It was a Monday. The sky was blue, the air crisp, and the sunshine warmed my skin. Spring had arrived and my heart was full. I woke up and dressed for work as I did every day and packed my lunch, then headed out the door. My day went on as usual with day-to-day office work and issues, chatting with co-workers about typical office drama and loving married life. We had been married just six short months and loving every single minute of it. Our life was awesome! We were looking to buy a new house and start planting seeds for our bright future. Life as a newlywed couple was everything I had imagined.
The work day had finally come to an end and it was time to go home. My in-laws had just left that morning after spending several days with us. My husband was very sick with strep throat and had stayed home from work. I was headed home to check on him and fulfill my wifely duty of caring for him the rest of the evening. My mother (who I talked to every single day) had just left the day before for vacation with her sisters and sister-in-law so I called her on my way home from work to check on her but she did not answer. Oh well, she must be having fun pulling on those slot machines that she loved so much. She rarely did things for herself so I made the decision to let her be and have fun. She would call me back when she noticed she missed my call. I arrived home, checked on my husband in bed, and then proceeded to take a quick nap on the couch. The house was quiet so it seemed like a great idea. Little did I realize it was the calm before the storm.
I laid down on the couch in the dark of my living room. I had only been asleep for just a short bit when I heard my cell phone ring. I ignored it. It could wait. Then my house phone rang. I ignored that too. I was tired. Then I heard my house phone ring again for the second time. Geez! What’s up? Can’t a girl just get a little nap in after a long day of work? The caller i.d. showed my sister’s home phone number. So I answered the phone in my ‘I am asleep and aggravated that you just woke me up voice.’ “Hello!?!” It was my brother-in-law. Ok..odd. Not that we never spoke but why was he calling me? I was still kind of out of it and not piecing everything together yet. Why are you calling I thought? He said, “there has been an accident.” I was no longer sleepy. My mind was alert and my heart was pounding through my chest, blood pressure up, and panic came across my entire body. The hair on the back of my neck stood up and I can feel that same feeling as I type this today. “It’s your mom,” he said. Now, in order to better understand the thoughts that immediately raced through my mind let me give you a little background about my mom. She gave birth to me at a later age than most other moms. Whenever there was an occasion for parents to come to school the age difference in my mom to other moms was quite noticeable. It did not bother me in the way you would think. But it did bother me in a big way. I knew that as you aged your life came to an end. Grandparents all around me were passing away and older people (much older than my mom but as a child I only saw grey hair) in our church were dying as well. It was the natural process of life but as a child it caused me to worry that my little grey haired momma was next in line. Remember I am a child thinking as such. So in saying that I worried she would die while I was still young. I used to pray, “God please let my mom live long enough to see me get married and to get to know my children.” Now, back to the story at hand… “Accident!?! What accident? What are you talking about?” Silence…. “Is my mom ok?” Silence and then I hear him choke. “Is my mom alive?” And at that very moment I could actually feel my heart stop beating for about five seconds and I knew what was coming next. The one thing I had dreaded my entire life. Oh God no, please no!! “No,” he said. Time stood still……. I remember screaming so loudly and then throwing the phone as hard as I could against the wall. I lost all ability to stand and immediately fell to the floor. My worst nightmare had come true. My heart shattered into a million pieces and I knew my life would never be the same. One of the hardships of life on this Earth had completely pulled the rug out from under me, literally. There is no way to describe into words the feelings I felt realizing that my very own momma would never return home to me. I would never be able to make her laugh again or hear her voice, at least not in this life. The next few days are a blur.
I remember certain things and some things my mind has blocked out. The days went by and life went on but for me it was as if time had stood still. My mom was gone. She wasn’t there to laugh with me about all our little stupid inside jokes or there to give me a Bible verse when life got tough. She always had a Bible verse ready and waiting no matter what problem I brought to her. She was amazing! To this very day I miss her so badly! Several weeks went by and Mother’s Day had arrived. I can’t tell you how much I dreaded this particular Mother’s Day. I remember feeling so envious of all the families together with their moms at church and lunch. It was awful. The pain only intensified seeing them happy and laughing and loving on their moms. After church I was in our bedroom alone and crying and talking to God about my feelings and deep inescapable heartache. One of the things I loved most about my mom was her laugh. It was awesome. Not very many people could really get her cracking up, but I sure could. We would laugh about the smallest things. She loved all my stories. Some of my best memories are sitting around with my mom, aunts, and sister cracking jokes on the family. I was talking to God about my deep disappointment that I would never have the chance to make her laugh and then I fell asleep on the bed. During that short nap I dreamt about my mom. It was the first dream I had of her since she passed away. Oh how I longed to dream of her just to see her face again! There she was right in front of me and I actually got to hug her, and hug her tight I did! That dream is still so vivid. We were at a grocery store cracking jokes on some random lady in the grocery aisle. I was throwing out the jokes left and right and my mom was completely cracking up! Oh her laughter was so awesome in that dream! Then I woke up. My heart was so full for just a split second and then reality pierced my heart yet again. It was just a dream and she really is gone. But wait….moments before I fell asleep I told the Lord how sad I was that I would never make her laugh again. It was then I knew. A peace fell over me like nothing I had ever felt and I knew what I had just experienced was from the Lord. He allowed me to have one final hee-haw laugh fest with my momma. I knew then He was with me and was going to make everything ok. I never felt angry at God for taking my mother home, but I did question why. She was too young I thought. I had not had children yet for her to know and love. It just seemed too early for her to leave her Earthly home.
A few weeks had gone by and I was driving to work one morning. As with every morning (and noon and night) I was thinking about my sweet mom. I was feeling sad that she would never see my children being born, my daughter at dance class or my son at a sporting event. I looked up at the sky and it was beautiful. The sun was shining brightly and the clouds looked like huge cotton balls. The sky was the most beautiful blue I had ever seen. There was a big huge hole in the middle of one giant cloud as if heaven had opened up. Then at that very moment I heard the Lord speak to me. I will never forget these words, “I do roll back the clouds and let them see. I let them see the good things.” And with that I was ok for the day. Now, I can count on both hands how many times I have felt the overwhelming presence of the Lord come over me and speak to me. It isn’t often but it has happened.
So, there you have it. It’s raw, gut wrenching, but very real. The last ten years without her have been all kinds of things. It hasn’t been easy but it could have been harder. Looking back I see how awesome our God is and how he knows just exactly what He is doing. We don’t always understand it when we are going through difficulties but no matter what, we must trust in Him and His plan. Jeremiah 29:11-14, “For I know the plans I have for you, “ says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me. I will be found by you, “ says the Lord. It has been ten years today that she was called home and I can’t believe how that time has passed. To this day she is on my heart and mind each and every day. I still have days that I cry like a little girl thinking of her sweet demeanor and loving eyes that never judged me. I miss her dearly but am so thankful that I serve a God who promises me that one day we will be together again in a glorious heaven with no pain or sorrow. I love you mom. Until then…