As most of my readers know. (Hi mom! Hi Wifey!) My dear friend Jamie Wahl is an author. She published a book called Good and Dead about a college geek that’s been turned into a vampire and sucks at it. **Rimshot** She’s a massively talented wordsmith and one day I hope to be like her.
However, more to the point. If you have not read her book yet, today is the day. The Kindle version is just $0.99 on Amazon RIGHT NOW.
Stop reading this and go buy it.
Today is my first mother’s day without my mom.
I have been dreading this day for weeks now. Last week there were multiple days I was so depressed at the thought of this day without her I could barely function. Losing my mom has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to face in my life. From regrets of how I treated her at times growing up, to wishing I would’ve had her show me how to make her chicken salad (to which all other chicken salad pales in comparison), to aching for my youngest child that will never be held by his LaLa. It is so very true that you can’t ever know how hard it is to lose a parent until you do yourself (of course the same goes for losing a child as well, and my heart aches for those mamas today that have faced that).
This morning my Father in law who is a wonderful preacher taught a great sermon that was about mothers. At one point during the lesson where I was trying not to focus on how much I missed her, I looked down at my bible. My bible that was hers, that she had gotten to celebrate my birth. In that moment, I realized that I still have her. I can study the bible with her by seeing her highlights and reading the notes she’s written in it. Her loving manner is in my oldest son who will run up to strangers in the store and ask if he can hug them and tells them that he loves them. There’s been a time or two you could see it in their eyes that they needed that. Her gentleness is in my daughter who as I was crying last week on one of those days hugged me tight and just simply told me that she loves me and misses LaLa too. Her warmth is in my youngest who just lights up a room with his sweet smile. He has been such a ray of sunshine through this difficult year.
People often tell me just how special and sweet my mom was. How much she’s missed. The great example she left for them. She lives on through them and the things they tell me about her. Sometimes things I didn’t know. My siblings and I were very blessed to have her as our mother. I’m so thankful for the example she left, especially that of her faith. Often the thought of her, no matter how happy the memory, can leave me feeling as if my heart has been ripped apart… But today in that moment looking at my mother’s bible I had a sense of peace and comfort. In that moment, I knew that she would truly always be with me. Happy Mother’s Day mom. I love you and will miss you always.
Proverbs 31: 25-31
25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.
With this round of crud that’s hit our family, I’ve been so torn about church attendance. I don’t want to get anyone else sick, but I know it’s vital that the spiritual health of my children be attended to.
In my very little amount of research on this, I’ve come across this article that makes a ton of sense.
“The bottom line, then, is this: Keep your child home from school if there’s fever, or if the child feels too crummy to participate — but don’t worry so much about the runny nose in the row behind.”
I think we’ll be coming to services more often with runny noses. Kids can be contagious without showing any symptoms, and can be coughing their heads off just because the virus they just got rid of irritated their lungs’ linings. There’s no way to know.
I recently had surgery on my knee and my in-laws watched our two toddlers for us while I was incapable of doing so (Thank you so much!). They, unfortunately, live 3 hours away so we went a whole month without seeing them. It was tough on everyone, especially my 3 year old little boy. He had fun with his grandparents, but every time we were on the phone with him, he would ask us (specifically Daddy) to come get him and bring him home. It broke our hearts (I may or may not have cried when he would ask that). Ever since he has been back he has been extra clingy. He even had a meltdown the other night when my husband ran into the store real quick to get a gallon of milk. This wasn’t just a fit because he wanted to go too and didn’t get his way. He was screaming for Daddy to come back and crying because he was afraid of Daddy leaving him again.
We have many military friends that have to be away from their family way too often and for longer than we had to be apart. I am thankful for our military personnel that make this sacrifice for all of us. I know it is hard on them. It is hard for anyone to be away from those they love for an extended period of time. The hardest separation that any of us can face, however, is when someone we love leaves this world.
During the month my kids weren’t home, two people I love passed away. That grief made me miss my babies all the more. One was my Aunt Nancy who had been battling lung cancer for years. She was so genuine, kind, loving, and giving. She was an amazing woman. She will be sorely missed. I will always regret that we didn’t drive the few extra hours to go see her when we visited my dad this past summer. We had intended to, but the kids were already having a tough time with all of the driving and we opted not to go. I lost my last chance to see her. We also lost a good friend of ours who was an elder in the congregation we are a part of. Trey wrote a post about him a couple of weeks ago: In Honor of Brother Vinson
This week has been very hard on friends of ours. We have some friends who lost their young niece to cancer on Sunday, a coworker and friend of my husband lost his wife yesterday, a friend of mine lost his father earlier this week, and today a friend of ours lost her mother.
All of these things make me think about how we are not promised tomorrow. Neither are our children. I hold my babies a little bit tighter any time I hear of someone losing their child- whether it is a friend or a stranger my heart breaks for them. We never know how much time we have left. There is no way to know if that will be the last time I get to hold them.
Each time someone dies people say that you need to spend more time on the important things: tell those you love that you love them, spend extra time with those that matter to you even if it might be a little inconvenient sometimes. How many of us take that to heart? How many of us only do it for a short time then get back into our day to day rush where we miss those precious little moments with our family? I know I have been guilty of doing it. Hold your babies, love your babies, thank God for your babies and that you are blessed with another day with them. Tell them you love them all the time. You can still get things done (chores, work, etc.) and take an extra few minutes to just be with them. Don’t take this time for granted. Call your parents more to let them know you are thinking of them. Make time for those that matter to you. Even if it is just sending them a quick text to let them know you are thinking about them. Don’t wait to do it, you may not get another chance.
“Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” James 4:14