Tuesday, August 5, 2008

August 5, 2007...has it been a year already?

Wow...what was I doing a year ago today? Well, it is now 10 am and my Dad had just called me from the nursing home to let me know that Mom had taken a turn for the worst and I better get over there immediately. I flew over there as quickly as I could and spent my last day with my sweet Mom. She had not been conscious since about middle of the day before. She never woke up again. But she met Jesus face to face that day!!! That fact makes it all somewhat tolerable for me...and it is the only thing that keeps me going some days. Just to know that she is safely in the arms of her Savior makes me able to deal with my grief. I don't always do it very well, but hey...she was my Mom! How do you let go of your mother?

I found myself telling God things about her...you know, stuff you would tell the babysitter when you go out so that they can attempt to care for your child the way only you can. Stuff like, "Okay God...you know that Mom doesn't like it to be hot...so crank up the A/C. She is terribly afraid of heights and small spaces, so give her some room. Oh, and please watch the chewing gum...she goes nuts when someone is smacking gum!! Oh...and she always sleeps with her glasses on, so don't try to take them off or you will wake her up. She has a really dry sense of humor, so don't let that throw you...just give her back what she dishes out and you'll be fine! Don't get her laughing too hard or she won't be able to stop laughing and then she will...um...well, she'll probably pee on herself!! She loves to sing, but she doesn't think she can. She has a beautiful voice, so could you maybe work on her self-esteem issues a bit when she gets there? Oh yes...and if you need some help decorating...give her a call...she'll fix up the throne room in no time flat. It'll be a showplace!! While your at it...give her something really cool to do up there...she is an amazing woman with a big heart and a lot of common sense and she is very very smart. She always had the right answers for me. She always gave me good advice...even though she was a bit bossy...try to overlook that. Most of all God...please just take good care of my Mom till I see her again. I still feel so very lost without her! Thank you for letting her be MY mom...of all the moms in the world that you could have given me...I got the best one!!"

God just laughs, I'm sure. In that still, small voice I hear, "I know my child...I know all about her! She is in good hands! We are having a wonderful time getting to know each other even better. It will be okay...I promise...in time."

What is it I miss about her so much? I think about that a lot in light of my own daughters. I wonder about them missing their birth mothers vs Me. But, I know that what I miss about my Mom is not that she gave birth to me...but it is our history ...what we carved out together that I crave and ache for. The wisdom, the relationship, the time, the love, the rough patches we overcame, the advice (solicited and unsolicited!) the shared experiences, the late nights, the laughter...God, the laughter, the phone calls, the yelling, the yelling??? yep...I miss that too!!!

Someone told me just before Mom died that I will never get over it, but I will simply learn how to live with the new reality. She was so right! If I allow myself to think about it all too much, I can immediately feel the same raw pain that made me not able to breathe that night. I can feel that punch in my gut that caused all the air to rush out of my lungs in total disbelief. It is all right there at my fingertips. But you know what? Sometimes I need to go there. The truth is that many days I go along in my own little world and I don't think about it too much...kind of like shallow breathing. When I need to take in some really deep breaths...I can be there in a few short seconds. I take in those deep breaths and somehow feel alive again. Then I am okay and can get back to my world again for a while longer. I will be breathing deeply today. I will be doing a lot of talking to God today. I will be missing my Mom a lot today. I will slowly be moving forward again.

~Oh thank you God for precious memories!!! Thank you that I can hear her voice in my head anytime I need to. Thank you that I can say something that Mom used to say to Daddy and a huge smile will come over his face! Thank you that time marches on and we learn and grow and are able to adapt to life as the changes come. Thank you that I can talk to you about it anytime I need to!!!! By the way...she REALLY can be bossy!!! Just take it with a grain of salt and tell her to hush!!! She's worth it!!

In HIS Mighty Grip


lillian08 said...

Praying for you today, my friend!

Anonymous said...


I know the "raw pain" will always be there! Always. Even after 14 years of my own mom meeting Jesus, it hurts. But you do move on. Honestly you do. You've already figured that out. It's not the best anniversary to remember, but the memories of our moms ARE!

Hoping you have a good day!

Shelley said...

Thanks Jen...thanks Kristen. I really appreciate you guys!!!

love ya

AZMom said...

Oh I am so sorry for your loss!

Big hugs for you today!

a Tonggu Momma said...

No words today, Shelley -- just hugs.

David said...

I never thought I would miss the ole gal as much as I do. What I wouldn't give to watch her laugh so hard she'ld pee herself. She was very special and I look forward to seeing her again. I love you and I'll be right here.

Susan said...

What a beautiful tribute to your dear Mother Shelley. No, you will never be the same person you were when she was beside you on this Earth, but doesn't there seem to be an even stronger drive to be the best Mom you can be to your own two given her example- and now passing? I know it sounds strange, but after loosing a parent, it really makes you think about being there for your own children (doesn't it??!)

Amazing Grace for you today sweet Shelley.

I'm thinking about you.

Caryn said...

I'm praying for you today Shelley. I know the pain as my mom died almost 10 years ago. Sometimes it doesn't seem possible that it has been that long but there has been so many new things in my life (like 3 more kids) that I haven't been able to share with her. It surely is a new normal.
You gave your mom a great tribute. I know she would be so proud of you as a mom to your 2 adorable girls.

Margie Mayer said...


Today I smiled on earth at what you wrote about your Mom and I know that she smiled in Heaven. What a beautiful love letter to her! Praise God for the blessed hope and the knowledge that we will see our dear parents and loved ones again when we fly to the arms of Jesus someday.

I hope that your Mom and my Dad have met "In the Garden" and have become great friends.

Love & Prayers,

Becki party of 5 said...

Shelley, what a beautiful tribute to your mom. I hope she has met my mom in heaven, and they are smiling over their China grand-babies. My mom only had the chance to meet 1 of my 3 kiddos, but I know she still knows them all.....
thanks for your beautiful words today.
Sending lots of love to you,

sarahb said...

Oh Shelley, how beautiful. I wish I had met your Mom. She sounds amazing. You are right, you never do get over it but I found out that I am stronger than I ever knew. I have to be without my Mom's support! it's been two years for me. She never got to meet our sweet China girl. It makes my heart ache but I think she knows.

Elizabeth - Scrappygolden said...

What a beautiful post! I lost my father 3 years ago and everything you said is so true. Most days you just sail through life. But then my 1 year old granddaughter will do something exceptionally fabulous and it'll hit me that daddy would've loved to have known her. Then BAM - the sucker punch in the gut that you described. But one of my wise friends pointed out how blessed I am to feel sad because that means I have wonderful memories of my father and miss him.