It's so very hard to write this. I was hoping and praying that we would have a better outcome with mom. But in my heart, I knew that she was nearing the end.

Mom passed away last night, slipping from this life into the presence of Christ.

Mom and dad were devout Christians and tonight I can only imagine the reunion they are having in heaven. They were good parents --- strict, yet loving. They carried with them the human frailties we all suffer --- as a result of that moment in the Garden of Eden. But they always loved us.

I was particularly moved by their love for each other --- deep and abiding --- over more than 40 years. Like many couples, they experienced some pretty rocky patches, but they never seemd to lose sight of the things they had in common.

On the occasion of their 40th anniversary, my dad presented my mom with a Bible. Inside, he wrote about his passionate love for her. It was, in a sense, the love that the Apostle Paul wrote about in Second Corinthians -- a love that is patient and kind --- a love that endures.

I think it really broke mom's heart when dad passed away last year. But tonight, what a glorious reunion --- their love now everlasting.

When I was a little boy, we used to sing a hymn. I'm not sure I understood the words back then. But today, they provide me a measure of peace and assurance.

There's a land that is fairer than day.
And by faith we can see it afar.
For the Father waits over the way
To prepare us a dwelling place there.

In the sweet by and by
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.
In the sweet by and by
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.

To know Christ, is to know his peace that surpasses our understanding, a peace that will comfort us even during the difficult days of life. And I look forward to that day when we shall meet mom and dad on that beautiful shore.