My mom’s passing has had quite an impact on a lot of people. It will likely be most difficult for my dad who spent close to 60-years—all of his adult life—with her. Over the course of the past few days I gained a realization of something I had always known. It was like one of those moments that I recently spoke about with the 5000-piece jigsaw puzzle when a cluster of pieces came together. This realization however has a far greater impact than the satisfaction of knowing that a small section of the puzzle is now in place. This realization can only be described as a defining moment in our family. My mom was the glue that held the family together. Even though the children—as is often the case today—grew up and scattered to the four winds, it was our mom that kept some sense of order to our family structure. She was the one who was first to offer a comforting word when things went wrong. She was the one who helped us understand our father’s intentions when he wasn’t willing—or able—to explain it to us. It was her simple words of wisdom that settled our hearts during the hiccups of life. Now that she is enjoying the blessed beauty of heaven, we have a decision to make. Do we remain a family pulling together to get through this challenging section of our journey through life, or do we simply fall apart going our separate ways? The good news is that the four of us—including spouses—got together yesterday and sorted out some old family issues that could have torn us apart, mended some fences and came out on the other side stronger than before. One of the challenges that remain is how to mesh the newfound hope of our meeting back into our ordinary lives without slipping back into the regular routine of living. It will be a challenge, but a consistent persistence will help us along the way. Another interesting item that came out of our week together is something that I believe to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. My mom preached hope, even though she never stood behind a pulpit or in front of a group of people. She was certainly a hope-filled person. A phrase came up at her funeral service that could have a far-reaching impact on a lot of people. Not only did she offer hope to the hopeless, she believed in a grand family reunion. This reunion wasn’t the annual gathering at some relatives home, but rather the eternal kind in heaven. This is how Mary’s Hope came to be. It was, is and remains my mom’s greatest hope that we are reunited in heaven. Mary’s hope is simply the commitment of one person to see another person in heaven. Its qualifying factor is that both people have made a commitment to God to follow Christ. The bible calls it being born again. It is a message of hope. One that honor’s another’s desire to have a heavenly reunion. As simple as the concept is, the impact can be profound. I trust you will join us in Mary’s Hope by either making a commitment to someone you love to meet them in heaven, or by reaching out to someone you love asking them to join Mary’s Hope and meet you there. As I have reflected on this over the past few days, I realize how much like the Holy Spirit my mom was. As the active agent of the godhead in the earth today, the Holy Spirit offers hope to everyone in the family of God. He extends hope to anyone willing to listen to him. He presents a simple—though sometimes difficult—path to follow to experience that hope. Like my mom the Holy Spirit celebrates when he sees that you are encouraged as you follow his wisdom. It is called Mary’s Hope. I “hope” you experience it.