Jo Dee Messina announced on Sunday that her mom, Mary, has died, sharing the news with fans on Instagram. Messina posted a slideshow of photos of herself and her mom set to Elevation Worship's "The Blessing" that included photos of the two women celebrating a birthday and Messina's 1999 ACM Awards win and just spending time together. The slideshow ended with a photo of Mary and a quote Messina shared in her caption.
"God knew exactly what he was doing when he made me my mother's daughter," the singer began. "She loved me perfectly in a way that only she could do. She was my encouragement and she believed in me at times when no one else did. She understood the way I thought and she understood the way I felt. What a blessing she was to me, my entire life."
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"This morning my mother went home to be with The Lord," Messina continued. "While we are tending to what needs to be done, she is entrenched in God's glory. She is reunited with her family and my mother gets to gaze at the face of Jesus. Wow! Thank you to those of you who supported my mother over the years. For those who loved her and showed her kindness, thank you so much! She loved you and enjoyed the moments she got to share with you. Your kindness and enthusiasm made her heart full. I am grateful to you for giving her that gift."0comments
She ended her message with the quote that appeared in the photo slideshow. "Here is a little something my mother used to tell me: 'There is a string that ties your heart to mine. It is a string that can never be broken. There is no distance too far - not even death can break the string that ties my heart to yours…' I love you, Mama! I'll see ya soon."
Messina did not share her mother's cause of death, though Mary has had several health issues over the years. In 2013, she underwent open heart surgery, and a few months later, Messina told fans her mom was back in the hospital due to complications from the procedure. In 2015, Messina co-wrote a Chicken Soup for the Soul Book and wrote the introduction and first chapter, which is a tribute to Mary. In the book's first chapter, Messina shared her mom's lifelong mantra of the string tying their two hearts together.