Sunday, May 8, 2016

It sneaks up on you…

It’s that day that comes around once a year. Every year you celebrate it in some way.

When you’re little, you make a card and you’re so proud to share it. You get into school and you write a little story that again you’re proud to share.

As you get older there are more cards – possibly handmade or maybe store bought as time goes by.

Even if you move to Montana as I did, it’s one of those very special days when you make that long distance phone call that you know will add to your phone bill. It’s a short call but it means so much on both ends of that call.

Back in town again, it becomes cards and visits, maybe even a weekend visit to really enjoy some quality time together.

As the end draws near, the visits may be more one-sided as you watch them doze in a chair.

Through all those years – and dreadfully missed when you live far away – it’s the hugs that are the best. That sinking into the arms of the one who has held you close from the day you were born. The one whose heartbeat you instinctively recognize from those months in the womb.

Then suddenly, it sneaks up on you. Mother’s Day. That day that you have celebrated every year in one way or another because that person has been there for you from the day you first met.

But that person is gone. That person can’t give you that physical hug any more. That hug that you loved but didn’t fully realize how much you loved until you could no longer have one.

I’ll live with just the memory of those hugs now and all of the memories stored since that day I first met my mom.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom…

Monday, March 7, 2016

Dancing in Heaven…

Today, on what would have been my daddy’s 100th birthday, I find myself contemplating life and death. Daddy’s life was short compared to Mom’s. He died at the age of 71 years, 10 months and 1 day while Mom lived to be 99 years, 7 months and 10 days – a difference of over 27 years and 9 months. 

As I think about it, I ask myself, “Was Daddy’s life any less than Mom’s just because of time? Was Mom’s more important to me because she was here longer? Was the impact of either of their lives on me any less because of the way they passed?”

The answer to all three questions is no. It is my belief that we each come to this earth for a purpose. We may not remember that purpose while we are here but it is our destiny to fulfill it. We may not always listen to God’s guidance so we may cause it to take longer or others may exercise their free will and that may have an impact on timing of our purpose. It may take us years to complete or it may only take days, even moments. 

The loss of a child has a huge impact on loving parents. It doesn’t matter if that child is lost through miscarriage before it is even born, lives to become a parent themselves, or any time in between. The loss to the parents is still heart wrenching and the pain can seem unbearable.

The loss of a parent can also seem unbearable. I was blessed to have my parents for so long but I can’t help but think of the children that live through the loss of a mom or dad at a time when it seems impossible to go on without them. Twenty-eight years after Daddy died and now going on four months since Mom died, I still break down in tears at times, wishing they were here to talk to or get advice from when I need it and I am a fully grown adult with children and grandchildren of my own. If I struggle, how can a child understand?

I cannot speak from experience but can only imagine the devastation felt by those who realize their time here with their family is coming to an end. How do they say what they want to say? How do they reconcile themselves and their family to what is coming?

There are no magic words to be said to take away the pain of those moving on and those then left behind but I will offer one that sustains me: Faith. I have faith that we are here for a purpose, faith that when we pass we will have fulfilled that purpose and faith that once we, or our loved ones, move on, it is to a better, happier place where we are with God.

About a month ago, in the midst of a dream, Mom briefly appeared to me. She came in the door with a shining smile on her face, took my face in her hands and kissed me. She turned and left. It was only an instant in the midst of a very strange dream about other things but she came through and, I believe, showed me she was happy.

So today, on Daddy’s birthday, I see them dancing in heaven!
This is the outfit Mom wore in my dream and her smile was more radiant than this!