My mom died on a friday, 2 weeks before christmas in 1992. As we approach this season there are years when I go forward busily baking, decorating and putting on the most festive front. And then there are some years when the longing for her company, to hear her voice, to just spend time with her makes my heart ache deeply and slows down my ability to find joy in christmas.
I was actually moving forward this year, getting things together until last night. I am finishing a class on “Making Peace with your Past”, and the instructor asked the question “If you could ask for your parents to offer one blessing to you now what would it be?” Now both of my parents have been deceased for years… and i don;t think about that any more. But I was gripped. It was the 19th anniversary of my mom’s homegoing yesterday. How could I tell him I just long to hear her voice, see her face, sit quietly with her, or bake something with her. That is blessing enough. It seems that according to this class most people don;t have their parents affirm them when they are growing up. I must have been the rare exception. My parents blessed me, encouraged me, directed me. They did the same for Steve.
And then there it was – the flood of grief i thought i had put into the past. The deep longing to ask her advice on a thousand things, and here her gentle words that calmed my soul. It has been 19 years since i heard her gentle voice.
So today, I am trying to do some baking, but the tears come when certain christmas carols play on the radio. I know this life is but for a short time, and one day i will see her in heaven. I know she will be there waiting. And she will be there free of the arthritic pain that made daily life challenging. And I know that when i get to heaven she will offer a blessing to me. She always was the one to overcome adversity, and smile, with a kind word of encouragement.
But for now i need to push forward in this life, and love my family well, offer them blessings and encouragement. And perhaps i will see a faint glimpse of my mom in this season. I need to be the one to also overcome adversity with a smile, and confident assurance while offering encouragement to those around us. I dont do that so well!
Grief is an odd thing. Just when you think you are past it, or it is under control you never know when a memory will trigger a new wave of the deep sense of loss, of change, of letting go of what you never really had to begin with. And grief helps to make the days we have more sweet, because i realize just how precious a gift they are.
Mom, i miss you. But i also know that one day i will see you again. Memory eternal.