Charlene Quint Kalebic

Inspiration Break – Loving Fiercely: Remembering a Mother’s Love


Inspiration Break – Loving fiercely


I had the honor of attending the funeral for the mother of a good friend this past month.  Many folks avoid funerals for a variety of reasons.  But I think it is a privilege to attend the service of a loved one of a friend.  Of course, I want to support a friend who desperately needs support at that time in life.  And, from personal experience, I know nothing else quite says “I care” as someone’s physical presence at a difficult time. But I also have some wonderful, amazing friends who inspire me every day – and I want to know what makes the friend I know and love, the friend I know and love.  Behind every wonderful, amazing, inspiring person is another wonderful, amazing, inspiring person who has influenced them to rise above the mediocrity and be that person that they were created to be.  By attending a memorial service, the essence of the lost loved one is celebrated and honored, and one sees his or her legacy in the children and grandchildren. 


For most of us, we seldom realize that our influence – the way we live our lives, the words we say, our actions towards others – not only affects those around us, but can last for generations, often literally hundreds of years.  How many times can a person trace his blessings of a loving family, a good work ethic and a solid education back to a beloved grandfather or grandmother? On the other hand, sadly, how often can a person trace his misfortunes back to an absent or uncaring father, grandfather and back down the line? A memorial service puts one’s life in perspective.  And for the life that has been well-lived, I find attending a memorial service a blessing  – a blessing of comfort to those who have lost their loved one, and a blessing to me, to inspire me to be a better person.


And so, on a cold December day, I listened as the children of Ruth Helen Anderson remembered their mom, and what about her made them the people they are today.  Through the tears and the laughter the stories came from children and even grandchildren, now successful adults, who adored their mother.  And their mother adored them.  There was no doubt that the Spirit of God was in that little chapel that day, and that He dwelled in each of her children.  But the one thing that gripped my heart the most, that made me grab a pen and write it down, was what her daughter shared:  “We are who we are because we have been loved completely and sacrificially.  We always knew we were loved fiercely.”


How true that is for each one of us.  What love without end – love with no bounds – can do!  When we know that we are loved completely, sacrificially, and fiercely by those we trust the most – by our heavenly Father, by a parent and by our spouse – it gives us wings to soar and the confidence to move mountains.  And when we fall flat, it gives us a safe place to go back to, to get loved on, to be encouraged, and then to have the guts to go out and try again.  And if we do it right, just like Ruth’s family, someday, long after we have entered heaven’s gates, our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren will achieve the impossible because down deep in their foundation, embedded in their DNA, they knew they were loved – and loved fiercely.  


So, if you are at a loss as to what your New Year’s Resolution should be this year, and every year hereafter, take a page from Ruth’s play book of life and make sure the people in your life know they are loved completely, sacrificially — and fiercely.


Happy New Year

Charlene Quint Kalebic


p.s.  The lives of people like Ruth and her husband inspired me to write a framed sympathy gift that is now included in The Blessings Collection entitled “A Prayer as your Mother is Welcomed Home” and “A Prayer as your Father is Welcomed Home.”   See the prayer and the entire collection at:


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