My dearest Mama,
It’s hard to believe you’ve been gone almost seven years. At once, it feels like yesterday and forever. I miss you as much now as I missed you the second God took your breath away as you hit the number of days He had written for you in His book before you were ever born.
The world was crazy and falling apart when you left. If you can imagine, it’s crazier and crumbling apart even more now.
We’re all worse for the wear, but that’s to be expected, and people you loved and cherished have, like you, gone to sleep to await the resurrection in the years since you’ve been gone.
You’ve been on mind continually the past week. There are dates every year – your birthday, Mother’s Day, Daddy and your’s wedding anniversary, Father’s Day, Daddy’s birthday, your death day, and Daddy’s death day – when the sadness, the loss, and the memories overwhelm me. While I cherish the memories as they drift through my mind, I am still wrestling with how to get through the sadness without falling apart.
I know, when I back up and look at things objectively, that sometimes the sadness of missing you gets amplified by all the other current sadnesses that seem to suddenly pile in on top of the original sadness. Life works that way, I suppose, and I know there’s a lesson or two somewhere in all of that for me.
That’s what you would say. I’ve thought a lot about how resilient you were in the face of a lot of sadness all your life. I’ve thought a lot about the scared, little 6-year-old version of you, who’d lost her daddy and lost love in one fell swoop, who sat under the porch of a downtown Greenville, SC home, singing “Jesus Loves Me,” and asking God if Jesus would be your friend.
The answer, of course, was, “Yes,” and He never left you or abandoned you, and He gave you the strength to, each time life punched you in the gut and left you breathless, bruised, and battered, to get back up and keeping moving forward.
My respect for your ability to do that and to never lose your positive outlook on life has only grown as I’ve considered it over the past almost seven years. You loved life, you loved your family (and some of us were a much harder to love at times), you loved your friends, you loved people, and you loved God and Jesus Christ. You never lost any of that, even in those times when the hours were darkest, and that is truly one of the most amazing things about you.
You left a legacy for your children, your grandchildren, and your great-grandchildren that gives us big footsteps to follow in, but I’m thankful for your example. I wish I had more of it naturally, but even though I don’t, I’m still trying to learn how to acquire it and become it.
I’m not as graceful as you were, so I awkwardly move in the direction of your shadow, stumbling, falling, but, like you, always getting back up and putting one foot in front of the other.
The getting back up part is one of the best lessons you taught me and you showed me, and even though I’m slower about it sometimes more than others, in the end, I remember you and I do it, even if I don’t really want to because it seems futile and it seems to take every bit of effort I’ve got left just to stand upright again.
Today I just want to thank you for being a good mama. Thank you for hanging in there with me. Thank you for teaching me not to give up. Thank you for showing me how to navigate this insane journey called life. Thank you for loving me.
It’s a blessing to call you Mama, to have known you as a mom when I was a kid and as a good friend when I grew up. I cherish the time we had and can’t wait until we can make even more memories together.
I love you, Mama, and I’m missing you. But I’ll see you soon. That’s a promise.