Dee Laverne Fowler was a dear, dear woman and my mother. She died today. She was eighty-two and had been struggling with the aftermath of a stroke since July, but still her passing comes as a surprise. I will miss knowing that the woman who has always been a sweet, godly presence and a genuine supporter and friend is no longer there in Iowa Park, Texas sitting in her recliner, or running around town in the car she was always proud of (simply because it was hers), or just generally holding down the fort there in a place our family has called home since 1973, and in an area of Texas that her family has called home for hundred years.
Unfortunately, the stroke robbed her of her independence (something she fiercely tried to hold on to), and a lot of her joy in living. She loved the life she was living (as simple as it was) before the stroke and I think she was grieving over its loss.
My family and I had the opportunity to try and be a blessing to her for a brief time in December last year. She “moved” to New York, but that was in body only. She was unprepared for how deeply she would grieve over the loss of her home and her Texas family and friends. While our time together during those two weeks was riddled with her many concerns and fears, we had a beautiful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, for which I am thankful. So, after being here for about fifteen days and eight hours, she went back home. Then, she passed away just over seventeen days after that, at home in a new apartment she was excited to be living in, furnished and made ready for her by family and friends who loved her deeply.
At some point, the memory of the few negative experiences of the last few months will fade to become less prominent than the multitude of memories I have of a mom who laughed and cared and worried and prayed and worked and tirelessly loved her family. I cannot remember one time when I witnessed my mom being hateful or rude to anyone. She knew the Lord, was baptized in the Holy Spirit at five years old, had the gift of tongues, was a great Sunday School teacher, was the church clerk at the Lakeview Church of God for over twenty years, was a faithful wife, mom, friend, and employee.
I will never forget the way my mother was there for me spiritually when I was a lonely young, single man trying to figure out the call of God, walking through spiritual assaults of the enemy. She and I talked for hours during those years. The stroke can’t rob those memories!
So much more could be said, of course! But for now, it is a comfort to know that, because of her faith in Jesus and her belief in the God who justifies the ungodly and who raised our Lord Jesus from the dead, my mom is now in the presence of the Lord and her momma and daddy, her brothers L.P and Rufus, and her sister Era Lee. What a time they must be having!