My dear, dear daughter

I am amazed at how my babies bring out my memories. Things I haven’t thought about in years pop to the surface all the time.

The last week or so, Natalie (who’s 2) has been saying “my mommy” for everything.

“Can I eat this, my mommy?”

“Have toys now, my mommy?”

“Me hug, my mommy?”

I, of course, am eating this up. I love feeling owned by this sweet little girl. But it was also one of those memory awakenings. After a couple days of this, I distinctly remembered my mom writing in my baby journal about how I would say this to her (although I said “me mommy,” ha). Once I realized this, the wall I’ve subconsciously been building the last few months cracked. Joy and heartache poured out. I remembered February 7 was coming up, the day my mom passed, and felt a bit of dread.

I know the Lord is rebuilding me into the person He wants me to be, and it can be so hard at times to be patient with this process, but I trust Him and know it will take time. All of the grief, all of the tears–these are chiseling my heart, and they’re not for nothing. Each year I hope to see the changes in my life, and be encouraged by them.

Sometimes when I cry, I feel bad about it because if she could see me now, she’d be upset and crying with me, and I don’t like to think of upsetting her. Does this make any sense? She’d always cry with me.  Which, I guess, is one of the things I miss the most, too…It’s in these times, that are just such deep chasms of hurt, that I have to turn to the Lord for comfort and assurance. He is mending me, bit by bit.

Sometimes, my girls not only awaken memories for me, but they unknowingly encourage me, too. These are my favorites. Today, Olivia was singing, “My God is so big! So strong and so mighty there’s nothing my God cannot do.. for YOU!” She pointed to me while stuffing PB&J in her mouth, and I had to take her words to heart.  She kept singing it, over and over, and when I normally may say, “Okay sister, that’s enough,” I let her go because it spoke peace into my heart, and she was so cute on repeat. I needed to hear that today. From the mouth of babes…

So, healing is happening, even if I feel frustrated by not feeling far enough… I’m getting there. I’m going to spend some time today in quiet, in thought, in prayer, and I’m sure in tears. But that’s okay. Wearing her cursive “E” brooch on my coat is healing.  All of the songs I sing to the girls at nighttime are songs she sang to me, so every night, there’s that bit of connection and generational sharing. Seeing her handwriting makes her feel incredibly close.

Seven years ago, soon after my mom was first diagnosed, she wrote letters to each family member to be read after she passed. In mine, she wrote kind words of comfort, which echo in my head often. Don’t we all need words of comfort to remember down the line?

“Seeing Jesus will be a wonderful delight,” she wrote. “Please live a blessed life with Raul and your children. I love you, dear, dear daughter.”

I love you too, my dear, dear mom.

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Fruit1

Every Tuesday, I go to a Community Bible Study (CBS), and it has been one of the biggest blessings in my life since I became a mom.  They have a wonderful children’s program, and it’s so.nice. to have a set couple of hours each week for adult conversation. But the best part, aside from the freedom to comb through God’s Word weekly, is the company I study with: a roomful of women of all ages, most of whom are 60+. There are a few young moms in my group, but most of it is comprised of older women.

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Infusing Courage.

Tea

Journal Entry | April 24, 2012:

“I keep trying to put myself in my mom’s place and I just can’t imagine accepting a shortened life, not with two babies and a husband. I wonder when this really was settled between her and the Lord? I know it was earlier than later–not that she didn’t have hard days–but she had such an attitude of hope and peace, despite her concerns. Can’t only the Lord give this kind of peace? It’s an incredible thing to watch, this kind of change, and I saw it overtake her before my eyes, like a teabag steeping in hot water.  It was the most beautiful thing I’ve seen: God’s hand gently, warmly transforming a soul in the depths of the rockiest, coldest place.”

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