Authentic You Photography Blog

October 30, 2008


Filed under: Just Because — Char @ 1:00 am

Life is full of big questions, isn’t it?!!

Circumstances that seem absolutely impossible! Things happen that don’t make any sense! Stuff that, quite simply, is just not fair! We want to shake our fist with rage at God! Or crawl in a hole, not come out for a long time, and let the tears run! Confusion, hurt, sorrow, and weariness…bone aching weariness!

Life is good, right?!!

But lots of us have it, don’t we?!! Some kind of sadness, pain, turmoil that seems to follow us! Our own feels so personal. It seems to consume us at times! Making us unaware of the hurting people right next to us…causing us to lose sight of the big picture! And if the enemy wins…it eventually swallows us, snuffing out the life and light!

We continue! We live a good life! After all, we are good people! But the life is gone and quite honestly, it leaves us useless!

What’s reality?!! Where to from here? God wants my heart! Through tears, pain, and anger…He wants me, my dreams, my passions, and my life as I know it! He wants me to let it all go! Stop fighting! Stop trying to survive! And just…well, just be! Let Him take it from there! Yeah, let Him show me what living life to the fullest really means!

Today…three years ago, I lost my mother. It happened, oh so quickly! Aggressive cancer. It took us so off guard, we never even said “Good bye”! A mere three weeks before my baby was born. I am the oldest of eight kids. Brandon was only seven. “Come’on God, what are you thinking?!! A seven year old need his mother!” She was the heart of our family! All us kids could honestly say, she was a best friend! She understood our hearts! It seemed she could see straight to our souls!

Yeah, it has been a grueling journey! But I had an amazing mother for twenty-seven years! That is something a lot of people never have! So today…today I realize I am blessed! Today I am thankful!

I am who I am, because of her!

In honor of my dear mother…

Who is dancing in heaven! Yup, I know she is dancing!

Let me share an essay written by my sister! Maybe, just maybe… it will give you a glimpse of who she was!

A Life Fully Lived!
By Crystal Good 9/6/07
“Mom you’ll never believe this!”
“What?!”, She asked with a bright smile, eager to hear all about what was going on.
That was her. My mom cared about every detail, no matter what. Whether it was significant to her, or totally unimportant, my mom was always ready with a listening ear.
She also know the answer to every question and the solution to every problem. Just emptying all emotions, feelings and thoughts to her somehow made it “all better”. Whether I was about to explode with excitement or crumble with frustration, Mom always understood. Even when I didn’t understand myself… Mom did.
A woman that exceptional is worth getting to know. Please meet Sylvia Good, my Mom, my best friend. She was quick to serve others in anyway needed. You would think after mothering eight children, being her husband’s “right hand helper” on the farm, and being an invaluable friend to her family and others the she would grow weary. But, no! Her passion and energy never failed to illuminate her.
“What will my birthday cake look like this time?” I wondered as she walked out to the garage. Moments later, my mom returned with a cake held high, full of candles. As the excitement grew inside me, she set the cake in front of me. One great big puff of air and the candles were out! I gazed at my cake, surely the finest Barbie doll cake ever made. A lacy, pink, Cinderella-like ball gown sculpted out of cake, complete with a matching pink ribbon in my Barbie doll’s hair. “Wow”, I mused. Yes, for every birthday, for every child, she created our new favorite birthday cake.
The flower gardens were her pride and joy. She spent countless hours down on her knees, dirt in her finger nails, planting flowers, pulling weeds and trimming shrubs to grow to perfection. Every spring, the patio was brought to life with planters full of bright, cheerful flowers. From her gardens came many vases full of fresh flowers brought inside to cheer the kitchen.
Thanks to Mom’s determination, what once was simply a patch of dirt bloomed into a flourishing vegetable garden. Rows of peas, potatoes, green beans, corn, watermelon, tomatoes and my favorite- strawberries! Every step from sowing the first seeds in the spring, rota-tilling the weeds, spraying those pesky bugs, to harvesting a successful crop in the fall, she did it all cheerfully. No, It wasn’t easy! But to her, the hard work paid off when her family sat around the dinner table with a “morrish” meal of garden fresh fruits and vegetables.
My fondest memory of the garden is picking strawberries. Why? See, only half of those tasty berries landed in the bucket. The other half? “Yum!”, I said with strawberry stained lips and a big grin, “Wow, I love strawberries!”
Freezing and canning fruits and vegetables was an annual event in the Good house. Peaches were the best. Five bushels of peaches, my grandma, mom, sisters, Kara and one sticky day of canning peaches! Whether it was husking and freezing corn, canning tomato soup, or making applesauce, it really didn’t feel like work with Mom’s cheerful presence. Work was enjoyable with her silly comments and warm smile.
Sylvia abounded with energy; she loved to exercise. Her latest ambition was jumping rope. Yes – jumping rope! Six AM, she was outside jumping rope. She was so faithful, the neighbors expected to see her outside on their way to work each morning. 800 jumps on the average morning, a mark that even us kids struggled to meet!
March 22, 2005. I can remember that day like it was yesterday. It was a beautiful spring day, the kind that makes your heart dance. But the mood was otherwise. That was the day the doctors gave us the heart wrenching news, “We are sure Sylvia has cancer, there are tumors everywhere.” The tears came like a torrential downpour. My Mom, my hero, my best friend, and now a cancer patient? As devastating as it was for me – I can only imagine how much worse it must have been to be the victim. But that brave lady fought courageously. She had her good days and her bad days, but she never gave up. Eventually the cancer left her, once energetic body, immobile. In her wheelchair we pushed her outside into the back yard. She breathed deep the fresh farm air, and soaked up the feeling of the fresh cut grass rubbing between her barefoot toes. Her flower gardens were in full bloom, and the goldfinches swooped down to feed at the bird feeders. She basked in the beauty of the evening.
October 30, 2005, she exhaled her last breath. Her journey on earth was complete. Her fight had been fought; she was victorious. She reached her destination, her Lover, Jesus Christ.
For me, and new journey just began. Embracing life in the good and bad, just as she would have – but without her here.
I wrestle between feeling despair for being mothered only eighteen years, and feeling truly blessed because I had a hero for a mom for eighteen years. The impact she left will live on, long after she has passed on. The wisdom she passed to me is engraved in my heart. And, oh, the precious memories… the are like a fine diamond, treasured above all else! A hazelnut candle, a vase of fresh flowers, Black Joe Cake with Peanut Butter icing, a nice suntan on weathered skin, the smell of Dutch cooking, all that and more will forever bring a smile to my face and a pleasant memory to my mind.
Sylvia Good defines a life lived fully. She spoke wisdom and advice into many lives; her diligence and perseverance sculpted her children. Her warm cheer and abounding energy is a fond memory tucked inside of those she knew. Above all, she was an example of what it is to love without limitations. Like the continuing ripples when a pebble is dropped into a lake, so is her incredible legacy continuing to impact and bless others.


  1. Charlene,
    That is a beautiful tribute to your mother! I’m so glad I got to know here a little.
    She really was an amazing woman & yes you are blessed to have had a wonderful mother who left you a great legacy.
    She would be so proud of your family the way each of you honor her & the lives you live.
    Be blessed today even through the tears!

    Comment by Bonnie — October 30, 2008 @ 3:09 am

  2. Char,
    That was beautiful. I never got to know your mom, but your post makes me wish I had. She sounds like she was an amazing woman.
    You are so blessed to have had a woman like that in your life. I’m so sorry you lost her.

    Comment by Brenda — October 30, 2008 @ 4:16 am

  3. char i’m not sure what to say through the tears flowing. she was an amazing woman! Yes she was full of life and a ready smile, i remember that. She raised you to be the woman you are today, and she did an amazing job!!! She would be so proud of who you’ve become! I’m so glad i have you for a cousin and even better yet- a great friend! Thanks for the post for your mom, it was good to remember all those memories about her again.

    Comment by Kris — October 30, 2008 @ 4:39 am

  4. Char, I remember dropping a meal off while hospice was there.You asked me if I want to go in and say hi to your mom . Out of fear of not knowing what to say ,I said no.I have wished so often I just would have went and gave her a hug! Here is a hug to you Car,may we learn lifes lessons, to live with no regrets. Thank -you so much for sharing your heart, I am challenged to be the mom to my children,your mother was to you!

    Comment by julia — October 30, 2008 @ 5:44 am

  5. Thank you, thank you for taking the time to let me see a Sylvia I only knew by face. I always thought she was so beautiful and had such beautiful children. When we attended Wolmesdorf Mennonite Church the Goods also attended and that is the only remembrance I really have of her and the family. She must have been an amazing woman who loved to work and serve her family. She even home-schooled her children and her children now rise up and called her blessed! If we women could learn from her example God will bless us, too.

    Comment by Lori — October 30, 2008 @ 6:07 am

  6. Char-
    what can I say, beautiful tribute of your mother, I never really got to know her, but reading this I feel like I did,
    I can tell by watching her family that you all had a wonderful mother, and I can tell you are so very thankful,
    thank you for reminding us again that life is only a season and we need to not forget our special blessings called family,
    may you truly be blessed in a very real way today knowing your mom is dancing with the angels and waiting for you,
    yes, your mother would feel very Blessed seeing her family today,knowing her children have chosen to walk with the Lord.
    she left a great Legacy, (hugs)

    Comment by Leona — October 30, 2008 @ 6:18 am

  7. Char{hugs} to you…our church family misses your mom too… I remember thinking the same thoughts that Crystal wrote why??? a family of small children needs their mother…we dont understand Gods whole picture..”we see through a glass darkly, but someday we will see face to face” it makes heaven a whole lot dearer to know someone is waiting there for you…blessings to you today

    Comment by LuAnne — October 30, 2008 @ 7:01 am

  8. Char, Just want to let you know you guys are in my prayers this week as you remember and especially today. May you feel God’s loving arms wrapped around you. Love ya

    Comment by Melanie — October 30, 2008 @ 8:13 am

  9. Yes….. Three Years today…..I Miss her So Much!!

    Comment by Nancy — October 30, 2008 @ 9:37 am

  10. Thanks Cahr for being honest. God truely is a good God in the midst of pain. I too long for my mother and look fowraed to the day when we will both dance with our mothers in heaven! _heather

    Comment by Heather — October 30, 2008 @ 11:48 am

  11. As I was reading your tributes about your mom, I was was like, yep, that was exactly how she was! Through tears I had to smile of all those precious memories that I have of her! And Char, when I see or talk to you I can often see a reflection of her, which is living proof that her legacy still lives! Love you!

    Comment by Sandra — October 30, 2008 @ 12:25 pm

  12. Today as you remember your mom know that there are many of us who also are joining with you, standing and appreciating Sylvia. She will FOREVER live on in our hearts!

    Comment by Angel — October 30, 2008 @ 5:40 pm

  13. What a beautiful tribute to your mom! i wish i would’ve known her, but i know one thing- she raised a precious daughter in you. praying for you as you continue always remembering her life.

    Comment by ada — October 30, 2008 @ 7:09 pm

  14. Charlene I still miss your Mom at our family get togethers.Her bubbley laughter and cheerfullness is missed by us all.Reading this post made me cry again.

    Comment by Your Aunt Linda — October 31, 2008 @ 4:38 pm

  15. May the precious memories you have of your Mother become sweeter with every passing day!(Her children arise and call her blessed,Prov.31:28)

    Comment by elaine — November 1, 2008 @ 10:23 am

  16. char, your mom was a wonderful person…i miss her so much!!!!!!!!! what you shared was so real and straight from the heart.
    we both can look forward to dancing with our mothers in heaven someday!!!
    somehow through all the tears that god given comfort is all we have to cling to. love you we both can look forward to dancing with our mothers in heaven someday!!!

    Comment by arlene — November 1, 2008 @ 12:26 pm

  17. What a beautiful essay about your Mom. I’m sure she is looking down from heaven so proud of you! I pray you will find God faithful in the coming years as you raise your family. May your memories with her carry you until you meet again someday.

    Comment by Shannon L — November 1, 2008 @ 1:17 pm

  18. Charlene, I have been thinking of you lots these days as another anniversary of your Mother’s homegoing has rolled around. I remember her as living life to the fullest. She was such a beautiful and talented person. This is such a beautiful memorial to your mother. It is amazing to me how all of you children are so talented in different ways. That also is a tribute to your mother. Your pictures are fantastic!! What a gift!

    Comment by elma — November 1, 2008 @ 3:59 pm

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