How Do You Ever Say Goodbye to the Perfect Mother?

As I sit here tonight holding my mom’s hand watching family and close friends come for a final goodbye, I am wondering is this really it? How do we ever replace unconditional love? Why was I adopted by the best mother ever?

Without divine intervention, my life’s journey could have never started.  I know it began with a 16 year old mother, who I still never met, with no place to turn, except to a Catholic ministry, deciding to take on societal shame and still have a big-headed baby boy on May 27, 1966.

Or maybe I would have been selected by a normal mother who would have provided a warm and nurturing home, but in the end I received the greatest blessing of all in a second miracle… a saintly mother, who never ever uttered a cuss word, said a single bad thing about anyone, and could make daily magic of simply nothing at all by just embracing the hardest Christian commandment, “love thy neighbor as yourself”.  That one has been my Achilles heel for as long as I can remember… how did she do it with such ease?

All day today, I’ve kept the book of Psalms close by, even during our Board Meeting, because it seems so lyrical and perfect to randomly read, so I could just hold it together and try to make it through this important meeting fearing this may be it. I knew she was in great hands because she was at Signature of East Louisville, with one of our most compassionate and skilled teams anywhere in the Revolution.  Late this afternoon, Fran Stahl called my cell to give me an update.  Intimately, he said we are near the end.

This evening, as the room filled with the Mary Louise Steier Fan Club, Sony brought the kids in to make one last visit, unless another miracle happens quickly.  After Ava, Luke, and Jackie entertained the other residents with a little coaching from Aunt Betty, they sat on our laps close to Grandma, realizing how sick she really is.

Then it happened… it was time to go, and each precious Grandchild walked up to her left ear with one hand clenching Sony’s and the other  wrapped beautifully around their Grandmother’s open hand. Each in their own voice told her lovely things. Two said beautiful prayers in her ear.  Several told her they loved her to the moon and back.  All of them told her they had the best Grandmother ever.  The two oldest told her that they would never ever forget her, and told her to send them a signal about how great heaven is.  Finally, one said, make sure you tell Grandpa hi.  It has been almost exactly three years to the day since I felt this familiar pain.  How do we ever say goodbye?  If our faith is so great, then why does it hurt so much?

107 thoughts on “How Do You Ever Say Goodbye to the Perfect Mother?

  1. Brian Angel

    Joe i am praying for your family you know i love you and your family and anything i can do for you or any member of you family i will just know she is going to a better places to be with our sweet Blessed Mother Mary and her Son i love you man hang in there

    Brian Angel
    Lee County Care And Rehab

    Reply
    1. Ken Stacy

      Joe,

      I was also holding my mother’s hand 10 years ago about Meadows South when she said she wanted to go home. I told her it was ok for her to go home and she passed peacefully. I had not been back to Meadows South since she had passed until the first day of our CNA training and how all the emotions came back like it was yesterday. I have told the story to several people about how you came over and put your arm around my shoulders and said it was OK and to let it out. That meant more to me than you know and I will always thank you for that. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

      Reply
  2. Winnie Pierpoint

    There are never any easy words at a time like this. The greatest gift you’ve ever received has come to the end of her days and, while she will be at peace and without pain or concern forever more, she leaves behind a legacy of love that must bear that pain. Parents are most sacred, most needed, most loved and most missed. No one can truly understand this loss unless they’ve experienced it. I’ve lost both my parents, too. The greatest gift Mary Louise Steier has given the world, in my mind, is you, Joe. Your faith and unshakable belief in our company is the flag under which we all sail. You have the support, respect and deepest sympathy from our family at Signature East. Bless you and your family for we have been truly blessed to have your mom with us.

    Reply
  3. Rita Bollinger

    Our family and friends make life worthwhile! Our prayers are with you and your family Rita& Jim

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  4. Tish Lang

    How truly blessed you were to have such a wonderful mother and to be able to offer her comfort and love as she neared the end. My prayers are with you and your family.

    Signature of Marietta

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  5. Kelly Atkins

    Joe, Sony and family,
    Sending blessings, light, peace, and prayers to all of you in these sacred moments.
    Much love….Kelly

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  6. Norman Haley

    Joe, the answer is, the goodbye is temporary. I lost my mom 19 years ago, and by phone today, my dad and I talked about her as if she was simply in the next room cooking supper. I too remember the initial hurt and loss, but the memories are so vivid I know she is real – just waiting in the next room. I am praying for God’s peace for you and your family tonight.
    Norman

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  7. Jeanne

    Joe
    I have typed three different messages in this block and none seem to even come close to comforting the pain that my heart knows you are feeling right now. I can say from experience that the feeling that you have now will eventually be replaced with only the sweet memories of everything that your Mother ever did to impact your life and the life of your family. She raised a fine man in you and she was chosen as your mother for a reason. Her ability to impact the world lives on in you Joe, and you and Sony are doing the same with your children. Her legacy and spirit of faith love and selfless acts are the gift she has shared with the rest of us through you and your family. Know that you are loved and respected and held closely in the thoughts and prayers and hearts of your Signature Family. We love you all.

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  8. Sam and Lynn huff

    Joe,
    I am so sorry to hear about your mom. We will say a prayer this evening and keep you and your family in our prayers. God bless you and may the holy spirit keep over you through the hard time.

    Sam and Lynn Huff

    Reply
  9. Vivian Bowers

    Joe,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God bless all and may the Grace of God give you peace in the times ahead.

    Reply
  10. Darla Meredith

    Joe, we have only met once- your cousin Sheri is my best friend (my daughter is Ellie, the one with Down syndrome). I got to meet your remarkable mother on a few occasions and I was inspired by her tenacity and courage. I always felt we had a kindred bond being mothers of “special” kids. I have sat where you sit tonight- in fact my loving mom passed right there at Signature East on a cold winter night four years ago. I wasn’t ready and still long to here her voice every day. As a nurse, I know that it is a sacred honor to be with someone as they leave this world, especially someone you love. It is also one of the most difficult experiences in life- it will change you, make you richer, deeper, and also emptier. My prayers are with you and Mary Louise- God’s speed and comforting spirit be with each of you- Darla

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  11. Chris

    God Bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. Peace be with your spirit, and also with hers. She raised one incredible son.

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  12. Cheri Glass

    Joe, as I read your eloquent words about saying goodbye to your precious mother, I am reminded of the pain, sadness and anguish of losing my mother 10 years ago. While you will miss your mother’s presence, the smell of her favorite perfume, her treasured pearls of wisdom, and those occasional motherly scoldings … you will take great comfort in the lifetime memories you have made with her. Memories are a special gift from God. They possess great healing powers. Embrace them, share them, and celebrate them unselfishly. My family and I are praying for you and your family as your mother returns home to our heavenly Father.
    Much Love to You and Your Family,
    Cheri Glass and Family

    Reply
  13. Serendipity Uniforms

    Joe,
    Our deepest sympathies and prayers are with you now. She has clearly been a spiritual and blessed presence in your life as her influence has extended through you to impact so many as we have clearly seen in the time we’ve spent with those whose lives you have touched. We could all only hope to be so fortunate to have known someone like her.
    Keep faith in knowing that she has come home and has found profound peace.
    Tyson Eaves and Kathleen Bohen

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  14. Jayne West

    Mr. Steier
    My prayers are with you and your family. In losing both parents; I realize that we never really say goodbye to those special people who help us to become who we are. The gift of beautiful memories will always be with us. Joe, may your faith comfort you in knowing that this life is not the end and our Eternal Father is a God of tender mercies and all comfort – Who comforts us in our time of sorrow (2Corinthians 1:3-4) May peace rest upon you – Jayne

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  15. Maren Feinberg

    Joe, our hearts, love and prayers are reaching out to your family in these tough moments. Saying good bye to your beloved mother who is a wonderful example to us Christians, must be extremely diffiucult. Heavin is gaining a true Angel. I know your Mom and Dad will be holding hands forever watching over you all. All of our love. Maren Feinberg and family.

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  16. Christopher Lawrence

    Know that day by day, just as new growth and healing occur around clean wounds, the many, many good memories will appear and partially fill the empty places…until that day when you and she are reunited forever. Love and peace

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  17. George Burkley

    Joe, what a blessing and great gift you have in your mother. The moments you are experiencing now are so difficult. Anne and I are praying for all of you. God is so great, that we know and depend on. We love you.

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  18. Sandi

    My prayers are with you and your family. May God comfort you and give you the strength to carry on with her beautiful memories that you two created. I truly understand your strife at this time. I lost my Mother 25 years ago, and I miss her everyday. One thing that I did say to her as she took her last breathe was “this isn’t goodbye Mama, Its I’ll see you later”.

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  19. Fredric E Jeans

    Joe,
    I am sure you have heard the saying, “When you are born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice. It would appear that your mother did just this. I believe that through faith in Jeusu Christ, part of her rejoicing is in the sure knowledge that there is a great reunion coming. Take heart in that and rejoice with her.
    Love and prayers,
    Chaplain Fred Jeans & the Kenilworth family

    Reply
  20. Dianna Polk

    Joe, I have sat where you are sitting, and theirs nothing like a MOTHER. Our Sympathies and Prayers go out to you and your family. Signature Health Care of Columbia Activities Department.

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  21. Melissa Christian

    Our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. May you find peace and comfort in each other, and in knowing that you were all able to share in the blessing that was her life. That as she made your life full and blessed, you also filled her life.

    Reply
  22. Dan Shirley

    Joe,

    I am so sorry and feel the pain that you are going through. I know the anquish that you feel in your heart. You and the Signature family have helped me to take away some of the sting I felt from my fathers passing last year and I want you to know that my prayers are with you and your family and if I can help in any way, even as an ear to lean on, do not hesitate to contact me.

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  23. Stephen Bowling

    It hurts so very much because we love so very much. It may be difficult but it is times like these that remind us how very much worth it all that it truly is. May God bless and comfort you all.

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  24. Kevin Thieneman

    Joe, I lost my mother 17 years ago and it never gets easy. One prays and has to believe that this is a temporary loss, just a short time away until we can see them again in heaven. Years on earth are nothing compared to an eternity in heaven with our God. She was a great women who can be assured peace in heaven. I am sure she is high above looking down with a smile and an embrace for you. My prayers and blessing are there for you, Sony and your beautiful family. God Bless.

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  25. Nancy Stuber

    Joe, I understand what you and your family experienced being there for your mom. I was present when both my parents went to heaven. You feel hurt, pain and anguish, but you know your love one is in heaven. I am praying for you and your entire family. God will get you through this.
    Prayers and thoughts to your family,
    Nancy Stuber

    Reply
  26. Hollie Canterbury

    My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. Your one of a kind Joe Steier your faith is stronger than most and the love you and your family have shown your mother is something special. My God be with you and your family at this time.

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  27. Zuzana Mueller

    Dear Joe, so sorry to hear about your mom. I had tears in my eyes after reading your article this morning. I will always remember her well, always so sweet to me and the kids. Sending many blessing your way.
    We love you all!

    Zuzana and Jeff

    Reply
  28. Jeff Perry

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family in this difficult time. Memories of the time spent together can be the greatest comfort in times like these.

    take good care.

    Reply
  29. Theresa Layman

    Joe, the pain of losing a mother cannot be put into words. She truly sounds like an amazing person. By reading your words, it is evident that you realize that all things are part of God’s Master plan. I pray for you and your family and I know that your faith will help you through this difficult time. Take comfort in knowing your mom will always be with you, in spirit, as angels often are. God Bless You.

    Reply
  30. Eric Mock

    Joe, at this time of loss, I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Your story continues and what a wonderful teacher your mother was to bring you to this chapter. God Bless……

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  31. Basha Zackavich (Chaplain, Anchor Care)

    Dear Joe,
    Having also lost “the best mother ever,” I feel your pain. My prayers are with you and your family. Thank God for the beautiful memories you have, the cherished love you’ve experienced, as they will always keep your mom (and dad) close to you, … until you meet again.
    God bless you.

    Reply
  32. Julie

    Joe, loosing a loved one in this life is something none of us can fully comprehend or understand, but the blessed hope in our Savior that we have, gives us a lasting peace that you will once again be reunited and your Perfect Mother will truly be perfect when you meet her in our Heavenly Father’s Kingdom. My dad once told me long ago that when we reach heaven we will know our mansion in the holy city because the loved ones we lost on this earth will be in our doorway to greet us and welcome us home! It may be only a wishful dream on his part, but what a lovely thought it is to think that we will be reunited as a family made new! As an adopted child myself, I understand what a gift it is to be blessed with loving, inspirational parents. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family during this time.

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  33. Brad Wyatt

    Joe,
    The answer is simply “Faith”. It is the strongest power and force we will ever know because it provides us with hope and unconditional love. When God gives you such a special person like your mother, you can never say goodbye because she will always be in your heart, your thoughts, your prayers and in the eyes of your children. My family prays for you and yours and that you feel the comforting arms of God as he wraps his loving arms around you.

    Reply
  34. Jody Daugherty

    Worked with Signature as a Liaison years ago. Your company shaped me professionally and set me on the road to my current profession. I’m so grateful. I lost my sister last November and the only comfort I can offer when asked how to bear such loss is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”Phil 4:13. This was my sister’s favorite verse and now our family’s moto. By His Grace, he will carry you.

    Jody

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  35. Nicole L. Lowe

    Joe, you are in the prayers of your Signature @ ST Peter Villa family. May the peace of God give you the strength and the encouragement needed during this time. God Bless You and Your Family.

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  36. kathy gallin

    Having lost my mom last september I can only tell you this – it is never goodbye as there is no way it can be for all our mortal souls. it is the separation that hurts so deeply, but it is never goodbye…..

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  37. Lynn Drew

    Although you may no longer be able to touch her warmth in this world, her spirit will continue to be a beacon through you, your family and the ‘Revolution’ that I have no doubt she inspired through you. Please accept my deepest sympathies on the passing of your Mother and know that Stan and I are holding you all in our prayers.

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  38. Lea Kenney

    Joe, please know that your mother, your family and you have been in my prayers and my heart is breaking for you all this morning. I can tell she was certainly a blessing to this world and am amazed by the far reach of her influence on so many of us by the way she raised her son. Find comfort in the fact that she is painfree and dwelling in glorious joy now.

    Reply
  39. Carol

    Dearest friend,
    Sharing your sadness today, but also feeling the joy you shared with your precious mother. You penned a beautiful expression of your love and memories of her. Please know that Larry and I are praying for God’s amazing grace to wrap around you and your family over the coming days and weeks. God bless!

    Reply
  40. Mike Blome`, Director of Sprituality/Chaplain

    May peace come to your Mother and to you and your family. We realize at these times how our Blessed Mother must have felt as she stood at the foot of the cross. You have shared that pain with your vigil at the bedside of your Mother. I am sorry for your pain of loss but how can we keep your mother from the beauty of heaven. God Bless you and your family and for the repose of the soul of “your” blessed mother.

    Reply
  41. Rob & Kim Carter

    That is my greatest fear. I know one day; that day will come where I will have to close the same chapter in my life. I can’t imagine there is anyway of really understanding or even explaining the loss one feels during this situation and can only rely upon the comfort of knowing she is now completely free of all pain and suffering and one day you will be reuinited. God Bless.

    Reply
  42. Jean Myers

    Joe, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    With each breath you take, God is there for you…

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  43. Kathy Raines Bitar

    I can only imagine the pain you and your family are going through right now. Your Mom was an Angel on earth and is now a perfect Angel in Heaven. Peace and Love to all of you.

    Reply
  44. Nancy Penton

    Just received the sad news of your mother’s passing. May the God of all Comfort surround you and your family at this time. Caring thoughts and prayers of compassion for you and your family. Your mother raised a wonderful son.
    Blessings from Buckhead

    Reply
  45. Lisa Boulier

    Joe.
    My heart goes out to you in your time of sorrow. I know that she experienced a great deal of suffering since she was diagnosed with cancer. I pray that you will find comfort in knowing that she is no longer in any pain and what a beautiful angel is. In this stressful time, please let me know if I can help in any way. My thought and prayers are with you and your family.
    Lisa Boulier and Family

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  46. Chuck Ogden

    Dear Joe,

    I cannot begin to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. Unfortunately, I know what it is like to lose a parent as well. My families thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. SHe will still be with you just in a different way. If there is anything we can do for you, just let me know.

    Reply
  47. Nancy Helen Laughlin

    Unconditional love is free, but painful when you lose the one that nurtured so lovingly. It puts the burdon on us to pass it on and what a blessing that is! God bless you and your family as you remember and embrace the course ahead.

    Reply
  48. Douglas Seidu

    My thoughts and prayers to you and family.To those who are lucky to have their mom around
    please hold on tight to her.You don’t know what you have till you loose it. My mom passed sixteen
    years ago but I still talk about her in the present tense. But take heart Joe . Mom is smiling

    Reply
  49. Tim Hoskinson

    Joe, as I sit at my desk this morning, reading this heartfelt and beautiful message, I can’t help but feel your pain, your loss, and the love you have for the gift in your life you have the privilege to call “mom”. I thank you for the tears streaming down my face for once again you have reminded me of what is most important in the beautiful life we share with the ones we love.

    Celebrate the life shared with your mom, cherish the memories, and thank God for the many gifts He has bestowed upon you and your family. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family in this time of sorrow.

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  50. Phyllis Ashbrook, RSM

    This beautiful, sunny, somewhat cool June morning is filled with bittersweet emotions as your family has lost a gem known as mom, grandma, aunt…. As you wrote, you received two miracles in the form of mothers. From a young girl, frightened, not able to properly care for an infant to a lovely mother with empty and open arms and a heart of gold. You have spoken with so much love and honor of your mother. And, although I know this is a painful path for you to walk, you do so as your mother has taught you — with faith. She came to East Louisville giving it her all, attempting treatment, willingly doing therapy. But this was for her family, not for her benefit. It is my prayer that you and your family feel the prayers, thoughts, and expressions of sympathy supporting you during this time.
    Phyllis Ashbrook, RSM, East Louisville & the Rehab staff

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  51. Quita Bunton

    A prayer for the Steier family:
    Dear Heavenly and Most Gracious Father, we come humbly to Your Throne of Grace, to say, Thank You! Lord, Thank You for Mothers! Mothers are one of Your greatest blessings! So we come thanking You for the life of Ms. Mary Louise Steier, the mother, the grandmother, and I am sure friend to many. We thank you for the unconditional love that she gave her family, which is a testament to her faith in You, for You are a God of Love!

    Lord, the passing of a loved one is never easy. But Your Word says that “Blessed are those that mourn, for they will be comforted.” So Lord we pray that even in the midst of the family’s grief, that you will comfort them and strengthen them, Father, help the family to experience the love, joy, and peace that are the results of Ms. Steier’s life in them. May they sense Your presence in this time of grief and may their faith in You guide them during this time and always.

    In Your name, Amen.

    Our sincerest thoughts and prayers are with the family
    BJ and Quita Bunton

    Reply
  52. Phillip E. Phillips

    Take comfort in knowing she is in the presence of the LORD looking down admiring how she played a part in making the Perfect Son. GOD and we all are with you Joe. Phil.

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  53. Robin Lyle

    Dear Joe, My Heart goes out to you. It is never easy to say goodbye. But I do know one thing. Your mother raised a wonderful son & if that is any reflection on her, she was a great Lady. I believe we will see our loved ones again. That gives me peace. May it give you peace. I truly am praying for you and your family.

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  54. Kathie McDonald-McClure

    Joe,

    I am so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. It must be especially hard to lose a mom who was so vibrant only months before. I know that you have a strong faith and trust in God’s plan for your life, even though it’s hard to understand why such plans have to include losing a loved one so soon in life. Great moms like yours really never leave their children alone even after they physically leave this world. She will always be near, even nearer in spirit than she was in the flesh. My prayer for you is that you will forever feel your Mother’s love and presence around you. May peace be with you and your family and may you draw strength and joy from the wonderful memories of your mom.

    Kathie

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  55. Travis Moore

    There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we dont want to know but have to learn,and people we can’t live without but have to let go.

    May God’s arms be around your family.

    Reply
  56. Rev. Ronnie Case -Director of Spirituality -The Bridge @ So.pittsburg

    Dear Mr. Steier,
    We are holding you up in prayer to the God of mercy and grace. There is a wonderful verse of scripture found in Isaiah 49:16 – “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” This day He is looking at His palms and see’s Joe Steier,..He will provide all your needs.

    We can’t say “she’s dead”, she is more alive than ever.
    We won’t say “she’s gone”, her presence is ever with us.
    We dare not say “we’ve lost her”, because we know where she lives.
    We shouldn’t say, “I’m sorry”, for what she experiencing.
    We won’t say, “good bye”, but good night, I’ll see you in the morning.

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  57. Peggy Kibler

    Dear Mr Steier,
    Praying for the peace and comfort of God to cover you and hold you especially tight during this journey. This is a journey that is best travelled when you have a true realtionship with God Almighty. What a blessing to have such a great, godly mother. From your expressions of love that you have so aptly given on many ocassions, it is evident that she fulfills the description found in Proverbs 31:28 “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. 29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
    30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates. What a legacy that she has given to her family. Blessings to you in Jesus’ Name.

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  58. Bryan Smith

    Through the door and into perfect peace. I’m sure she has likely thought by now, why she couldn’t have made this journey sooner. We have such a hope before us. We should live each day in anticipation of our own journey. Sorry for your loss and the void it leaves, but it sounds like she gave you and your family a wonderful pattern for life.
    Bryan Smith, Chaplain
    Pine Ridge

    Reply
  59. Mary Meador

    Joe,

    When my Father was sick 14 years ago with cancer. At one point, near the end, I asked him that same question…How do I say goodbye? He simply looked at me with a quivering smile and said…”Well don’t then…say…See ya later.” He always had a simple way with words. But these three little words has enriched my faith and hope still to this day. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. God Bless.

    Mary Meador

    Reply
  60. Lucy Reese Administrator

    My Prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. May God give you peace and comfort. Hold on to the Memories and remember that your Mom is in Heaven looking down on you.
    Lucy

    Reply
  61. Steve

    Faith Enables us to be Comforted, to even Worship God, When a Loved One Has Died.

    In the first chapter of the Book of Job, we’re told of the tragic death of Job’s children (Job 1:18-22). Job was a man of faith. He didn’t merely accept the news of his children’s death, he fell to the ground in worship. What was it that enabled Job to worship? Job’s faith was evidenced in three ways.

    1. Job had faith in the power of God. Job believed in God’s sovereignty, in the fact that God was in control. Thus, he didn’t view the death of his children as a natural disaster (though, in a sense, it was), but as an act of God. He said, “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD” (1:20). Job knew that his children were not his, ultimately, but God’s. He knew that just as God had given his children life, God had also taken it away. To Job, it was not “their time”, it was “God’s time”. God was in control, specifically in the manner and timing of the death of his family. Thus, Job could worship.

    2. Job’s faith was rooted in the character/goodness of God. God was both powerful and good. Job, we’re told, “did not sin nor did he blame God” (1:22). He didn’t see God as being in any way “at fault”, as doing wrong in the death of His children. He was a God whom Job trusted. Thus he worshipped Him, even in this time of tragedy.

    3. Job trusted in the purposes of God. Job was willing to trust God in the death of his loved ones, even though he didn’t understand it. Job knew that God was good, and that God had taken his children in death. Job didn’t know why. And it would seem that his faith was such that he didn’t need to know why, at least not then. Time will sometimes reveal those reasons, but it’s often only in eternity that they’ll be known. Faith finds comfort in the power, in the goodness, and in the purposes of God, even though we don’t understand them at the moment.

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  62. Myrna

    Mr. Steier, we share in your pain and anguish in this most difficult time. May you be comforted with the thought that your mom lived a FULL LIFE and that you have made her feel loved and proud for being the good and wonderful son and good and wonderful person that you are. In sharing your grief, we also share in celebrating a life well lived.

    Reply
  63. Pamela Jowers

    Joe,
    Deep in your heart – where the most true part of who you really are as a human being exists-that is where your mom will always dwell.
    My love and prayers,
    Pam

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  64. megan dangelo

    Joe may god keep u strong during this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with u and and your family. Heaven is forever and you will meet your family again when the time is right. God Bless. Megan D’Angelo

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  65. Kim Morrow

    With very heavy hearts, we send you and your family our deepest sympathies and condolences as you make your way down this most difficult path.
    With love, Jason, Kim, Sydney & Shelby

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  66. Frances Goode

    Joe,
    My heart is heavy for you and your family. This is the most dificult time but our LORD is the Divine Physician and your mom is finally healed and resting in the arms of JESUS. May GOD continue to comfort and give you peace. Praying for you and your family. Frances Goode

    Reply
  67. Angela L. Wrice-Anderson

    God Bless and keep you and your family during this time.
    Prayers are with all of you.

    Reply
  68. Tom Rawlins

    Dear Joe,
    I am so sorry for your Mother’s passing and there aren’t any words that could express how proud she is of you. You certainly had divine intervention in your life in starting your journey, as I can certainly understand this in being an adopted child of 1966 as well. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. God bless you and your family during this time and always.
    Sincerely,
    Tom

    Reply
  69. Kim Blinkhorn

    Joe
    I am so sorry for your loss. I pray for God’s hand upon you and your family as you grieve the loss of your mother. Kim Blinkhorn

    Reply
  70. Matt Willmore

    Joe,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. As someone who has adopted I can tell you that you gave your Mother more joy than you realize. Everyday when I look at Our daughters I am reminded of how blessed we have been to find them… I assure you your mother felt the same ….. Celebrate her life this week while you are with family and friends….

    Your friend,

    Matt Willmore

    Reply
  71. Teri

    Joe although I had never had the opportunity to meet your mother your story seems to say it all. You are truly blessed to have had a mother that believed in you and has brought you to where you are today. Her kind heart and spirit will live on in you. Please let me know if there is anything you need. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Reply
  72. Linda Haddix

    Mr. Steier, I’m so sorry for your loss. I pray that the God of All Comfort, the Prince of Peace, comfort and strengthen you during this time of grief and loss. May He fill your heart and carry you in His loving arms. “May Your faithful love comfort me as you promised Your servant.” Psa. 119:76

    Reply
  73. Mary D. Spikes, Florida Health Care Activity Coordinators Assoication President

    Joe I have written a poem in hopes that it will lessen the hurt.

    At Heaven’s Gate, A joyous crowd
    Waits in Eager anticipation
    God has called Mary Louise home.
    Its time for clebration!

    I heard today. She’s on her way.
    God sent forth a sign,
    She puts her heavenly call light on,
    She’ll be here in record time!

    I missed her, ( a gray haired angels said)
    She showed me such compassion,
    (all nodded in group agreement)
    She did God’s work with Passion..

    Surely she’s earned a heavenly crown,
    Let’s give her a heavenly crown,
    Let’s give her and angel throne!
    Soon she’ll be here in Heaven’s Gates!
    God’s called on the intercom, Mary Louise, come home!

    God knows she’s a glorious student,
    She excelled in her chosen vocation,
    She passed life’s test Magna cum Laude,
    Now she’s destined for heavenly graduation!

    Her arrival will be on love and prayers,
    She’ll receive her diploma she’s earned…
    She’s climbing her career ladder up past the stars,
    God is so impressed with all she’s learned!

    But how shall we comfort her family and friends?
    She would never want them to cry.
    Tell them she’s God’s Certified Angel,
    Anwereing call lights up here in God’s sky!
    When darkness descends on the earth far below,
    Watch stars twinkling off and then on,
    It is Mary Louise, God’s certified Angel
    Answering her call in her new life beyond.

    Love and prayers to you and your family

    Reply
  74. Pamela Lang

    I am new to the Signature family but wanted to send you my deepest sympathy for your loss. My family will keep you and your family in our prayers. God Bless!!

    Reply
  75. Sharon Jock

    Joe,
    You, your mom, family are in my prayers. I pray that you will continue to have the courage to lead your family both personel and work thru these hurtful times. I pray that God gives you the energy for the upcoming days. Your Mother has guided you, loved, taught you to love others and our God. you do her proud by leading others and honoring her. Remember God does not give us more than we can handle, he walks with us thru the valley of shawdow of death, and never forsakes us. He comforts and guides us. God knows all our needs and hurts. Trust him. And above all….Remember all the good times with your mom. Look at pictures and remember and share with others. You are loved… by many. God Bless. When you need comfort recite the 23rd Psalm to yourself. It will certainly comfort you.

    Reply
  76. Al Jessup

    Both heart wrenching and heartwarming to read. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God bless your Mom and God bless that 16 year old girl and her family.

    Reply
  77. Denise Crosby

    How do you say goodbye to a perfect mom you ask? You don’t you can’t it is so painfull. I lost my mom 10 years ago she was my dad and my best friend all in one since my dad died in a car accident when I was 6 months old. I know she is in heaven and in a better place as we know your mom and dad are but that does not stop me from shedding tears for her often. I am where I am today because of her and you are where you are today because of her. I never met your mom but I feel like I know her because of her very proud son who spoke of her often. It is wonderful that you and your family got to be so close to her through it all. My prayers are with you and your family.

    Reply
  78. Katie Berzowski

    “If love alone could have spared you, you would have lived forever”…. Our love and prayers are with you and your family during this most difficult time. May God give you strength.

    Katie and your Golfview Family

    Reply
    1. Susan Rauch

      Dear Joe,

      What a exquisitively beautiful way to talk about your mother. I have tears in my eyes because I can feel your pain. She is watching over you and your family now and smiling because she is so proud and at peace. The next penny you find will be from her. The second one you find will be from your Dad letting you know that they are together again.
      My thoughts and prayers are with you. You are a wonderful son.

      Susan Rauch, President
      NAAP

      Reply
  79. Tom Kase

    Joe- My heart goes out to you and your family during this time. I know you will find the strength and courage in your faith. God’s hand resting upon your shoulder will give you comfort and peace. Our thoughts prayers are with you and your family

    Tom Kase Jr. and Family

    Reply
  80. Lynn Fletcher

    Joe,
    There is no loss like the loss of your mother. May God be with you and your family. I know what you are going through. Life seems so unfair sometimes but we have to trust it is God’s will even though we dont understand. Love and praying for you.
    Lynn Fletcher

    Reply
  81. Sharon Owens

    Dear Joe,
    I am so sorry for your loss.
    As in the hymm, What A Friend We Have In Jesus, is says, “all our sorrows and griefs to bear, what a privilege to carry Everything to God in prayer”.
    I truly believe that when you hold the hand of one that is at the end of life as we know it, Angels accompany God when he takes hold of the other and one is never alone surrounded by His presence.
    My prayer is that you and your family feel the comfort of God’s peace in knowing that she is surrounded by only gladness and joy.
    Sharon Owens

    Reply
  82. ARLITA AUSTIN

    THE MDSC’s of St.Francis Signature of Memphis prayers are with you and your family.
    from Vovze Parker, Toya Coppage, Irene Hurst, and Arlita Austin…May God bless and keep you during this time and always.

    Reply
  83. Patti Cradic

    Joe, it is so hard to lose your parents no matter what your age. My prayers are with you and your family at this time.

    Reply
  84. Christy Lake

    God Bless You Mr. Steier and your family. Saying goodbye is so hard. I hope you can take some comfort in knowing you will, in a blink of an eye, see your mother and father again.

    Reply
  85. Devin Shelby

    I can’t comprehend how so much faith can be coupled with so much pain, either. Our hearts go out to you, Joe. God bless you and comfort you. You have two extremely proud parents looking down on you tonight, together.

    Reply
  86. Sandra D'Amico

    Joe,

    There is a angel in heaven today! My love, prayers, and thoughts are with you and your family.

    Sandy D’Amico

    Reply
  87. Landa

    When someone dearly loved leaves the physical life, we mourn their passing. Yet, when they have had such a huge impact in our lives, they never leave our hearts or our spirit. Something will happen that reminds us of them, their laugh, the way they did a simple chore, or how proud they would be of a grandchild they never met, the memories always keep them with us. May the spirit of peace surround you and your family at this time.

    Reply
  88. "Deeply moved"

    As you were getting in the elevator this morning, you turned around and saw me. You took a step back and introduced yourself and said “Thank you for all you do.” I saw kindness in your eyes and sincerity in your voice.
    I got home, googled your name, and came upon this article about the passing of your mother. I read it with tears in my eyes, but at the end I smiled and said to myself: This is the man I met this morning.
    I am so sorry for your loss. From your loving words, I can tell your mom, Mary Louise, was a great mother and a great lady. No, it’s never easy to say good-bye. However, her love and her memories will lift your spirit up every day. I have been trying for 9 years to say good-bye to my dad and still can’t. I go on living because he was the greatest dad I could have asked for and a true human being who saw the good in everyone.
    Again, sorry for your loss.
    You are a true “Signature”.
    God bless.

    Reply

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