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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Punching the Florist

Does anyone remember those Valentine's Days when you didn’t have a significant other and the florist delivery guy kept showing up with flowers for every single person in the room but you? In your rational mind, you knew you wouldn’t be getting anything… no roses, no daisies, no chocolates… but every time the door opened, your heart skipped a beat anyway. Just maybe…. Then of course, he walked right past you to the girl doing the “Miss-America-I-can’t-believe-this-is-for-me” face and just like that, she became so special. You tried to play it all cool like you totally didn’t care and weren’t in the least bit bothered… it was just another day… no big deal. Then you went home and cried all night?

Well, I had one or two of those Valentine's Days, I’m not afraid to admit, and they sucked! Around the sixth time the door opened and the florist dude walked in with yet another arrangement not for me, I wanted to knock his head off. Well… these days, my sad and lonely holiday of self-pity is Mother’s Day. This will by my third Mother’s Day without Grandma, and just like those old Valentine’s Days, I started dreading this holiday weeks ago. The past two years, I have volunteered my services in the nursery at church so I won’t have to sit through the service and any and all talk of mothers and daughters. (And you know it’s bad if I volunteer for nursery. Really really bad.) This year, however, we are dedicating Jeb that day, so no hiding away for me. Stink!

There are days when I want to yell to the sky (and I have many, many times). Hello? I’m just a young mom! I need her! I’m not ready to be by myself in this! And of course I know I’m not literally by myself, but there is just something about not having your mom that brings about this unshakable feeling of loneliness. That one person who thought you were the most beautiful, smartest gift God ever made… who thought you hung the moon… who would die for you in an instant... who lit up when you walked into a room no matter what... and pretty much lived in your shadow your entire life is no longer there, and no one else wants or needs the job. It can be a lonely place when you reach for the phone and realize the person you have always shared every detail of life with no matter how minuscule (and who sincerely cared) isn’t there to answer. And of course, after nearly three years, the pain lessens a bit, and life goes on, but you just seem to be left with this big empty hole in your heart that no one can fill and you know will not be made complete again until Heaven and you see her again.

I’ve shared this with some of my closest friends, but I’ll write it here as well. I have given birth to three of the most precious children on the planet, and each time, the moment of their birth was amazingly beautiful… absolutely surreal. One moment I was without them, and the next, here they were, perfect and beautiful and ready to live. And I cherish those moments so very much. But, maybe a moment I cherish even closer to my heart is the moment when Grandma died. I was holding her hand and whispering in her ear as fast as I could, as many things as I could think of before it would be the end… I love you so much; thank you so much; you look so beautiful… I don’t know if she could hear me. But that instant when the nurse said, She’s gone, there was a power in that room. It was beautiful and pure, almost like for the briefest moment, God opened the doorway to Heaven to take her in where, just like my babies, she was made beautiful and perfect and ready to live. It was just indescribably beautiful, and I was there.

Since then I have seen several of my friends deal with the death of a mother, and each time, my heart literally breaks for them and I try to be better for them... more accessible… a better friend… more interested in their lives. I don’t do a great job, but hopefully they know that I’m here. So, that would be my appeal to the world. You can never ever take the place of someone's mom, but if you see a young woman, especially a young mother, doing life without her mom, just love on her. She can front with the “I’m ok” face all she wants, but I promise you, her heart is breaking every time the metaphorical florist deliveryman passes her by. She wants to feel special, too. Believe me... I still want to knock him out, metaphorical or not. And finally, my gosh, if your mom is here, love on her like every single day will be the last. Sometimes I try to imagine what I would do if God gave me just one minute with her here on Earth again. Can you imagine, just 60 seconds? Some might think it wouldn't be worth it, but one minute to me... wow... words couldn't begin to explain what I would do for one minute. If you have your mother, you are so very very very very blessed. Know that and don't waste not one day.

And even though I am without her these days, I still feel like I am the most blessed daughter who ever lived. I had thirty years with her, and while I wasn’t ready to let her go, I do know that God knows best (even though we’ve fought it out a few times, and He always seems to win—I think He cheats). And I’m still a daughter. It’s just that now, my mom lives in Heaven. And as Belle says, that’s so cool. Not to mention, I am blessed with the most beautiful, smartest gifts God ever made in Belle, Dru, and Jeb... all of whom hung the moon... all of whom I would die for... and God help me if I ever stop lighting up when they enter a room. So, this year I'm going to try my hardest to trade in my pity party for a good day. I think it will be a good day.


Robyn said...

Absolutely beautiful words. Thank you for sharing with all of us.

sara said...

Wow, well, that made me cry. That picture from the paper was beautiful. Thanks for writing this.

Sharon said...

Wow! Sara was crying, I'm BAWLING! You are such a good writer and I guess I appreciate the challenge to love my mom better and to be a better mom. You are an amazing woman, Ang! God has blessed you! I'm thankful for our "long distance relationship!" Ha!

Jill said...

Totally want to give you a big ol' hug right now!! We're dedicating Porter Sunday as well so we'll be right there with you. And I'll be sure to say lots of extra prayers for you this weekend. And I hope your hubby and your babies make you feel like the most "specialest" Mommy in the whole wide world!!! :) Love ya girl!

Annie & Paul said...

That was beautifuly put and well written. I totally feel like you were talking to me as I struggle in this area sometimes. Thank you for sharing your story to open other's eyes and touch their hearts. I truly hope you had a wonderful mother's day. May God bless you...more than he has.

Kate (Southern-Belle-Simple) said...

i couldn't resist commenting on this one....even if it is from awhile ago.....i just love how you share your heart thru your writing....what a wonderful friend you are to others and such a good momma....i haven't even met you and it's obvious to me. love!