Thank you for all the comments, emails, and cards expressing your love and concern for our family in this season. It is all much appreciated. Many want to know how we are doing, so I thought I’d let you know. Surprisingly we are doing well. There’s plenty of sorrow, certainly, but in it there is a deep peace knowing this was her time and that here life was a full and fruitful one, and yes, full of challenges and pain as well. She was a great part of this family and is missed greatly. My mom lived a long and fruitful life and her legacy is her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She always put family first and cared for us all as deeply as one can care.
Mom died almost three weeks ago now and the reality is setting in more and more, especially with our grandchildren who are sorting through the reality of death. Her celebration service is this weekend, over three weeks since her passing and that has not been easy to wait so long but we had to leave time for friends and relatives to get here. We’ve also been helping dad with all the paperwork and arrangements that have to be done. The last six months was an incredible journey for both of them that drew them more deeply to a dependence on Father than they’d ever known. Those days were so sweet, even in the conditions they endured that he is at rest. His prayer a few years ago when he almost died following surgery that he would outlive her so that he could help her through whatever challenges she faced. It’s not easy to watch him go on alone now, but he is most certain that God is having his way in all these things.
Though Mom helped Dad on the vineyard, she was the consummate homemaker with a safe and nurturing environment for her children. She loved us and our families well and would do anything to help us along in our adult years as well. With an open heart and an open home she also found time to be a “mom” to hundreds of other young men and women who have written me with gracious words of the influence my mom had on their lives in the counsel and prayers she shared with them.
Saying good-bye in this age is not easy, but it is joyously without regrets. A few years ago God laid it Sara and my hearts to spend more time with them in these declining years and we’ve done that with them and will continue to with Dad. Everything that needed to be said got said and letting her go into the Age to Come was incredibly graced with God’s presence, direction, and transformation for both Mom and Dad. We will celebrate her life this weekend with lots of people from all across their path. Yes, it will be sad, but grief is not something I fear when God is in it. The tears only express the love and it is as much a part of life as the laughter of better times. My brother has just completed a video celebrating her life and our family. I’ll post a link to it next week for those who can’t make the service and would like to see it. (Link to video here.) For our Central Valley friends, here is her obituary if you missed it on my Facebook page last week:
Joanne “Jo” C. Jacobsen, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother quietly passed away on Friday, July 25 in Auberry, CA with her husband at her side.
Born on April 9, 1930, in Selma California, Jo graduated from Selma High School in 1947 and was married shortly thereafter to Eugene Jacobsen. They enjoyed sixty-six years together that included rearing their four sons and working the grape vineyard where they lived south of Selma. A passionate follower of Jesus, she was active in the church congregations she attended and with community activities such as cub scouts and PTA.
She is survived by three of her sons and their wives, Bruce and Susan Jacobsen of Fresno, CA, Wayne and Sara Jacobsen of Newbury Park, CA and Clay and Cindy Jacobsen of Camarillo, CA. Her eldest son, Rod, passed away in 1999 and is survived by his widow, Kathy Jacobsen of Hayden, ID. Her surviving sister, Ranella Kindlund, lives in Kingston , GA.
She delighted in her children, and their families with nine grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren. She worked with her husband on the vineyard and hosted numerous parties and gatherings on the ranch. She enjoyed hand-crafting and quilting and her countless cookies, pies, and cakes were greatly appreciated by friends and family. Her wedding cakes graced many a young couples wedding in the area.
In 1993 they sold the vineyard and retired to Shaver Lake, CA, where they relished their later years with family, close friends and active involvement in the Church of Shaver Lake where Jo played piano for the worship team.
Services will be held on August 16 at 1:30 pm at the Chapel at Shaver Lake, CA. (41340 Tollhouse Rd) Please dress casually. Remembrances can be sent to the Benevolence Fund for the Church at Shaver Lake (PO Box 601, Shaver Lake, CA 93664), which will be used to purchase equipment for the Wish-I-Ah Care Center were Jo spent the last five months of her life.