"Heaven Without Her" by Kitty Foth-Regner
This book was one of the best books I've read in a long time, I could not put it down, even though I cried many tears. My tears were unavoidable, after all my mother has recently died, the story is also about a daughter who's mother dies. The book is a memoir, a daughters journey through the years with her mother, a journey that includes the last journey of this life, death. Kitty Foth-Regner is the daughter, her mother is Ethel Foth. The opening page of the books story is a quote by Ethel,
"I look forward to death, except for one reason only. How can I possibly live in a world, no matter how heavenly it may be, if my little agnostic Kitty is not there?"
Kitty is agnostic, she is a feminist, independent, a party girl, and a writer. Although Kitty lives a far different life than her mother has led, they have a bond, a closeness that cannot be separated. Kitty embarks on a quest to find out if her mother is correct in her beliefs about God. Kitty studies many various religions, and attends a Christian church without yet believing, this quest becomes an absorbing endeavor.
I can relate so well to Kitty's feelings expressed,
"I couldn't imagine living in a world without my mother. she had been the one constant source of strength in my life. She was the only person who'd loved me nearly unconditionally."
Kitty writes about the bedrock of our characters is started from how we are with our parents, that this relationship that we have with our parents is a forerunner to other earthly relationships, and also to our relationship with God. I did not live a perfectly blissful childhood, but I had a gracious and near perfect mother. Mother often told me I was her "joy", she did not say I was her happiness, because happiness is temporary-fleeting, she said I was her "joy."
Recently I was in my hometown and drove past my old childhood home, how I wish that I could walk home from school again, and walk through the back door that led into the kitchen, where my mother was always waiting for me with a big smile on her face, she was truly glad to see me. Someday though I will walk through the gates of heaven and my mother will once again greet me with a big smile on her face, and she will truly be glad to see me, and our reunion will be for all eternity.