What I Think About Today

There’s so many good posts out there today. There’s a lot of meaningful writing, hilarious videos, and there’s even some movies out there about Mother’s Day. But I want you to know what I think about on Mother’s Day. Perhaps it will resonate with others of you moms out there who loved your mom but she’s gone. And you can’t rest in her soft hug today. Or smell her. Or be annoyed by her. Or get advice from her. Or get her to hem your pants by asking really nicely. Not anymore.

Truth be told, I don’t love this holiday. But it is holy. Flowers, cheesy songs at church, and well meant greetings just remind me that my mom’s gone.

And yet, here’s these four daughters wanting me to feel special. They know I’m sad today and I love them more because of it. I know some look at people like me and just wonder what I am thinking on this day.

So here’s what I’m thinking…

About her.

Her hair. Her smell. Her hugs.

Her voice. Her hands. Her legacy.

Her quirks and annoying habits. The way she said my name. Nobody says it like that.

Fighting with her moments of hate and moments of love.

Laughing with her. Feeling the weight in her face when I held my first baby.

Watching her live and watching her die…

About each of the days I became a mother. How magical and painful those days were…each of those births created a new me….

About the baby I lost…

Being real with each of the girls….

What they need from me, each uniquely.

What they don’t need from me…

How they have helped me mother….

How we change each other…and the gift that is for me.

Also what they have forced me to face…in letting go of myself and keeping it all the same.

And as I watch their hands grow….

Hug them…

Smell them….

Laugh with them…

We live.

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What I Never Expected

If you are a daughter, you know that we can be a little mean and at least a tad bit critical about our mothers.

If you hem-haw about this, you just take my word. I’ll be honest for you. I have two sisters. I have four daughters. I know things.

There were times in my mom’s life that her mother gravely disappointed her. And since we are being honest, there were times in my life when my mom disappointed me too. She knows. We talked about it. She brought it up asking me several times for forgiveness. Also, there were times in my mom’s life when I know that I disappointed her. We talked about that too. She waved away those moments with grace and love. I never expected this.

Then there’s this whole teenage thing that happens when moms become annoying to daughters and invasive. Then you grow up and life between moms and daughters is more mature and good but really intense sometimes. C’mon, we are all women. Well, not all of you out there.

There was this moment in Mom’s hospice room when all three of us daughters were in the room. You could sense the woman-tension. We were all experiencing intense feelings. Mom was having a hard morning, but she still wanted to be the Mom. We just wanted her to rest. We were all driving each other crazy. I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else. I never expected this.

She was seriously, almost compulsively Type A. We couldn’t be more different in that way. I must have driven her crazy. But, she just let me be me. Even in her last days, she was trying to organize her hospice room. She told me to consolidate some snack foods that people brought, and I was trying to tell her to relax about it all and to stop bossing me around. Then I told her she could boss me all she wanted and asked her what else I could organize. I never expected this. Life is so very real to the very end. I never expected this.

We did puzzles in hospice. We watched Mary Poppins. We wandered outside. We watched Oklahoma. Just know that my family knows a lot of those songs. Oh, and those movies are so over the top on everything. I hated the puzzle that was a picture from the movie Titanic. My sister and I had a head stand stand-off. We both fell over. The floor is hard there. We had some good family time in the hospice facility. I never expected this.

So, you get these ideas in your head about who your mother is and what is important to her and her perspective on life and such. Well, I do anyways because I like to analyze people and such. Not all of it is true actually. My mom always wanted to be safe. I attribute this need to her chaotic childhood. Because of this, I never ever thought my mom was brave until the last few years. The last few weeks confirmed how much courage and faith she had. Her bravery truly came from her faith in God. I never expected this.

Mom was sick off and on for ten years, and she had been thinking about hospice for over a year. My sister still had to run out when the funeral home came to pick up her body. I cried hard because I couldn’t believe they were taking her away. She looked so peaceful laying there. It hit me hard Monday morning when I picked up my phone to call her. I still have her last texts to me. I miss her hollow-like. I never expected this.

Mom gave me her Kindle. I never had a Kindle before. I like it, I think. Last night I picked it up for the first time, and there was a Jane Austen book that I’ve never read on there. I didn’t know that she read Jane Austen. There were lots of things I probably didn’t know about her. I thought I knew most things. I never expected this.

Thanks be to God for blowing away our expectations.

TenThings I Love…

I wish I was cool enough to figure out how to write on this notepad in this post. Oh, well. You can’t always be cool. I found this sweet little notepad on ShabbyBlogs when I was toodling around there the other day. I was inspired to share it with you! I’m in the process of adding some weekly structure rhythm to this little ole blog. I’m thinking of doing “Ten Things I Love” on a regular basis so you’ll have to stay tuned in to see!

If you have read some of my other posts, you will know that my mom is very sick. She has leukemia, and it is terminal. Although I live a bit far from her, we talk most days (sometimes just text). On Mondays and Thursdays, I get the blood count report. Mom is getting platelet transfusions every Monday now, and she gets blood transfusions every other Monday. Her poor bone marrow is shot, and it just won’t make enough blood for her. She is on palliative care now. When she decides to stop getting transfusions,  she will be in hospice.

I appreciate your kind remarks as I have blogged a lot about this journey with her. She has read most of it, but now that this blog is published to Kindle she can read all. It is an up and down time for all of us. She has good days and bad days, but I guess that is true for all of us. I’ve been emotionally raw this week. Up and down.

We had Labor Day weekend with Mom, and it was a special time. She was a trooper with all the family, kids, dogs, and noise that is part of the family bay house routine. Surprisingly, Mom and I had several times where we were just the two of us visiting. The girls came and went. Our old dog, Tater, never left Mom’s side. By Sunday, Mom was worn out, but she was glad that she came. On the way back home, I could tell she needed rest. “I need to stay closer to home now,” she said, matter-of-factly. I was tired too. I felt responsible for her. I couldn’t answer when she asked, “Is there anything else you want to know about me or my life? Any other questions or curiosity?” I just shook my head. I felt irritated. I wondered if offering thanks would help my agitation.

Today I offer this notepad to Mom.

Ten things I love about you, Mom:

  1. She can sew like a mad woman. Once she made me a swim suit that looked store-bought. She can make anything.
  2. She made a prom dress for me in high school to look just like the red dress that Julia Roberts wore to the opera in Pretty Woman.
  3. She is the best person I know at organizing. Wish she lived nearby. My closets are calling you, Mom!
  4. She is pretty. She always has been. I think she is beautiful now because of her strength and trust in God.
  5. She fights. Hard. Cancer twice. Now this. Wow.
  6. She cares about the details in my life.
  7. She loves my children.
  8. Her hair.
  9. She likes doing laundry. And ironing. I somehow missed that inheritance.
  10. She loves God. She can’t wait to be with God, but she is trusting that God still has a purpose for her. “After all, I’m still here!” she said.

We offer honor to the people in our lives when we tell them how much we value them. Take this notepad (or your own), and place value and blessing on someone in your life.