we need to do. It is simple, it is easy, it is the only way to live with Him again.
This is her greatest wish of this The DeMonja Family - That there are no empty chairs in Heaven. "Come Follow Me" the Savior said. She did exactly this in her life and she invites you to do the same, envelop yourself in Christ, do whatever it takes to change your life so that He, even Jesus the Christ will be in your lives and hearts daily.
Mom loved the gospel from the time the missionaries knocked on that humble little door - til the moment she left this frail existence - She centered her life in Christ.
Isaiah taught almost 30 centuries ago; "And the work of the righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever." (Isa 32:17) Those in this life who conduct themselves with fidelity and devotion to God and his laws shall eventually know that peace "which passeth all understanding." The calming but powerful assurance that they have successfully met the challenges of mortality. These are they who as disciples of Christ have lived by every word of God. They have made their callings and elections sure.
This I believe and know this is mom, I bear a second witness to you of her faith and love of God, living her life centered in Christ, teaching us not only by words by even louder by example. Her calling and election is sure as she lives in Celestial Glory.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen
I love you, Mom.