Sunday, May 14, 2017

Dear Mom


It's Mother's Day again. The ninth spent celebrating with me here and you there. This day is never easy since you've gone, but this year your absence and our distance feels especially brutal. That happens from time to time - less often than when my loss was new and fresh. Yet grief rears her soul sucking head and appears as if no time has passed at all. "Remember me?' she prods. "You thought you left me behind," she scoffs. "Never," she tells the one truth I wish was a lie. Sometimes she returns with good reason, but often for no discernible cause at all.

I had keen sense that grief was showing up this year. In fact, I've been bracing for the reopening of wounds and the aching of scars. It's like a sixth sense I'd rather not be so versed in. Life has been punishing lately, and I've felt alone in my suffering. Alone despite the many radiant souls in my life...in my corner. Some things only a mother understands. Some things only a mother can mollify or mend. It's like I'm a petulant toddler again: I want my mommy.

I've been missing you more than usual so like a great big fucking lot. I've been wishing I could run some things by you, needing your sound advice, your strong spirit, your honest input. You were never one to cookie coat things or worry about whether it was the right time to give me a come to Jesus, and now that you're gone it's one of the things I miss most. Go figure. I really want to hear what you think.

I sat huddled under an umbrella with other moms at Lily's soft ball game this week wishing you were there to see her on the mound. You'd be so proud of her strength and courage on the field and in life. Then I laughed, "Who am I kidding?" You were a loyal and constant fan, but you didn't do rain. The talk turned to Mother's Day. I prayed no one would ask me point blank about my own mom...you. These women don't know me well enough to know I'm unmothered, and just saying that out loud still effects me in unpredictable often uncomfortable ways. I wish you were here to give Teddy a bit of a hard time and a nice tip when he'd pack your groceries so many of his own favorites and surely help you to your car. He works at your grocery store now. I know you'd embarrass him by telling all his co-workers about his accomplishments in school and on fields and greens.

I don't know exactly what you'd think (although I do have an idea) about so many of the things going on in the world now: my small world or the whole wide one. I do know I'd feel less anxious, and more safely moored and fiercely protected with you here to weather life's storms with, and there are always storms. So many squalls and disturbances.

I last felt your presence strongly a couple weeks ago. It was a Wednesday. I was home alone and I was feeling all alone. I cued up an Ed Sheerhan song Candace knew would speak to me and of you, and I cried. No, I downright ugly sobbed. You would have told me to get a Kleenex and reminded me it is what it is. I played the song over and over at least 10 times. After that cathartic cry, I had a little heart to heart with you. That's when I felt your loving presence. I could sense you watching over me Mom. It makes sense because you were and always will be my angel. and I will love you deeply forever.

Even if you haven't lost your Mom, I suggest you get a Kleenex before you click this link. It's a jerker: heartstring and tear.



I took the supermarket flowers from the windowsill
Threw the day-old tea from the cup
Packed up the photo album Matthew had made
Memories of a life that's been loved

Took the "Get Well Soon" cards and stuffed animals
Poured the old ginger beer down the sink
Dad always told me, "Don't you cry when you're down."
But, mum, there's a tear every time that I blink

Oh, I'm in pieces. It's tearing me up but I know
A heart that's broke is a heart that's been loved

So, I'll sing Hallelujah,
You were an angel in the shape of my mum
When I fell down you'd be there holding me up
Spread your wings as you go
And when God takes you back
He'll say, "Hallelujah, you're home."

I fluffed the pillows, made the beds, stacked the chairs up
Folded your nightgowns neatly in a case
John said he'd drive, then put his hand on my cheek
And wiped a tear from the side of my face

I hope that I see the world as you did 'cause I know
A life with love is a life that's been lived

So, I'll sing Hallelujah,
You were an angel in the shape of my mum
When I fell down you'd be there holding me up
Spread your wings as you go, when God takes you back
He'll say, "Hallelujah, you're home."

Hallelujah,
You were an angel in the shape of my mum
You got to see the person I have become
Spread your wings and I know
That when God took you back, he said, "Hallelujah, you're home."


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