My sweet husband crawled out of bed early this morning and left on a mysterious mission while I stayed in bed and tried to sleep a few more minutes. He came home and carried into the bedroom a tray laden with my favorite Starbucks drink, Starbucks breakfast, flowers and gifts. I sat up in bed and couldn’t keep the tears from slipping down my cheeks. Partly because I felt so blessed and loved, and partly because I missed my own Mom so much and the ache felt too big to keep inside.
My Mom has been gone almost 10 years and surprisingly this has been my most emotional Mother’s Day yet. Grief is a funny thing. So many times I have wanted to manage it. I’ve wanted to have a “grieving season” and then be over it, or just somehow organize it so it didn’t interrupt my life so much. It hasn’t worked that way, or fit into a neat little box. I find it at odd times. I will be driving somewhere and I will hear a song that brings back a memory or feeling and those inconvenient, sometimes embarrassing, tears fall smearing my mascara. Watching a mother and daughter, holding my own precious babies, any number of life events bring grief to the surface. And the more I go the more I am learning to embrace it.
So this morning as I sat in bed sipping coffee, surrounded by excited kids and a precious husband I let the tears fall. They continued through my morning and I found myself thumbing through a photo album looking for pictures of her. I found pictures of the day I was born and I marveled at how young she looked, how beautiful she was and how much she poured out her life for the people around her.
The tears and the ache are accompanied by such a thankfulness and such an awe at what God gives us in moms. And so this ache and this joy coexist in me. And so the day went. I was able to stem the tide of tears and go to church without crying. We had a delightful lunch out and several times Troy made me laugh so hard I cried. Ellie crawled up in my lap after lunch and sat on my lap facing me and we made faces at each other and giggled.
When we got home we sat outside on the patio and ate watermelon to try to cool off (97 degrees here today!) and I watched Judah chomp his “buttermelon” down and eat piece after piece. His blue eyes, his pudgy cheeks, his infectious laugh. I am so very blessed.
I sat and felt this baby move in my belly and felt the anticipation of meeting. I can’t wait to kiss tiny toes and look into little bright eyes.
As I sorted through the mix of emotions, one of the things I felt myself longing for was simply to bless my Mom. To give her gifts, to make her breakfast, to treat her to a pedicure… To just have time with her. So much we have to catch up on! I thought these things through and realized that Jesus is showering her with far greater love and gifts then I could ever come up with. He is spending time with her and what could be better than time with Him? I look ahead and feel so much joy and anticipation. Jesus and my Mom? Heaven will be so good!
This whole mix of grief and joy makes me more compassionate. I feel deeply for those who are experiencing loss. Lord let me feel and reach out with arms of love and comfort.
It makes me treasure the moments I have with the people I love.
It urges me to encourage those who have mothers to love them deeply and enjoy the time they have.