Monday, March 20, 2017

Remembering Mom

My head has had a web of thoughts lately, many revolving around my mom.
 Today, as we welcome in Spring officially by the calendar, I am reminded that 6 years ago today I said goodbye to mom on this earth. March 20 will always be a date in my mind that makes me reflect on my amazing mom.

 My thoughts have spanned over the last few days from the ache of missing mom 6 years later like I did on the day I lost her to laughing about silly memories I have with her. Every year at this time, I take time to look through old photos. I love doing that because photos tell stories. Photos are full of memories. But this year I took time to read some of my mom's old writings. I haven't done that in a long time, but when I do pick those pieces of paper up, it's a little like having a conversation with her. I can hear her voice, see her eyes rolling at her own self with an "oh brother" statement, and laughing the whole time. I can feel her faith teaching me lessons again, as though she were sitting next to me. The only thing better would be if we were sharing a cup of coffee instead of me having my own cup while I read. But I can imagine her here with me in that way.

 If you don't know, this whole blog began back in 2011 as an outlet for me to write about my grief and share about my mom. It has evolved into an entirely different tool for me, but there will always be the days I revolve back to the roots and share stories and thoughts about mom. Because mom, although she is gone, will always be a center piece in my heart and life.

 Over the weekend, my thoughts ranged from very sad and missing mom intensely to laughing and crying over some of the words she wrote. I love that her penmanship speaks volumes of her faith to me still. I am still learning from her, 6 years after her death. My mom was a remarkable woman. So, as I sat down in front of my computer on this 6th anniversary of her death, I thought to myself, what can I possibly say that I haven't already shared about mom? How can I express the depth of emotion that resides in my soul still over the remarkable woman that mom was? what words could possibly do justice to what my mom brought to me and everyone else around her?
  And the answer I had was that maybe I'll just share her words.

 Sometimes mom wrote silly stories or poems. Often times mom made up songs to pass time or make a chore interesting. She and one of her friends, Eleanor Taylor, would sit at the dining room table and take scripture passages and make them into songs to help memorize them. I am not sure I got the whole "deep analytical" part of me from mom.... her journals and inner thoughts were not often exposed. But I do know I got my love of writing and books from her. This weekend I picked up some of what my mom wrote while she was going through cancer treatments.

 Over and over mom would say in those pages, "God is so good. I don't know what will happen, but I have no fear because God is in control."
  She would share details of how blessed she was because she had family and friends to take her to all her appointments (mom hated driving.)
 The one page that expressed intimidation at all wasn't about her cancer... it was about the fact that she had to drive herself once to the appointment!
  The process was at times long for mom through the months leading up to her death. But she consistently would write "God is good." She always found blessings in the midst of the storm.

 I do remember that about my mom, but reading the words over again always helps me relearn how gracefully she embraced those truths.

 Mom wrote "now I must say a word about how good God is to me through this all. As my family and church family begin to find out I am having health problems, they call and end cards and most of all they pray and pray and pray. People I don't even know pray for me. I am humbled and feel so undeserving. I know without a doubt that their prayers have caused God to sustain me and uphold me. Though I don't know what the future will hold I have peace and do not live in fear. ... I mostly maintain a trust in God to do what is best in my life because He is good."

 Those are words to sit on for a moment. Mom's life verse was Proverbs 3:5-6 which says Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding...
 and mom lived that out.
 Honestly, how many of us choose a life verse but truly live it out to its full meaning? Mom did that. Those words written by her in the midst of Stage 4 cancer happening are evidence of her faith, her trust in God. That will never be lost on me. And it will forever hold an example for the woman of God I want to be myself, the mom and wife I want to be.

 I found a letter my mom wrote me back in 2001, just before I went on my first mission trip to El Salvador and Honduras. Mom said to me in the letter...."it's so wonderful to see you get to serve God how you have always desired."  That made me want to sit across from her and tell her all about my endeavors to Colombia last year and my excitement to go back again in June.

 The pages can go on about the words I have been able to pour through the last few days. It has been a blessing to have the penned pages my mom wrote through her time. That is partly why I find letters and writing so important. It speaks volumes from the heart. That is why I still write letters and that is why I blog. Maybe one day my words will reach across the pages to someone's heart like my mom's have for me. And if they don't that's ok.
 I have learned much from my mom and continue to do so.

 The ache of missing mom will always be there. But the peace that comes with the memories outweighs that sadness (most of the time.)
  I could write volumes and never give her justice to the beautiful legacy she left. She was an amazing mom. And spending time remembering her is always a beautiful time of reflection.

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