Those who know me personally know this has been the hardest year of my life. I didn’t think I’d ever write again, especially here, but this is a special occasion, one which prompted me to blow off the dust and cobwebs here and give it a whirl.
I’ve never experienced more heartache and loss than I have this year. The only time that comes even close is the sudden death of my dad when I was twenty-six. He and my mother were my closest companions in childhood. Oh yeah, I had friends, but friends come and go, especially when you’re a kid. I learned early that even siblings grow up and move away – it’s a natural part of life. But through every childhood disappointment and teenage heartbreak, my mom and dad were there, the stabilizing force through the twists and turns of my life. I cannot begin to describe their love and wisdom through all that they had to put up with while raising me…well, I could, but it would be a long story. You can imagine that when God took my dad – my “partner” – home to heaven without my even getting to say goodbye, I was devastated. Yet the trauma of last year made all of that pale by comparison.
Then on April 30 of this year, my remaining companion, my mom, endured major surgery. Another blow.
My mother dislikes birthdays and the spotlight of any kind. Today is her birthday, and this blog post is the spotlight, but she knows better than anyone that I’m the rebellious one 😉. She is not with me, unfortunately. She is at home, her favorite place to be, laboring for the Lord in any way she can. The point, however, is that she is here, on this planet. I can call her. I can go visit her. I can text her. I can even send her a link to this post (if I’m feeling brave) and she can read it, right now. That’s an amazing blessing.
As a Christian, my mom naturally longs for Heaven more with each passing year (Me, too!), so when her surgery date approached last April, she thought that perhaps she would awake in Heaven. God, in His great mercy, left her here. I give thanks to Him for that, because if I must continue on this pilgrimage, I’m so glad I can travel its highways and byways with her a while longer. My world would have grown exceedingly darker had He taken her home.
So today, I’d like to ask a favor (if there’s anyone out there). If you have the chance, please tell her happy birthday. Just say that you heard it from her “rebellious one” and she’ll know exactly which of her children you mean. (It’s okay, she loves me anyway.)
I love you, Mom. You are second only to Terry in helping me survive this year. In fact, I’m only able to write this because you were there in my darkest hour. You stood with me, then sank to your knees for me; you wept with me, and prayed with me. You loved me, encouraged me, and told me that my life wasn’t over. If God chooses to make anything profitable out of my damaged life, it will be because you believed He could.