I’m sitting outside on my deck today enjoying the beautiful sunshine. The sky is Carolina blue with huge white puffy clouds. I can see the new rose bushes I planted this week, the rosemary plant the kids begged me to purchase (to be like “Meme”), the huge yellow African marigolds in my new planter, and the beautiful wave petunias that grace my deck. I’m smiling this afternoon as I write you this letter because you taught me to LOVE flowers. Every flower that I plant reminds me of you. And I miss you, Mom. Every. single. day.
While I miss you in a thousand different ways and in a million different situations, I grow more aware daily of how blessed I am to call you my mom. Your life has begun to overshadow your death in my heart. . . finally! The nightmares are gone and replaced with sweet dreams.
A few weeks ago I dreamed of you. It was the most beautiful and sweetest dream I have ever had. The dream seemed to continue for hours. And I was so sad when I awoke. I felt so close to you and didn’t want that feeling to end.
Of course with this week being Mother’s Day, I’ve thought of you so very much. After you died, I felt that a huge part of me died as well. The grief from your death was overwhelming and suffocating. I wondered if I would ever look forward to Mother’s Day again. Nothing has been the same without you here in my life.
But God is healing me, Mom. He is the same faithful God that you believed in and taught me to trust with my life. He is so gracious and full of love for His children. He continues to repair and rebuild so many cracks and holes in my heart.
Someone asked me last week if I had figured out the “why” to your death? I answered her honestly and said, “No. I’m not sure I ever will.” But then I was able to confidently tell her that although I don’t know the “why”, I am a changed person for the better and have complete trust in my sovereign God.
I’ve come to realize that although you don’t physically live on this Earth any more, you are definitely still very much alive through me. Every day I am a reflection of you. And in so many moments, I make certain choices to live, love, and give because of how you lived, loved, and gave.
I think of you when I stop what I’m doing to read to my children. . . because you often did that for me as a girl.
I think of you when I put makeup on my girls for a special event. . .because I loved those times in your bathroom as you “fancied” me up and curled my hair.
I think of you when I’m sitting in the football or soccer stands, cheering for my own favorite kid players. . .and I always knew you were my biggest cheerleader. You were always there.
I think of you when I’m making a special meal to feed another family. . . because you were often providing meals for others. Even when it took more money and time than you had to give.
I think of you when I take my girls shopping for a new Easter dress. . . because that was always our tradition.
I think of you when I talk to my older kids about sex and living pure in an impure world. . . because I’m forever grateful that you took the time to talk with me and push past the awkwardness.
I think of you as I teach my little ones to dig holes for a plant. . .because you always let me “help” you in the yard.
I think of you as I scurry around the kitchen on a Sunday morning in my high heels- preparing lunch to have ready when we walk in the door after Sunday morning church. . . because I will never forget seeing you do the same. You served our family so well.
I think of you when I’m up early in the morning, drinking coffee, with my Bible spread out on my lap. . . because I remember seeing you that way each and every morning. You treasured your time with God.
I think of you when an older lady at church gives me a hug. . .and I remember that wonderful feeling when you wrapped your arms around me each time I saw you and you whispered “I love you.” You were always so generous to love on me.
I think of you when my oldest begs me to massage his legs at night or rub his back. . .and I will forever remember how you would always take the time to sit on my bed, scratch my back, and talk with me.
I think of you when I am discipling a younger woman than myself and giving her books to read to grow in Christ. . .because I remember how well you discipled many young women in your church. You loved people so well.
I think of you when I’m struggling to keep my eyes open as Jason leads our family in evening devotions. . .and I giggle just remembering how Aaron, Ben, and I use to make fun of you always falling asleep in devotions. I now know just how exhausted you were after a full day of teaching school and meeting the needs of our family. Being a great mom is a lot of hard work!
I think of you when I am facing hard decisions with my children. . . and know that you always prayed for wisdom as a parent.
I think of you when I’m at the orthodontist with Lauryn. . . and am grateful that you and Dad sacrificed time and money to give me a beautiful smile.
I think of you when we are on vacation and the kids are begging to stay up late, play games, or explore one more thing. . .and I never remember you complaining or being too tired to make another memory.
I think of you when I’m teaching a student to play the piano. . . and I realize that you were my favorite piano teacher and taught me so much.
I think of you when I find myself singing along in the worship service as I’m playing the piano. . .and I smile just remembering that you often did the same thing. Your joy in the Lord was so evident!
I think of you when I’m putting on makeup, doing my hair, and choosing an outfit for an evening on the town with Jason (and all 5 kids want to be in the room with me) . . .and I remember watching your own excitement (and patience with us) when you were doing the same to go on a date with Dad. You complimented Dad in so many ways and loved him graciously.
I think of you when I turn on worship music as I’m doing dishes or preparing dinner. . .because you always loved to listen to music. You wanted your heart to dwell on His truth and worship Him.
I think of you when I take the kids out for ice cream after school. . .because you sure did love a good dip cone!
I think of you when my child wakes me up at night for more medicine or because he’s scared of the dark. . .and I remember how often you would get up and come soothe my fears, doctor me, and pray with me.
I think of you when I’m planning my oldest son’s 13th birthday party. . .and remember how special you made mine.
I think of you when my little girl says “I want to be a mommy just like you”. . . and how my heart always felt the same way as hers.
I think of you when I am teaching song lines and scripts to the elementary students for a musical. . .and I just smile remembering what an awesome choir teacher you were. All of the students just loved “Mrs. B”!
I think of you at Mother’s Day. . . not because you wanted us to celebrate you, but you always made sure I was honored and loved once I became a mom. You loved to celebrate others and make us feel so very special! I miss those Mother’s Day cards from you that reminded me of how much I was loved. How thankful you were to be my mom.
I think of you every time I go shopping. . .because we always enjoyed being together. My favorite shopping experience with you was at the Mall of Georgia for my birthday in Nov. 2012. That trip with you was an absolute blast and unforgettable fun! You taught me how to enjoy life and laugh a lot!
I think of you when I look at pictures from the births of our children. . .and I will never regret having you in the delivery room for our firstborn. The memory of your presence during one of the hardest and most joyous moments in my life will always bring a smile to my face and a warm feeling in my heart.
I think of you when I remember my wedding day. . .it was one of the greatest days of my life! You loved Jason as your own son and were so happy for my life with him. You never failed to encourage us both to pursue a Godly marriage.
I think of you as I serve the Lord in ministry. . .and pray I can minister with such joy and grace that you always exhibited.
And I think of you when life hurts and I am searching for peace. . .and I will never forget how you always clung to the Word of God and your faith in your darkest of moments. You truly treasured Christ.
Thank you, Mom, for living for Jesus, loving me well, and giving so much to me. You reflected Jesus Christ on a daily basis in our home. You modeled true Biblical womanhood for me. You led by example. You gave me a lifetime of beautiful memories. You led me to Jesus. You taught me how to lead, love, and enjoy my children. You lived in the joy of knowing Christ.
And for all of these things, I am deeply grateful.
Having you as my mom was one of the greatest gifts from God. And you were the best mom a girl could dream of having!
Yes, I’ll miss you this Mother’s Day. It will be somewhat bittersweet. And I’d give anything to feel your hug one more time, see your sweet smile, and watch you interact with my kids with such joy and love.
But I’ll rejoice in the time God gave us together and know that you will continue to live on through me. I am the most blessed girl in the world to call you “Mother.” I love you more than you’ll ever know. You were simply the best!
Your girl always,