Grief grabs me at unexpected times. My mom left us 10 months and 7 days ago. There are days, and even weeks that are just fine, when I think of her, it’s pleasant memories. Maybe I’ll smile, or perhaps I’ll just get lost in thoughts of her…how she’d laugh, or how excited she’d be to share anything about Jesus.
Other days, though. Those days sucker punch me. I don’t see it coming, and suddenly, there it is…and I’m drowning in the loss of my mother. There is no rhyme or reason to grief. The very same thing that happened yesterday with no emotion can happen today, and I’ll find myself in tears.
A few weeks before Thanksgiving I was on vacation in the mountains. There were beautiful fall and Thanksgiving decorations placed all around the Apple Barn and Cider Mill, where I was shopping. As I was enjoying the displays, I suddenly had a stark realization that Mom wouldn’t be around for Thanksgiving. I left the store in tears, and it took several minutes to compose myself. Yet on Thanksgiving day, no tears.
Christmas is throwing me for a loop. Some days are harder than I thought it would be. Sunday, as I was going through my Christmas decorations, I was so very aware that my mom is gone. Gone. She’s not coming back, and there will be no more Christmases with her. No more of her specialties she enjoyed making for us, especially her chicken and dressing. Because of covid, last Christmas was the first Christmas in my life that we all didn’t get together, my sisters and brothers and their families. I’m am eternally grateful that I did get to spend last Christmas with her. She was very sick, but still, she made us a small pan of her delicious dressing. She asked me to help her, but then wouldn’t let me. So typically Mom.
How I wish I’d known that was my last Christmas with her. I wish I’d known how terribly sick she really was…it would have helped me understand a few other things that were going on at the time. I wish I’d known the really big hug she gave me in late November was the last real hug we’d have. I miss her wisdom, her calming presence, her prayers. Oh, how I miss her prayers. They were like a warm security blanket, protecting me. Yes, her prayers are still active, but it’s not always as easy to know that as when she was here.
Having said all of the above…I’m very happy for her, that she is in paradise with the One she has loved and served so faithfully these many years. Not even for one minute would I bring her back to this earthly realm. No, she paid her dues. Never again will she have to feel the heaviness of a pain-ridden mortal body, or the sadness she couldn’t explain. She is now clothed in eternity with complete healing, and peace beyond our comprehension. I may not have a full understanding of life after death before the return of Christ, but I do know that to be absent from this life is to be present with Him, and that is where she longed to be in her last few weeks with us.
How I miss her. My Mommy.