Mom's Legacy: A Lesson in Humility
I can't believe it's been twenty years since you died. April 18, 1998. I've been thinking about you. Your life. My life. I have a different perspective about many things now. I've realized some significant truths that I wish I could tell you face to face. But in my heart, I know that you already know...
But first I just want to share some other stuff with you. If you were still here, I'd come over to your house. You could make coffee for us like you used to. What is it about coffee fixed up by Mom? It just tastes better.
It feels like the time has just flown by! But I do remember when the days seemed to drag on, especially in the first three years after you passed.
Those were the days I felt absolutely numb. Or panicky, when I started accepting that I'd never see you here on this earth again. Sometimes grief felt like a 500 pound anchor on my back. I wasn't sure I'd get through those days. But somehow I did.
But for the most part, time has slipped away too fast. You, of all people, know that time doesn't stop for us when we are doing this thing called life.
Life- with its moments of inexpressible joy and crushing devastation. Loved ones suffering. New babies joining the family! Times of financial comfort and mountainous debt. Caring commitments of the heart; the pain of betrayal. Family funerals and birthday parties. The stress, drudgery and sweet rewards of hard work.
Our inner pendulums swing as the clocks and calendars measure the minutes, hours, days and years. We experience periods of mighty faith and cynical questioning. We feel strong and gratefully move forward when life's puzzle pieces come together for us. But what about the times when all seems to fall apart? We feel that we're drowning in the pits of depression and anxiety stops us in our tracks.
Now, twenty years later, I get that cliche' that I've heard so many times. The one that says "it's the little things" that make life precious. It's true!
I'm almost the same age you were when you suddenly left. That fact messes with my head! I can't explain why, exactly. I just feel that now, at age 55, I'm beginning a new, exciting phase of my life! I still say that yours shouldn't have ended at age 58. But those decisions aren't up to me.
I'm so grateful that we had a close relationship! It wasn't perfect of course. We had some conflict. I felt that you let me down a few time times. Likewise, I wasn't always what you needed me to be. But we didn't let those things drive a permanent wedge between us.
You faced a lot of hardship, Mom.
I remember how you struggled in life, especially in the latter years.
There were times I secretly judged you too harshly about your "weaknesses" and "mistakes", as I perceived them. I regret that now and I'm so sorry.
I just didn't get it. But now I've tread some life paths similar to yours. The view is quite different from this time and place in my journey.
Now I look at the continuum of your life. Even from my limited knowledge, sometimes fuzzy memories and incomplete understanding, I now believe you were one of the strongest women I've known. Only human, yes you were. A beautiful, strong, courageous woman of faith: definitely!
Your example, forgiveness, friendship and love have always been with me. How blessed I've been!
That bond is still intact. It's one that even death can't sever! Your spirit is still with me today. Thank you.
Now let's stop our boo-hooin' and have another cuppa coffee.