Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | June 2, 2009

My Beautiful Mom | A

Frances Garcia

My sweet and beautiful mother, Frances, passed away on Saturday, May 30. Words cannot begin to express the terrible pain of that loss. Although I grieve with the hope of one day seeing Mom again in heaven, the pain of not seeing her again on this side of heaven is intense. For the first time in my life I made the journey home and Mom was not there to greet me. I had hoped to have her around for at least fifteen or twenty more years. But now I have to live with her absence. I will never get over her death — I will just have to learn to live with it.

As I was mourning the fact that she is gone, I remembered something Mom had told me years ago. On the day I was born in the Mission city hospital, two other babies were also born. However, both of these baby girls lost their mothers at birth. I was the only baby born on April 7, 1956 in the Mission city hospital to go home with his mother. When Mom and Dad arrived home with me, Mom said that the funeral procession for the mother of one of the babies born on April 7 was passing by on the street in front of our home. That street leads to Laurel Hill cemetery, where we laid Mom to rest today. The two girls who share my birthday never had the privilege of knowing their mothers. When I reflect on that, I realize how blessed I am to have had Mom for fifty-three years. I am grateful to God for each of those years.

I have often told others that I had the best childhood any kid could have had. My childhood was magical and adventurous. I grew up feeling safe and secure because my parents loved each other deeply. I learned from watching my parents that one of the best gifts a Mom can give to her children is to love and respect their Dad. And my Dad always loved and respected my Mom. He always treated her like a lady and she loved him for it. I am a better husband to my wife because of the example that my parents set for me and my siblings. Mom and Dad enjoyed 54-years of marriage together. I don’t think they were ever apart through all those years. And, in all of that time I never knew them to be unkind to one another.

They say that when you die your whole life passes before your eyes. Perhaps that is true, but I don’t know for certain. However, I can now say for certain that when Mom died I saw my whole life with her pass before my eyes. So many memories surfaced and brought me laughter, comfort, and joy. So, to give you a little taste of what it was like to have such a beautiful lady like Frances for a Mom, I have recorded a few of my fondest memories and the lessons I learned from Mom. Here is my first installment.

6 FrancesFirst-Born | Mom told me that when she and Dad left the hospital with me, they stopped by the church and dedicated me to God before taking me home. As the first-born child, I’m sure they had lots of concerns about being new parents. But, they had the wisdom to ask God for help.

Lesson Learned: Mom understood that as new parents, she and Dad could not raise me or my brothers and sisters apart from divine help. They got it right from the beginning. The Psalmist declared, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” (Ps. 127:1)

Brush Fire | It would not take long to discover why Mom needed divine help for parenting. When we lived on Holland Street in Mission, Texas we had neighbors whose backyard was covered with weeds that were tall and very dry. One hot South Texas summer, my friend George and I decided that we would crawl through those weeds and start a campfire like the Cowboys and Indians. So, I took a box of matches from Mom’s kitchen and George and I started our fire. However, because everything was so dry our little campfire spread and soon the entire backyard was engulfed in flames threatening to burn down the neighbor’s wood-frame house. Someone called the fire department and I got to see my first fire-truck up close and personal. Afraid that I would get in trouble, I hid the matchers in a place I thought no one would ever know and denied that I had anything to do with starting the fire. When I went home Mom stopped me at the door and told me to turn around and bring her the box of matches. And, to my surprise, she directed me to the exact place where I had hidden them.

Lesson Learned: Mom had x-ray vision. To this day I do not know how she knew the exact place where I had hidden those matches, and she never told me how she knew. Mom taught me that while I might be able to do things behind her back, I would never be able to do anything behind God’s back.

Fuller-Brush | Some of you remember the days of door-to-door salesmen. I remember the Fuller Brush man because I went to school with his son. Like Dad, he was a hard-working man. He wore a white shirt with perspiration stains under the arms, a Tom Landry-looking fedora, and carried a bulky sales case. Mom always bought something from the Fuller Brush man, however small. One day I looked out the window and saw the Fuller Brush man on our street. I told Mom and she scrambled to look for loose change around the house so that she could buy something from him — which she did. She bought a little brush. After he left, I asked Mom why she had bought a brush that she did not need. Mom told me that although she did not need the brush the Fuller Brush man needed the sale because he had a family to support and even a small sale would help him.

Lesson Learned: Mom understood that life is not just about what we want but about what others need. She taught me that sometimes you make sacrifices, however small, in order to help others. Mom modeled concern for others throughout her life and taught us to be sensitive and responsive to the needs of others.

• • • • •

PS | Today, June 2, 2009, is also my daughter Gina’s 18th Birthday. It’s been a tough day for her, but she shared a moving tribute to her grandmother at the funeral. Please take a moment to read my follow-up posts entitled My Beautiful Mom | B and My Beautiful Mom | C.


  1. Omar – my deepest sympathy for your loss. I, like many others I am sure, have been praying for you and your family this last week. Thank you for sharing these wonderful memories of your mother. You have touched my heart with your great love for your mom. All my love, skr

  2. Omar,

    Thanks for the message of your Mother passed a way. Is it very hard, when we loss our loved. My parents are still a life, I know that, in the human world, my mother love me unconditionally! As my parents are still a life, I am showing them that, I do love them too. I am showing that, I also concern, for their problems.

    Here are the words from the bible. Psalm 116: 15 “precious in the sight of the lord is the death of his saints” I am sure that, you know this much better than I do. But I mentioned again for you this bible verse.

    Thanks once again for letting me know, I am mourning with you too.


  3. That’s Beautiful Daddy!
    You did a GREAT job at the funeral.
    I’ll keep praying for you and see you when you get back to Houston.

  4. Stephanie and Mortuza…

    Thanks so much for your kind comments and condolences.

    Niki … thanks for giving me strength.


  5. Omar and Family –
    I just want to express my sympathy for your loss. Your mom sounds like an amazing lady – and she has an amazing son. As a mom, I know that you blessed her heart. As a parent – you want nothing more than for your children to live everyday for Christ and very few do that like you. I will pray for God to comfort you during this difficult time.
    In Christ’s Love – Sherry

  6. Sherry…

    Thanks so much for your prayers and kind words. We have been and continue to be sustained by the prayers of so many. It’s at times like this when we realize in a new way how blessed we are to have so many wonderful friends who love and care for us. Thank you for your friendship.


  7. Omar,
    I loved reading the memories you have of your mother. I will never forget June 1, 2001. My Mom had a heart attack the night before and the hospital told me she needed to be transported to another hospital so they could do a procedure to find the blockage, but the hospital had no room for her. I was pacing and praying and trying not to fall apart when God prompted me to call the church. When I called the church and told Betty the situation you picked up the phone and lifted Ms. Edythe up to the Lord and I felt an immediate sense of calm come over me. When I hung up the phone the nurse appeared at the door and told me a room was available and the ambulance was on the way. I miss you and that wonderful smile you always had here at PPBC. I grew so much in my walk with the Lord as you encouraged me. You have touched not just my life, but my family’s life too. I know God smiles every time He thinks of you. You are truly ordained to be His man here on earth.
    My prayers are with all of you at this time and I know your deep faith will get you through this period and God will use this too for His Glory. I know your mother felt blessed every day to have a son like you.
    In Christ’s love,

  8. Cheryl…

    Thanks so much for your sweet comment. I miss you and all of the great folks at Plymouth Park. Thanks for always being such an encourager to me. I appreciate your prayers. God is good and has sustained us moment by moment. Blessed be the name of the Lord.


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