Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Some thoughts on this past year

Today is the day. One year ago today, Mom left her earthly body and went to the arms of her Savior. I have a beautiful picture I've created in my mind of her leaving her body, the one that had failed her and kept her from so many of her dreams, and gracefully, joyfully, flying into the arms of Our Lord. It was Easter Monday morning, about 4:45. I had wanted to stay that night before, but my pregnancy was getting the best of me and the nurses suggested I go home to rest. I guess that is what she needed. She needed to be left alone to make that final journey. I have often thought about this and how we all meet the Lord by ourselves. No one goes with us. We are on our own. Our own private, intimate moment with Christ himself.

For a long time after she passed, I wondered if she was afraid when she died. I wondered if she woke up, wondered where I was, and then died. It was a horrible feeling. Sometimes I catch myself dwelling on the negative. Then I am reminded that these thoughts are not from God.

Her passing causes me to pause often and reflect on a few things. This is what I have learned this year from my mom.

1. Love even when it hurts. When the love must leave, you will hardly remember the arguments, and you will wonder why you wasted time having them. Love is what Christ asks us to do. Not just when it is easy, not when it's convenient, not when it's pretty. Just love. I must admit that I did love. Even when it hurt. Even when I didn't want to. I did not always do it well, not gracefully, not willingly. But I asked for the strength to love, and it came.

2. Repair the hurts. No matter what you must do. Find a way to repair the hurt. You will feel so much more peace once you do. And there is a point that will come when you won't be able to do so. We never know when.

3. Laugh often. It eases the pain of illness. It cures the old hurt that still lingers even after the forgiveness comes.

4. Touch one another. Look at their hands. Drink in their scent. Study their eyes. Feel their skin. Embrace them fully. Remember that feeling when you do.

5. Take lots of pictures. Don't be afraid to look at them after your loved one has passed. Touch the picture. Feel the feelings. Rejoice in their happiness.

6. Journal. Write to your loved one. Write down anything you would want to tell them. Write to them on their birthday, Christmas, Mother's Day, any day. Tell them your troubles. Ask for their prayers.

7. Don't be afraid to talk about them after they are gone. The kids long to. It is sad at first, but it is getting easier and we are laughing at some of the things we used to do.

8. Ask all the questions you would ever want to know about your loved one. I never asked Mom about her first date, her first love. I really wish I had. I will never know that information now.

Matthew and I bought some Limon chips the other day. We talked about how Nana brought them to our house one day and we all tried them and thought that they were gross! We kept trying to eat them, because she loved them so much! Then she was told to stop eating them. They were bad for her heart condition. We continued to eat them. Now, whenever I get a craving for a chip, I can pull them out and visit with Nana...

Somethings that come up that I never thought about before she died that would remind me of her.

Seeing a new Mary Higgins Clark book. I got angry the first time I saw a new book come out! I felt like I should buy it just because...

Seeing a display of Winterfresh gum. That was Mom's favorite and she chewed it often while in the hospital. Seeing that display almost brought me to tears.

Smelling Estee Lauder. I found myself following a lady around in Walmart the other day because she was wearing it. I couldn't help but want to talk to her, but I refrained. I figured they'd lock me up.

Something else I've done this year is put a picture of her in my wallet. She always wanted to travel, especially to San Antonio, Austin, anywhere to see the sights in Texas. Her illness prevented this from happening. But now she is able to go everywhere with me!

As you can tell, I am still greiving. I suppose I always will. I can't believe that I can't pick up the phone and call her. I know that I will see her again in Heaven some day. Until then, though, I will hold her dear to my heart.

I love you mom.

7 comments:

Essy said...

Aww...big hugs to you today...this is very hard. Those are some great lessons though and some that I need to remind myself of as I visit my dad at rehab praying that I have many more visits with him, but just not knowing.

K said...

Thanks, Essy. I am feeling much better than I thought I would today. I started the day on my knees in prayer, thanking God for all the wonderful blessings that He has given to me, even the ones that are loud and messy at the moment.
My wonderful dh reminded me last night, that one day our home will be quiet and clean. That will be a sad day indeed.

Candy said...

K
I share your pain. As I read your post I was reminded of all the things that I will never know about my father. He left this Earth when I was 14. I was never able to ask him about some of the very things you mentioned. Not only that, but my children will never know him except through my own immature recollections and the few photos I have. He hated having his picture taken.

I only hope in some way he watches me still, his youngest daughter, and is proud of what I have done and who I have become and the 2 beautiful boys that I brought to this Earth. He had his faults in life, but my life and my children's lives would not have been possible without him.

It's been 22 years and I miss him still.

Candy

MC said...

Okay, points 1 & 2? I hear you already! You're good.

As to remembering Nana, Easter will be tough on all of us because that holiday belonged to her. How interesting that, looking back on my entire life, my very best Easter memories are those Easter Sundays hosted by Nana. We'll keep her in all of our Easters. I miss her too.

~MC

Jennie C. said...

I'm sorry for your loss. Your list, it's very good. I've sent my husband to war and I wondered, when I said goodbye, if I'd ever see him again. I always wonder, even if he's only gone a week. Not a moment of life should be taken for granted.

Tigpan said...

Karen....
I love you
AW

Cajun Cay said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your mother on this first anniversary.

I've often heard it said the hardest thing is not being able to pick up the phone and call our mothers.

I have a beautiful post my mother sent me this morning. I'd love to share it with you, but can't find your email address.

Please email me at caygibson@bellsouth.net and I'll forward it to you.

God Bless!