Several years ago Nora went on a Walk to Emmaus. The letter below the image encompasses all the reasons she is hands-down, the single most inspiring person I've ever known.
I hope that this letter finds you fresh and rejuvenated. You deserve some time away from all the worries and cares of the world. I am so proud of you for taking care of yourself, and my prayer is that this weekend will help you see the fruits of your life’s labor.
You are my hero Nora, in every sense of the word. When I consider all the amazing people God has placed in my life, you always come up #1. You are my safe place in a chaotic world, and I could not ask for a better mom. You have always provided stability and security for me, and you continue to be a fortress in my life today.
Your willingness to sacrifice your retirement years to raise your grandchildren saved our lives. We owe all of our success to your constant love and attention. Any resiliencies we have came from the foundations you laid for us, and I am forever grateful for your role in our lives.
Nora, I want you to know you are more than enough. Your whole life, I have watched you give of yourself until there was very little left. You were always serving others and making sure our needs were met before your own. I was blessed to have such a remarkable example of Christ’s love in my life, but I often worried about your own journey. I wanted you to have all the things you hoped for us, and it was difficult to watch you forfeit your own dreams so ours could become reality.
I love you more than I could ever express. When we almost lost you last Christmas, I pleaded with God for more time. I need you in my life. Not because of all the wonderful things you do for me, but because of who you are. You represent everything good in the world, and I gain so much strength from just knowing you believe in me.
Your positive outlook has taught me that life is not about the obstacles we face, but the way we handle those trials. Your path has not been soft, yet you always seem to find the silver lining. I remember all the times I would complain about my parents, and you never once joined in on the gripe sessions. Instead you chose to find the good in the situation, and you always said they were the ones who missed out. You taught me that I had value, and you reminded me often that being my parent was a treasure. These truths helped combat the constant feelings of worthlessness, and when everything in my life seemed out of control, I would cling to your unconditional acceptance and love.
I am certainly a very lucky young lady to have been raised by my grandparents. The values and work ethic you taught me have helped me become the person I am today. Your love for learning inspired me in so many ways, and I am so thankful that you instilled a sense of patriotism in me. I have learned so many valuable lessons from watching you walk through this life, and I hope that you know how important your example has been. Your light offers hope when life seems unbearable.
Last time I was home, someone in town told me I reminded them of you. This was by far the greatest compliment I have ever received. Your life has touched my heart in such a deep and lasting way, and I cannot think of better role model than you. If you ever have days when you doubt your own influence, please know that your impact will last far beyond the grave. I will carry you in my spirit, and prayerfully my future family will benefit from the gifts you have planted in my heart. I hope I can be half the mom you have been.
Nora, you are my guardian angel. You are the wind beneath my wings. You are truly a gift from God, and I will never be able to repay you for the sacrifices you have made on my behalf. Thank you for helping me become the woman God intended for me to be. Have a beautiful weekend, and know that someone is praying for you. I love you so!