Sunday, June 06, 2010

Remembering Mom Three Years Later

My best friend in the whole world, Willie wrote and recorded this song on youtube to honor my mom shortly after she went to be with Jesus on June 6, 2007. It's hard to believe it's been three years since she laughed with us, or told stories about our family and our heritage, hugged us, or shared her wisdom.

This morning I went through some old blog posts and journals because sometimes time seems to take the vividness out of focus. As I began reading and watching Willie's video I wept. I wept because of the brokenness we experience in this world, and the sense of loss that we all feel on this side of the veil when a loved one leaves this world.

It's good to take time to remember. I remember two years ago, on the one year anniversary of my mom's leaving of this world to be with Jesus that I made the decision to cut my hair, and leave it short. I remember also taking a day to be away and remember, reflect, grieve, and rejoice. Rejoicing at someone's death could seem a bit morbid, hateful, or sadistic. I don't rejoice my mom's death in the sense that many think of it. I rejoice that she is free from cancer, from diabetes, from arthritis, and from pain. I rejoice that she is in the presence of Jesus, the One who loves her (and us) with a love deeper than we can even imagine on this earth.

I still grieve too. At relay for life this year, I found myself choking down tears when I saw her luminaries. They were just some candles in paper bags with my mom's name written on them, but they elicited so much emotion from me. When I saw her name and in memory, I think every memory I had of her flooded my mind all at once. I think it started with the relay for life in 2007 for which my sister and I organized a team. My mind went to the hopes we had back then that my mom would beat cancer, and that she would walk a lap as a survivor in 2008 like my uncles and my sister were able to do. Then I found myself confronted with the reality that I will never see her again in this life, and that made me sad. Not only because she is my mother, but because she is also one of the most beautiful human beings I have ever known.

As I sit here reflecting, I can't help but be filled with hope as well. My mom, will be better than I could ever remember her when I see her again. She will be more beautiful, more loving, and more filled with joy. But that day is not now.

And so now, I strive to imitate the qualities I saw in her and loved while in this world. And it's ironic, because even those qualities were just shadows of the fullness that we find in God himself. My friend Trey once said something like this--when we see or experience something that gives us great joy, it's like we are seeing the handiwork of God, and that God is shining through that thing.

Aa the writer of the book of Hebrews reminds us, "Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith."

May we all cherish the opportunities that are given to us on this earth to allow God to shine through us, to bring others joy, and to love deeply.


Anonymous said...

I can only have empathy..I miss my father who passed shortly before your mother...I miss your mother for what kindness and caring she always had for me. I will reflect for a bit on the memories of her and thank you for your heartfelt words..your friend..Frank

Derek said...

I never had the pleasure of knowing your mom while she was alive, but I know that I see her every day in our friendship. I see her love and kindness in you and I cannot even begin to imagine a better way to keep her memory alive!