This was written by my mother, Dolores. I spent all afternoon trying to find words… and found none. She emailed me this tonight. Tears flow– she said it beautifully.


         Thursday, on my way to begin setting up the reception for my daughter’s wedding, I stopped at the funeral home to drop off a dress.  It was a new dress, never before worn.    At home in my closet hung a dress of the same fabric… it also had never been worn.   It’s been a long time since I have had “look alike” dresses with anyone.  I was excited to wear our “matching” dresses together.  The charcoal gray had been carefully picked to complement our daughters’ beautiful pink bridesmaid dresses.   We were the mothers… we had given life to the two getting married… we were not going to be the “in-laws” but just “the moms.”

      She was laid to rest in her dress; I wore mine to the wedding.

     I felt we were “kindred spirits” even though I hardly knew her.  We had to be.   Our husbands are stamped from similar material.  We survived moves across the country away from family and friends to follow their dreams and callings.  We have teenage children who are passionate about “changing” the world and who understand each other’s uncanny sense of humor.

     Her gentle spirit inspired me.  I looked forward to observing her, learning from her…  I took comfort in the fact that my daughter would have such a sweet mother close by since I was moving out of the country.

     My most vivid memories of her took place in our living room… while sitting in a circle, our families talked, laughed, cried and prayed.   She spoke truth gently but with assurance and kindness.

     Then Tuesday came.  I left in a hurry to go to the hospital, because two of her precious children were arriving by ambulance and she couldn’t be there with them.  I paced the floor waiting for them to arrive, listening to the wail of the siren getting closer.  I pondered what she would do, how would she be responding, how would she care for them… I saw her children in pain, but courageous… I knew they were reflecting her life’s example.

      I was there when they escorted us into that little room to tell us she was gone.  I was there when shortly after being told, her daughter led us in song acknowledging God as still Holy.  I hugged her children for her wishing like everything I could bear their pain.

      I will never forget her.  She lives on in the lives of her children. Their world had been shook… such an anchor she had been for them, yet her “mother” heart shown through Carita’s loving care to her younger siblings.  Her strength in spite of a storm was evident in Marcel.  I watched Asher worship even when he didn’t “feel” like it.  Kristi’s beautiful smile through her tears reflected her mother’s inner beauty and Christopher, his amazing courage to move forward even in the darkest pain convinced me he had watched his mother do it many times.

    I wish I could take away the pain they face in the days ahead… but I have a regular reminder to lift them to the throne.  The charcoal colored dress.  I will never wear it without remembering.


13 thoughts on “Rachel

  1. This is absolutely beautiful. Absolutely real. It brought on more tears that haven’t stopped … and I am only an observer. My love and prayers are with all of you, always. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow! Praise God Who gives and takes away! He has already used this story so powerfully …

  2. This brought tears to my eyes. So thankful that we can claim the power of God when hard things happen to us. I am so sorry for the lost in both families. Lefting you all up in prayer.

  3. I can’t really put my words down now, so I will not even pretend to take a shot at it. But, this amazingly written from the heart piece is just so beautiful. I know, every one is saying that, but that is so the right word! Just letting you’ll know a.k.a. you wonderful Miller and Witmer families that my family back in PA hasn’t stopped going to God on your behalf! Keep looking to God for the strength to carry you through this difficult time! Remember, that God makes Beauty out of the Ashes!

  4. Dolores, you have a wonderful way with words capturing so much emotion from the setting. My mother heart felt like I was sharing the experience with you. May the One Who Always keeps His promises comfort you and yours. Lois Mast

  5. This is so beautiful. Thanks for posting it, Monica. And thanks for writing, Dolores…your love and care in those critical hours was powerful….thanks for being there and letting God use you.

  6. Oh Delores, so beautifully expressed. Loving thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and the Witmer family. My daughter, Michelle, is married to Krista’s(Marcel) cousin, Lance.

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