Some days I think I’m doing okay. Sometimes even well. But then I’m not. I’m just not. I’m just NOT OKAY. Yesterday was an okay day. Today has not been an okay day. I do things, like write this blog, that make me feel better. It makes me feel like I’m talking to you, and you are listening and shouldering this burden with me. I read your comments and am encouraged. It makes me forget, for a few minutes, what is going on in my life, and in our family.
Then, I turn the computer off. I’m still okay for a few minutes, maybe even a couple of hours. Then it all comes crashing back in. That moment. That day. That week. The visitation. The funeral. Memories of him coming down the road on his motorcycle. Watching him take his helmet off in my driveway. Putting it on the seat of his motorcycle. His gait. His arm slung over my shoulders. His sweet soft-spoken, “Hi, Mom.” His eyes searching for his dad. Finding him and moving away from his hugging mom to greet his dad. Hanging out with his dad in the living room until something from the kitchen smells good. Back in the kitchen with me. That day. That one horrific day that turned into that one horrific week that has turned into a horrific chore getting through each day. I see my other children’s sad faces on that day. I’ve never seen anything so sad, but I was so heart-broken that I hardly even acknowledged them. But, I will never forget their faces that day. Around noon that day, the investigating officer came to our house to offer her condolences and explain what she knew about what had happened in the accident that took our son’s life. I remember looking around at everyone gathered around our dining room table. My husband, our children, our parents, my brother. I remember the sergeant asking if everyone was there before she began her explanation. I looked around and counted heads, like I’ve done for the past 25+ years. Someone was missing. Who was missing? This is probably the most important meeting we’ve ever had. Who is missing? Oh, God. Oh, God. This meeting is because of you. Because of the one missing. I’ll never forget that. I’ll never forget it because similar things happen almost daily. There’s a car that must belong to someone who lives on our road south of us. Every few days I see that car coming down the road. It looks just like his car did. Every time I see it my heart leaps and I think he’s coming for a visit. Then I remember. The last time all the kids were here for dinner, I thought I heard the back door open and close. He’s finally here. Now we can eat. Oh, God. He’s not here for dinner. He won’t be coming for dinner………..ever again.
I haven’t prayed very much since my son’s passing. Nothing too deep, anyway. I do pray one particular prayer over and over and over again. Please help us, God. I know He does. Even when I don’t feel like He does, I know He does. I know He will never leave us or forsake us.
“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2
3 comments on “Rollercoaster of Memories”
Such a resounding “yes” rings in my spirit. The story of the lost sheep drops into my heart. I’ve never felt the emotion of it like now after reading your blog today. Thank you for expressing so clearly what we, as moms, feel so often when one of our own is lost. Whether that loss is like yours, due to death, or their moving out, moving across the country or times when there has been a break in communication and they are no longer talking to you. I’m sure the sense of anguish, of something missing rings true for us all. I quickly go to times in my life when my heart broke over my children and that gulf between us that seemed unable to cross. And then the thankfulness that floods my soul that death has not separated us and there is still hope. I’m so grateful that you and Dan were on good terms with your son. That he knew your constant love for him and he was in contact with you. What a blessing! What a loss! I pray all our children would feel and know that we deeply feel the empty place at the table, the spot no one else can fill. May they know and understand what a gift they are from God to us and others.
Leanne, what a wonderful mom you are. What a precious gift to your children! May your heart be full of that knowledge today. You are loved much!!!
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“It makes me feel like I’m talking to you, and you are listening and shouldering this burden with me.” This is true, Leanne. We are listening and I hope in some way shouldering the burden with you through prayer and reading and listening. Reading your words helps me understand what it must feel like to have the feeling of someone missing, but not being able to fix it because the person won’t show up. I understood this in a very small way. When my daughter went to Uganda last summer I just wanted her safely back home. No amount of encouragement was going to fix it until I saw her come down the escalator at the airport. Then and only then could I breathe a sigh of relief. I can’t imagine if the sigh never came.
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Thank you, Bonita. I can’t even tell you what it means to me to know others are carrying us in their thoughts and prayers. Thank you so much.
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