Our family had gathered at our father's house in Montreat, North Carolina, responding to the word that Mother had been taken off life support. For weeks, Mother had clung to life. She seemed torn between wanting to remain here, with Daddy and the rest of the family, and wanting to be with Jesus. We all felt her struggle.

As her time to go home drew near, we gathered around her bed, singing and praying and reading Scripture. Daddy had excused himself for a brief rest. But as Mother's breathing became shallower, he returned to her side. She gazed in his direction, took two breaths, and entered into the presence of Jesus. Our tears that had been held in check for weeks flowed freely. Our sorrow and grief was, and still is, great.

But I couldn't help reflecting at that very moment that the only person my mother would leave my Daddy for … was Jesus. If I could have seen the other side of the pearly gates when Mother entered, I have no doubt that I would have seen that celestial moment as my daughter Rachel-Ruth helped me to visualize it: millions of angels standing to applaud Jesus, giving him all the glory and praise for the life and the legacy of Ruth Bell Graham.

I have been asked what I will miss most about my mother. The answer is simple: Everything! My memories of Mother are many and varied.

Her sparkling eyes. If they were truly windows into her soul, they revealed someone who relished life. She was full of fun, opinions, and a zest for living that was evident until her last breath.

Her arms outstretched. Even her gestures conveyed the warmth of her welcome and her unconditional love, which she generously extended to each family member, and to an expansive circle of friends—sinners and saints alike.

Her quips and quotes, ...

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