did you notice the date stamp on the cover of the book?

I have been asked by only a few people if there is any significance to the initials and date on the date stamp on the cover of the book LIVE SENT: you are a letter. Keen observation. And yes there is significance.

The letters “RD” are for “Retia Dukes.” She was my mom, affectionally called “RD” by some of her friends.

The date, “3 Aug 2009,” was the day that she died, losing a battle she fought hard with an SUV-induced brain injury.

I had decided to dedicate the book to my mom before she and Dad were even in an accident. She was the one who always encouraged me and had the confidence in me and in the Lord that He could actually give me the words to pen down a book one day. And I had determined to dedicate the first one to her. So, I did. Little did I know it would be in her memorial rather than in her honor.

And I miss her.

But I am so grateful for her. So grateful for all the selfless ways she cared for me and my brother and my dad. So grateful for all the kind encouragement she so generously gave into so many lives that she encountered everyday. So grateful for her few quirky mannerisms and expressions, many of which my little Abby picked up from extensive time with Mom the last two years before she died that August day. And so grateful for statements like “you don’t always get what you want” and “do everything without grumbling and complaining” and “well, you should ask cause all they could say is no” and “I love you” over and over and over and over and over again.

And she meant it every time.

Her legacy lives on in 10 grandkids now – five whose lives Jen and I have been given the chance to steward and five whose lives my brother and his wife have been given the chance to steward. And the chance to say “I love you” to over and over and over and over and over again.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. Young and old. And to those remembering a mom today, Happy Mother’s Day to you. Remember well.

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