It’s Mother’s Day, and one of my precious children is in heaven. How do I deal with this? I’m so thankful for my wonderful, amazing husband and my other four children, two children-in-law and precious grandchildren. They are all amazing blessings that I am so grateful for. They are all so loving and supportive of me and each other. I have been blessed beyond measure. But, that one who is in heaven is giving me grief this day. This constant paradox of emotions is hard to handle on a daily, actually moment by moment, basis. I’m thankful and I’m sad. I’m joyful and I’m grieving. I’m filled to overflowing and I’m empty. I’m content and I’m longing. I believe and I doubt. I trust and I’m anxious. It is exhausting! I’ve read in several places that grieving is hard work. That is a true statement that I had no idea of before my son passed into heaven seven months ago.
My oldest son, Joe, and my middle son, Izzy, were born 19 months apart. They were always very close, but very competitive. At times, that was maddening. But, other times, like Mother’s Day, it was quite entertaining! The last couple of years, they both showed up on Mother’s Day with the most beautiful humongous bouquets of flowers for me. Each quite similar, but unique. Each shouting out, “I’m the biggest and most beautiful!” I can still see Joe and Izzy getting out of Joe’s truck with their bouquets in their hands, approaching me, standing on the front porch, with those shy grins on their faces. There was an unspoken order between the two – Joe, being the oldest, was almost always in front of Izzy. But, unlike Joe, Izzy was never afraid to say what he felt. I remember one time, when they were around 11 and 12 years old, I stopped at a gas station to put gas in our van. They were sitting on the back bench with the windows open and the radio blaring. There was a song on the radio about a pretty girl. For some warped reason, I love to embarrass my kiddos, and this day was no exception. I leaned toward the window as the gas tank filled and asked Joe, who was sitting closest to the window, if he thought I was pretty, knowing this would embarrass him to no end! As I thought he would, he shrunk down into the bench and turned a lovely shade of red. But, his more expressive and charming little brother leaned over him, getting as close to the window as he could and said, “I think you’re beautiful!” Besides absolutely making my day, that also turned my face red! What a boy he was!
This Mother’s Day started out with great heaving sobs, even before I could get out of bed; all because my most precious gift from God, my husband, told me “Happy Mother’s Day”. What a gift he is. My strength and my rock. He is here for me always. There is a reason I say, “He reminds me of Jesus”. All along this most painful path we’ve ever been required to walk, he has been here for me, with me, holding me up, encouraging me, weeping with me, making me laugh, speaking words of hope to me, pointing me toward our Savior and loving me unconditionally. What a man he is. I love him more than life itself.