Tomorrow is Mothers Day. And next Sunday is the one year anniversary of my mothers death. That makes this not just any Mothers Day, but instead one which has me continually remembering last years'. I had no idea that it would be my last one with my mom. I stressed about what to buy for her, as always. She had enough junk already, and living in a nursing home had a limited amount of space for anything.
It seems fitting that the sermon series just starting at church is called One Month to Live. We are supposed ot live with a sense of urgency as if we had just found out that we only had one month to live. What would I do differently? Who would I call that I hadn't talked to in a long time? Would I want to climb a mountain, or bungee jump (again), or something else dare devilish that I wouldn't do otherwise? I found most of my personal answers were relational. I'd talk to my kids more and my sisters more. I'd have the tough conversations I've been putting off having. I'd tell people about Jesus more, instead of just expecting them to know already, because hopefully, they see Him in me. And I'd spend more time getting to know the Jesus who loved me enough to die for me. All relational. No mountains, no bungees, just relationships.
My mom didn't have the chance to know her time was limited, it was very sudden and shocked all of us. But I still had a good visit with her the last time I saw her. And although time, and my apparent lack of time management skills, resulted in me not seeing her on Mothers Day, but a couple days after instead, God still allowed me the chance to be with her again, limiting the huge regret I would experience, had I not.
So, here I am. Facing my 1st Mothers Day with no Mother here on earth to celebrate and buy for, and one week away from her being gone a whole year.
Fitting (or not), but wanting to honor her memory, I thought I'd share a note I wrote the night she died. Sometimes it helps me to just look back and remember...
My mom died tonight. I was at church hosting a game night with many of my favorite people there. Not the ending we had planned. It was totally unexpected as everything always was with my mom. I think my sisters and I thought that someday one of her illnesses would be terminal or she’d fall and hit her head one last time. We never imagined that she’d eat dinner, dose off and never wake up again. I have no parents now. That feels very weird to me and seems to be the hardest thing for me to accept. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose both parents at the same time.
My mother and I have not been close for years, but she was still my mother. And when she wasn’t in an argumentative mood I typically enjoyed my visits with her. She always accepted my shortcomings and never reprimanded me for letting her down when I missed a visit or a phone call. Yet, I was often irritated with her. Ron kept saying “you’ll be sorry” and I am so thankful for that reminder that she was my mom and that she loved me unconditionally and that I really did love her and needed to show it more often.
So tonight I feel numb. I’ve never planned this scenario out in my mind. I was prepared for when my dad died, he had been sick, we wanted his pain to end and for him to go home and be with Jesus. My mom was different. My sisters and I had talked in the past about funeral arrangements, but tonight none of those decisions made sense. Tonight we felt different and all want the chance to give her the respect a mother deserves. Liz came and stayed until we left the nursing home, Emma’s coming home for the week and Adam is trying to get here. I never expected them to do any of that. But again, what should I expect? I want my children here and I pray that home will always be a place that they want to come to.
I don’t know where my mom is tonight but I truly hope it’s with Jesus. I am resting in the knowledge that God knew her heart, even if her mind was confused. It’s funny but my mom and I have argued politics for years, but just a couple of weeks ago she shared her admonition of gay marriage and I was able for the first time to tell her the reason I vote the way I do, was economy and war opinions aside, that I could never, in good conscience, vote for someone who supported gay marriage or abortion. And you know what? She said she didn’t know that, and she nodded. Did she finally get it? Did she disagree with me all these years based on ignorance alone?
So that’s that. This week I will play a grown up and plan a funeral and be one of four daughters who lost their mom. And for that I will grieve and I will cry and I will have some regrets, but I will try to learn from them. And then my children will return home and I will go back to work and we will all go on with our lives with bittersweet memories filling the places where aggravations once were and we’ll all be ok because we have each other and we have many good memories which God allows to always out weigh any bad ones…
I love you mom. I hope you knew that.
Happy Mothers Day. Make sure and cherish the day.
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