What it Means to Love Someone Unconditionally

A true story of what it means to love someone unconditionally. Dedicated in loving memory to Edith M Carleton (the photo is of our parents on their wedding day).

I’m at a loss for words tonight. My baby sister called earlier in tears to tell me our Mother had passed away on July 5, 2015.

That was five days ago and no one informed us of her passing. Her memorial service was on Thursday, July 9th, 2015.

She heard of her passing from a Secretary that worked at the High School we attended. Not one member of our dysfunctional family reached out to inform us.

Back in June of 2014, our siblings were upset with us for taking our brother off life support. He had fallen and sustained severe brain damage. The doctors at Albany Medical Center told us there was no chance for survival.

After his passing, our siblings arranged and held his memorial service without informing us. They took away our right to attend our brother’s and our mother’s memorial service.

She has every right to be distraught and filled with anger. During our phone conversation, she asked me two questions. I thought to share my response to her questions and to say goodbye to our mother in this blog post.

One question she asked me was, “Do you think mom was saved?”

I told her, “I don’t know for sure. You did mention that she told you she was sorry for what had happened in the past. I would say yes based on this but, only God knows for sure.”

This question comes from a lovely woman (Liz) who “never” had the mother’s love she wanted so desperately her entire life.


She being the youngest of nine children has been virtually motherless from the age of seven or eight.

Liz moved out on her own at the age fifteen or sixteen. She managed an apartment, held a job and went to school. She is the only one in our family who graduated from College not once but, twice.

Her compassion and love for others should be an example to us all.

Liz has spent her entire life feeling unloved by our Mother. Yet, in her passing, she wanted to know if our Mother was saved. She loved our Mother unconditionally even unto death.

She loved our Mother even though she was not capable of returning that love. My sister continued to love our Mother the same anyway.

That is the love of God working in us. To give others love even when they don’t return or deserve that love. This is the greatest command of all.

Let us all follow my sister’s lead to love unconditionally. I love you sis for showing me the beautiful things in life. In a dark and troublesome world, you always cling to the good. You are that bright light that shines in the darkness.

Keep shining love!

The second question she asked me was, “How do you feel about this?”

Ouch…. I don’t like deep feelings.

I have mastered the art of avoiding deep feelings for a long time. To acknowledge the situation means to grieve, and we don’t get along well together. I think….

I stayed up for hours last night thinking about this question. This is my response to her question.

I think our mother was like the rest of us. She was born into sin, failed at times and was successful at times. She raised us up to the best of her ability and she let us down too. She was human and in need of God’s saving grace.

I think in the end she found it before it was too late.

I have spent years being at odds and angry at our mother. She pushed her duties off on me. She had forsaken me when I needed her help the most. I was angry at her for not helping me with my children. I would have been able to keep them if only she had helped me.

I felt hurt and acted upon that hurt for a long time. I took the abuse we endured personal and built up hatred in my heart for our mother. I didn’t continue to love her anyway.

As the years passed, I forgave our mother. I even tried to go visit her when my son was twelve years old. I didn’t find her at that time but, have seen her since then. We were never close and never will be.

I learned over the years that our mother was abused as a child too. She had also endured a painful life of turmoil and trials. I believe our mother dealt with the pain and anguish of her past in her own way. I believe our mother was a sinner (like us all) who found God’s saving grace.

I think my sister has shown the world (in this post) what it means to love unconditionally.

I beg you sis from the bottom of my heart. Don’t ever lose that compassion and love for others that God has placed in your precious heart. Don’t let this dark and sinful world, seal your joyful spirit and the love you share.

Stay close to God and remain in his word. Live authentically in Christ and love with compassion always. Do this in honor of our mother who you loved so dearly.

You have broken the chains of sin and bondage that has plagued our family for years. Continue on and lean on the rock Jesus Christ when you are feeling low in spirit and he will lift you up.

Do this in loving memory of our mother. Then God will say, “Well done thy good and faithful servant” to you one day. Then we who choose to believe in Jesus will rejoice in heaven one day. We will be together in love always.

In loving memory of Edith M Carleton who passed away on July 5th, 2015.
I know in my heart that you did your best and now God has laid you to rest. I Love You Mom, Love Linda

Obituary of  Edith M Carleton (I don’t live in Johnstown – I live in Middleburgh, NY)


2 thoughts on “What it Means to Love Someone Unconditionally”

  1. So very sorry to hear about your mother. However, I’m greatly encouraged by your sisters love. Thank you for sharing your story.

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