Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Mother's' Day Letter to My Mom

Dear Mom,

In the Bible it says that to God a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day.  It seems hard to fathom that except on days like today.  Today, Mother's Day, I think I can almost catch a glimpse of what that must be like.  Can it really be my tenth Mother's Day without you?  How is it possible that the earth still rotates around the sun?  The passage of time seems to have come and gone in an instant.  I can still see you in my mind as clearly today as I could then.  If I close my eyes I can see your smile, I can feel your embrace, I can see you sitting at the table with your coffee in front of you chewing on your pinky finger, I can see you driving me in your car and hear you asking me, "What do you want to do now Kong?"  It was only a moment ago and yet...

I realize this morning how close we are to July.  How in two short months my birthday will be here and my heart will sink.  All I will be able to think of is how helpless I felt not being able to help you.  How in that instance and so many others, I was reminded that I have no control.  I have to relinquish all of it to God and allow him to not only help you but to help me too.  How can it be that it will be eleven years since you went home to be with our Lord?  Ten years of Mother's Day's come and gone.  Eleven years of raising kids come and gone.

So yes, it feels today as though all those years were just a day ago.  A moment has passed and you aren't here and my kids are almost grown and you weren't here to witness it.  I haven't been able to call you while making dinner.  I haven't been able to see you laugh at my struggle with teenage girls. I haven't been able to watch your relationship with them grow as they have grown. All of these things make me sad for what could have been had Cancer not entered our lives.

I feel sad for what might have been, what maybe should have been but then I realize that a moment ago is almost eleven years ago and while you were with God, God was also with me.  I may not have my mother here but I am a mother.  I'm not alone anymore now than I was when you left.  How could I be?  This morning my children brought me breakfast in bed, they gave me a card and sang me a song.  My husband gave me a short back rub and told me he loved me before going to work.  When I go downstairs there will be the "Hallway of Mother's Day" that the children create every year with signs of love and pictures they drew even after all of these years.

It is funny the passage of time.  The tears may come later but the healing that God provides is fresh every morning.  The writing helps.  The thought that even though you aren't here with me that maybe you get the messages I send out into the great unknown void.  No you aren't here in flesh but I see you when I look at my middle child.  Sometimes I look at her and I see you as you were in pictures as a younger girl.  I hear you in the things that my oldest says.  I think of you when I see my son and think of how great of a young man he turned out to be and how terrified we both were that I was having a boy.  There was nothing to be scared of, of course, he is so much like his dad and you thought he was the best guy ever.  I used to joke that you would have traded me for him any day of the week.  You would have thought the same of our son.

Your memory surrounds me and they are the good memories.  The memories of good times had.  The memory of a mother who was always there no matter how tired she was.  The memory of a mother who worked hard and instilled a good work ethic that I hope I have passed on to my own children.  These are the thoughts of a healing heart.  The heart protected by a loving God who knows my hurt.  For that I am thankful.  I love you mom.  I miss you every day.  Enjoy your Mother's Day in Heaven.  I may not be able to shower you with gifts but I have a feeling that spending your day in paradise with the King of all creation is better than what I could provide.  Plus I prayed that He would give you a hug from me.  My bases are covered.

Thank you for being my mom, for loving me and my family.

Love,

Heather

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Life is a Roller Coaster/ Twenty years later

It was a beautiful day this day twenty years ago.  I had spent the night at my grandparents' house.  I had so much to do to get ready and I was full of anticipation.  I had to get my hair and my make up done.  I had to get dressed and I had to be at the church before anyone else for pictures.  

My dress was the dress of fairy tales.  Cinderella herself would have been envious of this dress.  Off the shoulders with long sleeves, cinched in waist and a full skirt, this dress was exquisite.  It was the first one I tried on.  I tried on others of course, but I had to have this one.  It was perfection in satin and lace.

At the church I was closed up in a room for so long I thought I might wet myself.  I had to go and I couldn't leave the room.  Potty chairs are useful and when your mother in law is the one to help make that happen, you know you've picked the right family.  My shoes were pinching my toes, I was getting overheated, and hungry and all I wanted to do was to see him, to find the one whose eyes could calm me.

I ended up wearing Keds down the aisle that day.  The heels only made it for the pictures.  When I saw him at the end of the aisle, I knew that nothing else mattered.  As long as I didn't pass out from the heat in the most beautiful dress ever made, the adventure, the hills, the valleys, the mountains, and the pits, all of it would be OK.  He was there.  He wasn't late, He didn't call and cancel.  he was like no other man in existence, in my world anyway.  He was a shower upper...he still is.  He shows up.  He shows up for me, he shows up for our kids, he just shows up.  I didn't grow up like that.  I grew up with cancellations and excuses.

It's not always been perfect, because nothing ever is, but it has always been worth it.  In good times and bad, sickness and health, losses too many to count, many bouts of depression, included the one no one thought I'd come back from.  There is no one else I would want by my side.  Twenty years of doing life with me cannot be easy.  All I can say is that it sure hasn't been boring.

I love this man more than the sum of all the stars in the sky. He gave me a family when I wasn't even sure I wanted one.  He showed me that sometimes people show up...sometimes whether you like it or not, whether you are worthy or not, whether you believe it or not, people will show up and love you.

 Life is a roller coaster and I picked the best partner for the ride. I can't wait to see what the next twenty looks like.  

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Dreams... Are you ready?

Do you remember your dreams?  I tend to not remember mine.  If I wake up remembering a dream by the time I walk into the restroom I've forgotten it already.  Usually I don't think I do dream.  My oldest daughter dreams about every night.  She remembers them, usually in detail.  I have a friend who can do that as well. 

The entire idea for the Twilight series came from a dream that Stephenie Meyer had.  Yes, I read the Twilight series.  Yes, at one time I loved every single one of them.  Now, I'm over it.  I got caught up in the hoopla of it all.  As someone who writes, I am envious of the gift of being able to remember your dreams.

This morning however, was different.  I was mid-dream when I awoke.  In my dream I was sitting in a chair among hundreds of people.  There was a stage and the stage was surrounded by chairs filled with people.  I stood up with my papers in my hand and headed to the stage.  I walked up on stage and knelt down next to the lady who had asked me to come and speak and whispered, "umm...this looks like a lot more than twenty five women."  She replied, "Yes, I know honey but they are here, are you ready?"  I told her I may throw up and I should pee first.  I looked up at the crowd and when I went to stand up I woke up.

On Tuesday I will be speaking to a group called the Department Club.  I have known this was coming since July.  In July, I grumbled and fussed and told God I was certain that He needed someone else.  In the end, I agreed to do it.  The funny thing about this is that I haven't really been all that worried about it.  I think that is what scares me.  I have a genuine fear of public speaking but what if that goes away?  What would I hide behind then? 

This woman in my dream who I haven't even met in person, only talked to on the telephone in my real life asked the most poignant question of me ever.  Are you ready?  Am I?  I have no idea.  How does one know if they are ready?  How does one know if they can really do something for God and do it well?  I suppose that is where trust comes in.  How much do you trust God?  The One who created the heavens and the earth and even me, how much do I or can I trust Him?  Are you ready?

I live in the land of What Ifs.  I have spoken in public a total of three times now and I never eat before hand because I am afraid of losing control of bodily functions.  Would that happen?  I suppose it could.  It is unlikely but what if?  What if I forget what I'm saying in the middle?  What if I'm not interesting?  What if I'm not funny?  What if no one shows up?  What if too many show up? Scarier what if I really bomb and I let down not only the people who have come to hear what I have to say but I also let God down int he process? Scarier yet what if I'm actually good at it and I have to do it again? 

Am I ready?  I don't know.  Am I?  I have been thinking about speaking to these women since July.  I know what I want to talk about.  All day I have thought about that dream.  What happens next?  It's like a cliff hanger only instead of a television show it is my life.  Did I go pee then come back and do well?  Did I go pee then throw up on stage or in the restroom?  What happened or happens next?  My greatest downfall is wanting to know the outcome instead of just trusting God to lead me where he wants me.  I have to always question it.  Always analyze it.  Always argue about it.  My best friend once asked me what would happen if I didn't throw a fit and just did what I was told.  I told her it was my process.  God knows it's coming, if I don't throw my fit he will think he got the wrong girl.  The ridiculous thing about that is that that is usually my argument.  He has the wrong girl. 

My favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Do you see the irony?  My favorite verse goes completely against my control issues.  I always want to know the outcome and yet...maybe I don't need to.  Maybe I need to accept that God knows the outcome and quit trying to take control.  He has control.  I don't have to.  I'm a slow learner but I think I'm starting to get it.  I don't get commissioned to go alone.  I am only being asked to go and allow Him to do His thing through me.  I have to learn to stop taking God out of it and start taking me out of it.  It's not about me. 

I was raised an only child.  I have only child tendencies but what a relief it is to know that in this instance, it isn't about me.  It is about doing what God asks me to do.  I don't need to panic, I need to get with the program.  So...am I ready?  I'm shaking in my boots, but my boots are made for walkin'.