This past few years have brought a myriad of losses, trials and triumphs. There have been a gamut of emotions – from extreme to extreme. My daughter moving out, my son graduating, my cancer diagnosis, my miraculous healing and holistic health journey, and now the loss of my mama. From heartbreak to fear, celebration to sadness… through it all, I have a constant guiding presence that keeps my ship on course. The pain is real, but my faith is stronger. There’s no way I can explain joy in great sorrow… it’s just a thing that the Lord does… a magical thing that steadies a soul.
In May – just a few short days ago, I said goodbye to my biggest fan – my sweet mama. She was an ever-present light in our lives, always visiting us, every week; helping us in every small endeavor. She wasn’t above washing dishes, spending her last dime on us, babysitting at a moment’s notice, driving on trips, or telling us what she thought when we weren’t up to much good. She was a good listener, and selfless with her attention and time. She often left her own life on hold just to sneak in a few more moments with her grandkids.
We buried her a few days ago behind her mama. We wrote our last notes on the box we put her in, and left a magnolia flower on the spot where she rests. Now we wait for her stone to be placed.
Something I do know? I have to keep counting the blessings and watching to see Him in the small details. I have to keep keeping on. Mama would say that I need to find the boys a good piano teacher who loves music as much as she did.
Here are a few blessings I’ve been counting since she’s gotten her wings:
1. It was me and her against the world and she already won. I plan to be victorious in my own time, too. Thanks to Jesus, I’ll get to celebrate with her later.
2. Dust and ashes are just art materials for my God… not an ending to anything.
3. She is hidden in every memory and everywhere I look.
4. Part of her lives on in me. I always know what she would say in any circumstance because she spent so much time talking to me every day.
5. She’s beyond the grip of pain, sadness, toil, sickness, or loneliness.
I can’t imagine spending holidays without her. I’ve been thinking of things I wish I had said or asked her every day since she’s been gone. I’m going to miss her sweet texts and how she was always there for me like no one else in the world. I told Jesus He was just going to have to be my mama for me from here on out, until I see her again.
It’s easy to feel relief for her, though… she had a hard life and a lot of stress. Her back hurt, she struggled with type 1 Diabetes since she was in her 20’s, and for the past few months, she was in a lot of pain and so tired. I can’t wait to throw away all those insulin needles. I’m glad she can’t hurt any more and she can finally rest without insomnia and leg cramps or blood sugar episodes. She’s finally free. Finally at peace.
This photo was taken on our last Mother’s Day adventure together – she went with me to my last photography job at the Texas Homeschool Coalition Convention in Arlington. I took this photo of her and the boys:
I put this poem on her program for the memorial service. It rings true…
Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free
I’m following the path God has laid you see.
I took His hand when I heard him call
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day
To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way
I found His peace at the close of day.
If my parting has left a void
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss
Oh yes, these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full, I savored much
Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts and peace to thee
God wanted me now; He set me free.