Jill Yetive Hicks
Hers was a life well-lived.
How does one sum up a life? Do we talk about talents or giftings or accomplishments? Should I mention that Mom as a little girl sang on the radio for Juvenile Theatre in Peoria, and that I have albums of her singing? Should I recount that Mom was offered a full-ride scholarship to Eureka College because of her musical abilities, a rare thing in the 1960s, especially for a woman interested in a degree in music of all things? Or perhaps it would be proper for me to talk about Mom’s beauty shop that she ran all those years in our basement to help pay the bills, yet still remain in our home close to her young family. (You know, to this day, I still associate the smell of perm solution with happy childhood memories.)
And then again, what of the high school Bible study, that Mom’s love of young people and Jesus, inspired her to create and lead all of those Sunday nights? Should I tell you that Mom was hired by NPR to read stories over the radio so the visually impaired would not be excluded from the beauty and creativity of literature? How can it be done? There’s just not enough time or ink to tell of all that she did. From the driving of others to their medical appointments, or to the grocery store, or to the daily phone calls to encourage others, even and especially when she herself was exhausted. She did it all. And she did it with kindness and gentleness.
And her hugs--oh her hugs were a thing that in my mind proved the existence of an Almighty God. How any human being, let alone this small five foot, one and a half inch woman could pack the herculean amount of love into those all enveloping, breath-stealing hugs of hers, I will never know--short of the existence of an all loving, all powerful God.
But all this--all this--as amazing and humbling as this list is--is what Mom did. But what I would have you know, is who Mom was. Simply put, my Mom was a daughter of the King. Jesus was her Lord and God was her Papa. For you see God was not an impersonal force to Mom, nor Jesus simply a historical figure. Mom’s joy was to enter the very gates of heaven and crawl onto her Father’s lap, and ask for hugs and smooches. She would ask Jesus how to best love Him and love others.
And as we went through her things, during this sad and difficult time, I found this line penned on the front page of one of her Bibles.
“Biblical transparency is allowing others to look through you to see Jesus.”
So who was my Mom? Well, my Mom was the window that I saw Jesus through. And I would have you hear Jesus’s message to you delivered through my Mom one last time.
“Hello precious child, I love you so much.”
From Jill Yetive Hicks
Daddy’s little girl
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