When The Only Thing Missing on Mother’s Day Is Your Mother
It’s the end of Mother’s Day, and I’m clean wore out. Finally…finally the house is quiet. The frogs sounding outside my window are the only noise except for the settling sounds of this old house. The tension is leaving me slowly, so slowly. I’ve yearned all day for this quiet. More than most days. Maybe because the words have been building and need vent.
Words for you, Mama. Because this is where we meet. Me with this keyboard beneath these fingers. And you. You so unaware of this earthly mess because you are with Jesus. And I am so, so glad for you. I imagine the unearthly splendor you call home now…and I can’t wait for the day I join you.
But today, I grieve quietly, selfishly for me. Because I wanted more time. I want your wisdom and your stories and your laugh and your cool hand on my brow. I want road trips to shop and eat Chinese. I want Bible study with you. I want to share quotes and verses. And I want you to know my babies. Gosh darn it, I want you to know my babies. Mama, such a big part of my joy in parenting was sharing it with you.
I didn’t come to the cemetery today, Mama. I remember you a hundred times a day, and my most intense remembering is done here with this computer balanced on my lap. I didn’t even bring you flowers today.
God is working in me, you see.
He told me to bring flowers to a new mother.
To share some joy and encouragement with a struggling woman, so sick and in dire need but who shines Jesus light where ever she goes.
He whispered for me to share the delight of my children with Grandma Jessie in her nursing home room.
He told me to love on a sweet woman who just lost her mama a few months ago.
That’s your bouquet, Mama. Spread out like the dandelions your grandbabies gather.
Because you gathered and spread love like that too.
I didn’t cry at church today. This was the first time. A lump rose as we sang about Jesus, and I thought about you up there with Him. But I didn’t cry.
Two new voices call me Mom this year. Oh, Mama, did you know you were sowing seeds of love and compassion for the orphan in us all those years ago? It’s bearing some fruit in this house. We’re trying hard to give these babies a forever home, Mama, and I think it’s going to work out. Six kids under this roof…this roof on an acreage. Can you believe that? I go outside in the morning with your grandkids and we do chicken and rabbit and cat and dog chores. And then we walk the perimeter of this place, breathing in our little slice of God’s sweet creation. I know you would giggle til you snorted at this life I’m living now. I giggle too just thinking of it.
Some days are really good…and I mourn that you aren’t hear to see it. Some days are really, really hard. And I feel like I’m not enough…and I’m too much…and I’m just never going to get this right. And then my heart cries out for the sweet love of my mama. You loved me so well.
If I’m honest, it’s not been a fabulous weekend. I’m heart sore…and it makes me grumpy. It always did, didn’t? My hurt turned into attitude. Sigh. Not much has changed there. Do you think my sweet babies will understand some day? That I was so very grateful for their love and attention on Mother’s Day…but that this is just one weekend, I can seem to get it together. I ache for you so. And honestly? It makes me a little crabby. (okay… a lot.)
And I know that doesn’t honor your memory very much, so I’ll pull it together. But right here, in this still, secret place, I’m just going to be real. I feel like the small cactus sitting on the dining room table. The soil around it is bone dry. It’s prickly and rough. Yes, I feel like that cactus.
But James…well he tells me to make sure I don’t try to water that cactus too much because it is made to withstand the desert. And we examine it, amazed at how proud and strong that little cactus stands with hardly any nourishment.
And don’t I have Living Water in me? Surely I can withstand the desert places too.
Oh, Mama. I miss you so. But I’m growing and changing and yearning and loving. I don’t do many things right most days. But the little bit of good that shines through my prickly, dry, worn out shell? Oh, Mama…that’s the fruit of a gracious and merciful Father…and a patient and loving mother.
Thank you for loving me so well that I miss you this much.