“You’ll miss me,” she said.
I shrugged and made some smart remark. The kind kids make to their moms. Avoiding. No way was she going to make me “feel”.
And, no way would I admit it if I did.
My son does the same thing to me. Pride runs deep in this blood.
“We have to talk about it sometime…the big elephant in the room. You will miss me so much when I’m gone…you don’t know. The doctor said I have to prepare you.”
We never stop mothering.
“Mom, I’m not talking about it. I’ll deal with it when I have to. That’s how I’m coping. I know it’s happening. I don’t need to talk about it. You’re alive now…so enough of this. Now, let’s go shopping or something.”
Oh, pride…how big and strong you are. How mighty and wise. You don’t need anyone.
Only, pride wasn’t so mighty when death came calling. Oh, how she tumbled, as I crawled into the bed beside my tiny giant of a mother, the one I rarely hugged in this life, and cradled her in my arms like a baby, stroking her hair and singing soothing hymns. Singing the fear away. It’s funny the things that disappear when death comes calling.
Nothing remains…but love.
What you think is so big right now, in life, in the pride of it all….it won’t matter in death’s shadow. That’s the one beauty in the darkness. The stark, incredible beauty of being stripped of everything….except the love. The love remains.
Years of broken promises and not enough lay crumbled in the corner. Pride…she falls first. And, you know what they say about the bigger they are, right? Grudges, hurts, anger…none of it can stand in the face of death.
And the missing…
There is nothing like the desperate longing for another person that cannot be satisfied this side of heaven. The realization that I could search the entire earth and never find her overwhelms my psyche. Overwhelms isn’t even big enough to describe it. There isn’t a word to express it. So intertwined we were, she and I. Six years later, I remain stunned that I seriously have to continue living on planet earth without her. Sometimes, I’m 8 years old….and I don’t know how.
Mom…you have no idea.
I’m glad she never knew this level of missing. The thing is…even if your mom makes you crazy. Even if pride stands ugly between you, smug in it’s victory….life is different, as long as she’s here.
And, I am left here, without pride’s thin layer of protection. No longer captive under the façade. All the raw reality of my love and longing for her is exposed, released in a flood, and there is nothing I can do to hide the truth of it. No mask.
Sure, life goes along. And, then…it washes over me. In the moments. The times when a girl, no matter how old she is, just needs her mom. Some things you can only trust your mother with…and how…how do you face the unspeakable things, the woman things, the deep, sacred things….
I know the right answers. And, His Word will forever be my soothing balm. I know about dwelling in the shelter of His wings. I’m there…even in my broken, crazy missing. Still, even as He carries me, this ache remains…until heaven’s reunion. As it should…because we weren’t created for goodbyes like this. This earth, in it’s current state…this is not our home. This is not what our loving Father intended for us.
Oh, Mom, I miss you with a consuming missing.
And, you know what…it doesn’t even bother me to picture her smiling, just a little…with the knowledge that she was right.