“The Days are long…

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“The Days are long…

“…but the years are short.” So goes the saying. It turns out that the older I get, the more it’s true, as though the world is making smaller and smaller revolutions around the sun. I’m certainly not the first to put voice to this phenomenon of aging, nor will I be the last. I tell you that because the passing of time and the bold act of aging is high on my “thinking-about-it” list right now.

I started this blog in another lifetime, when we were just starting down the road of severe illness with mom. And now she’s been gone for two years already.

At first I didn’t write because I wasn’t quite brave enough to put words out there. When she was first gone I felt so fragile, so ill-equipped for the task of life. How do you live without a mother? I know lots of people have had to do it and somehow still excelled in life. In fact, lots of people have had to do it at a much more tender stage of life than me. But I was surprised at how afraid I felt in those first days and weeks. My sisters were around a lot at first and I remember thinking, “How will I do this without them?”

But somehow I did. I got up the next morning and I took steps and breathed in and breathed out and then I did it again. And again, and again, until a year had paMomssed. On the day that marked one-year without our mom, a bunch of us went to her grave and left flowers and Glenn and I went home and planted three new rose bushes for her. And then we just kept breathing in and breathing out.

And now it’s been a whole year more. Which feels impossible. We have once again made it through the gauntlet of early spring…her birthday, mom and dad’s anniversary, the day she went to see Jesus. They all fall within a 30-day span. But we did it. We went to a concert on their anniversary and had cake on her birthday and wished she was here for all of it.

But this is largely the reason I didn’t write. At first I couldn’t. And then I didn’t. And then I wasn’t sure how to bridge what had become a long gap.

Lately though, I’ve been thinking about some things. I’ve been mulling them over and realized that I kind of wanted to write about it. But first I had to write “the first blog after my mother died.” And so I didn’t.

Today I read these words, “Don’t wait until you feel confident. It takes a while to find your voice and feel competent and confident at exercising your God-given gifts. But you have to use your voice in order to find it and exercise your gifts in order to edify others.” (Janette Ok, in an interview on The Junia Project) If it’s true that the years are short and if it’s true that you have to use your voice in order to find it, then maybe today is the day to be brave.

So here it is: the first blog after my mother died.

And we keep breathing in and breathing out.

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4 responses »

  1. I am not sure who excels at being without their mom. I too, am just breathing. The good news today is, the sadness is less heavy and the sweetness is more dear. Lucky us!
    Thanks for your first blog after mom died. It is precious and so are you.

  2. Nancy,

    Thanks so much for your heartfelt words. It’s true that in this season of life, for the most part, words fail. Both of my parents are on hospice now, with time running short. As we walk this path alongside them, the words and thoughts don’t come easily. I am reminded of a quote from the movie “Castaway”, where Chuck morns the loss, the finding and the loss once again of his beloved Kelly:

    “…I had power over *nothing*. And that’s when this feeling came over me like a warm blanket. I knew, somehow, that I had to stay alive. Somehow. I had to keep breathing. Even though there was no reason to hope…….I know what I have to do now. I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?”

    One passage that has helped me through this process and the process to come is Lamentations 3. The chapter starts as the author describes in great detail the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. He sums it up by saying “The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.”

    But then…

    “Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.
    Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
    I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”

    Thank you for sharing where you are right now – and thankful for the influence your mom had on my life.

    • Oh David. I’m so sorry to hear that about your parents. Your mom was soooooo good to me. Our piano lessons were about so much more than keyboarding. We’ll be praying for all of you.

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