I am having trouble picturing her at sixty six. It is hard to imagine. She never looked old, just tired mostly. She didn't get to be old. Fifty two is far from old. She worked all the time so of course she looked tired. On our evening walk this evening I asked my husband how he thought she would have aged. We were discussing how a man will look at a woman's mother to see how she will age. A woman could look to a man's father to see how he will age. I'm sorry that he has no reference point to see how this is going to go. He isn't going to know how I'm going to look in my sixties or seventies, it'll be a surprise I suppose.
I have so many questions about her and for her. Would she have moved here with us? Would she be shocked that not only I but her granddaughters drink coffee now? Would she like a caramel macchiato? She drank black coffee but she loved sweets, so maybe? Are my curls something she would have liked? Are they a family thing you get once you turn forty? Or am I just weird or lucky? Does she get birthday parties in heaven? So much of who I am is because of her but also because of the loss of her. I'm not sure if it is for the better or the worse. Would she be proud or dismayed? I think in retrospect even though I fell even after I met Jesus that night at the food of her bed, I did two years later have a better understanding of the love of God. I still forget however, that that love applies to me as well.
I struggle in February just as I do in July. Memories overtake me...feelings of loss and heartbreak creep in even when I don't realize what is happening really. Every stress takes over my thoughts. I lack focus. I can't concentrate on anything or perhaps I concentrate on all the wrong things. Worry over things I have no control and a feeling of helplessness and yes even hopelessness come into play.
As more questions swirl in my mind over even the most trivial of things like what it would be like to ride in a car with her at this age and look over at her and see strands of gray peaking through and if she would have nicknames for the kids. If she would still bake, if she would still be watching Days of Our Lives and if so would she have a DVR because I'm not sure you can still get VHS tapes to record shows anymore. I wonder how a woman who has felt the presence of God at the foot of her mother's death bed not two feet from where she sat holding her hand and watching the lightening show out the window, a woman whose God told her when it was time for her mother to go home with him can still struggle with her faith...can still have doubts. I wonder what kind of a woman she has to be. How broken she must be to worry and be troubled knowing that her faith should be stronger and yet she still thinks she should be able to fix everything. That if she could just be better, if she could just be stronger, she could help everyone and she could get it right. Maybe make up for her wrongs, you know? Maybe if she could just fix something for someone she could make up for the fact that she couldn't do anything about the fact that her mother died on her watch....because those are the thoughts that surround her, her mother won't be turning sixty-six tomorrow because she died and there wasn't anything she could do about it and she is heartbroken all over again. And why? Why after nearly fourteen years does she still struggle? Why does she still think she has to earn God's love to be worthy of it?
I take it back. I think that's the heart of it really. I get along ok mostly in the day to day of life. I don't dwell, I stay in the moment. I am happy in my life which I feel guilty about. Mother always said I was so spoiled, that I got everything I ever wanted. Not a fair assumption at all really considering my formative years were scarcely without trouble. Tormented and abused by her husband and mostly ignored by my own father it is a wonder I turned out by most accounts to be as well rounded as I did. But she is right I suppose, I did get my happily ever after. I did get the family I always wanted. God blessed me after my earlier suffering.
I, being the well rounded individual, who was in the presence of God, who has done bible study after bible study, can't let anything be released to God to handle because obviously he has more important things to do. Who am I that he should be concerned with the fact that I'm worried about this or that or the other thing? Who am I, the one who fell apart and withdrew after being in his presence, that I should ask him to hold me and carry me through the trials of life? I am but dust....made from dust and back to dust I will one day return. So I pray and I ask God for his help and to sustain me and to be with me and my family and I pray for my extended family and friends and their families. But then I take it back...because I really think that one or more of my friends needs Him more so I'll just take my stuff back. I've got it. I can take care of it. Don't worry about me just take care of them. I need them to be alright. My stuff is so small in comparison. So what if I'm lonely with my girls off at college. It's fine. So what if I'm stress eating and my stomach hurts and my shoulder is hurting again and I pulled a white hair from my face and I'm sure that's just an early sign of things to come. I'm forty five years old I'm a little old for abandonment issues to go alone with my trust issues and control issues. God, really, please just let me take my stupid trivial crap and have some control because I need you to be somewhere else helping all my loved ones and beloved friends who really need you right now. I take it back.
It's so heavy really, going through the motions. Giving it away and taking it back. I'd like to take back the take back. I don't want it really. I'd like to believe that God has the time and the desire to take care of me too. After all maybe the real problem is that I forget who I am. Or I don't realize yet who I am, which is scary too to tell you the truth. The clock is ticking I'm running out of time to figure this out. Mom made it to fifty two and I'm pushing forty six. I'd like to see at least eighty five but I'm scared to wish it. Scared to get my hopes up really. Always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I called my best friends and asked her how you get the kind of faith that you can just turn it all over and not think about it and not worry about it anymore. She said it is a daily thing. So Thursday I woke up and I looked around me and realized how far we had come. I thought about all of my worries about bills and how we'll manage everything and how I can't be there for all of my friends in person when they need me. I also thought about the fact that we've been in a place like this before where I worried about the same types of things and God sustained us, that yes the bills are piling up right now but I have a roof over my head, I have food in my kitchen (that may be going bad in the fridge to be honest) and I have a soft mattress to sleep on at night and at the end of the day a bill, just like money, is just paper. A temporary thing that at the end of the day doesn't mean a whole lot in comparison to other things like family and friends. I decided to redirect and look at my blessings instead of my stressings (which isn't actually a word, it's stresses but it sounds better with blessings, amiright?) One day at a time, like eating an elephant one bite at a time, I have to focus my thoughts and try and figure out who I am. I am a child of the one true king, I was made in the image of God, He has promised to turn my ashes into beauty, he has plans for me to give me life and a future, he will never leave me or forsake me...even me. My God is big enough to be with my friends and family that I worry so much about that I don't even have to tell him about them because he already knows. He is even big enough to be not only with them but with me and also with my mom up in heaven ready to have the most amazing birthday party with her tomorrow and every year into eternity because she isn't sick anymore, she is strong and beautiful and has amazing hair. She hangs out with grandma and her sisters and her little brothers and they have no worry of the future because the future for them is now.
So today I am missing my mom and tomorrow I will miss her too but identifying your problem is the first step in recovery. I will not be taking it back when I tell God my stresses anymore because I have been reminded of who I am (and who I am doesn't have time for it). I have been reminded of who my God is and lastly I have been reminded of where my mom is and that that is ok too. It's just February, it's a short month and it is almost over and soon it will be March. I will not let the enemy toy with me and lie to me in March even if my daughter will officially be the age I was when I married her dad. It's not weird at all. I know who I am now...even if I have trouble believing it.