For many, yesterday was a day of remembering Moms. In fact, on Facebook (the world-wide social network site), I saw precious tributes. One gal even asked everyone to change their profile picture and replace it with one of their mothers til Monday. I thought that was sweet. I didn't do that. I have no idea where any pictures are of my mothers.
My biological mom is barely a memory...she abandoned us when I was just three, the three or four times I saw her afterwards leave fanciful feathers fluttering in my mind.
Step-mother #1 stirs memories of sadness as a whole--although, one cannot toss aside the years in which she washed my clothes and cooked meals. I have to give her credit where credit is due. Most of what she was in my life was not her fault. Albeit hard to suffer the anguish of abuse, mentally ill people need our forgiveness, especially when they let you pull taffy on a cold winter night.
Step#2 didn't really consider me much more than my father's daughter. She and her children got some of the better parts of my dad's time, money and affection. Enough said.
Step#3 was a gem. I do call her blessed for giving my father the best 4 years of his heartbreaking 82 years of life. When I watch others share how much they miss their mothers, the heartbreak they have without them, I often think I may be more blessed for never having known the joy of moms. In a sense I have been spared that kind of pain. Admittedly, it makes it harder to empathize with another's burden...that makes it easier for me to understand how folks feel who cannot fathom my loss of a son...two babies.
Given the post I shared on Mother's Day, and due to the prayers so many offered on my behalf, I thought I'd take a few moments to tell you how things went for me yesterday (and also share some family photos). Before I do that I want to acknowledge the gorgeous flowers you see pictured above. My son's dear childhood friend (and a former youth I taught in the first pastorate we were blessed to serve), sent them to me. She's been rather faithful to me as a friend and sister-in-Christ since Chad's death.
[Karen Pollock contributes to Devotional Christian now and she wrote one of the sweetest tributes to my son (HERE). But make sure you subscribe to Devotional Christian while you're there so you don't miss any of her moving devotionals.]
So...the flowers come in the middle of the night, at about 8:15 on Saturday night. Such a gift I stumble to explain. You see, Karen doesn't know this, but one of the hardest times I have through the Mother's Day extravaganza is May 7th...the night before Mother's Day. That was the night six years ago I last spoke to my son--last heard his voice. As usual, he had a story to tell, and part of it was his joy in going to see the Texas Rangers play ball in Dallas. That evening at around 10:15 was the last time I heard his sweet words, of good-bye and "I love you, momma." So often at that hour of each Saturday before Mother's Day, my heart fills with a bitter-sweetness of gratitude and regret. Gratitude that God gave me that last "I-love-you, Momma" --- Regret that we hung up before I said I love you too, my precious son. It's hard to forgive myself for that lapse in motherhood.
So, Karen...you are, my friend, another portion of Chad's never-ending story of a life. The love he shared with you nearly 30 years ago in friendship, blossomed into a basket of roses and daisies for me on a day only Chad, and I, and God would know is a day I find especially difficult. Your flowers blessed me more than you'll ever know. It was like a gift from heaven above. I can almost hear my son say, "forgetta bout it, Momma; just stop and smell the roses today."
Secondly, my friends and new readers, that is just one facet of what I call God's divine interventions in life...a comforting Balm through a love cultivated years ago in a little country Kentucky church. Corrie ten Boom was right when she wrote, "Every experience God gives you, every person He puts in your life, is the perfect preparation for the future, that only He can see."
Thirdly, My daughter did what she does naturally for her--she loves through acts of service. She prepared a brisket dinner for me and her own family. Every single Sunday (for the most part) she makes Sunday dinner. I couldn't help but think of how much I appreciate her gift of love. A menial task, some might say. But special because I have her in my life to share my heart, to embattle, to love, to plan stuff, to undergird and etcetera, etcetera. Some folks wonder why I don't write much about my daughter. I realize that it a curious thing considering the attention I give to the relationship I had with my son. I'm simply following orders. You see, as precious as my daughter is, and as much as I would love to give you all the nitty-gritty details of her life and her older children, Holly is a private kind of gal. She makes me keep my thoughts closer to my chest, my fingers holstered, and for the most part, pictures stored in scrapbooks.
To say she doesn't like to call attention to herself rather belies the kook she is at ladies' retreats. But she doesn't like to announce to the world all the things she does as she serves the Lord. She doesn't tweet, friend, or blog. This world is rather foreign to her. It's doubtful she even reads a single thing I write--go figure. But she owns a humongous portion of my heart, always has, always will. I'd die for her. She could have both kidneys and my liver. I know she loves me...and while she's never stood up in the city gates and called me blessed, I know. I know she cares. I know because no matter how heated we may get over trivialities of life, she and I are on the phone talking and sharing by 10:00 a.m. the next day. It's just the way we are. It's not how we've always been. And most of that is my fault. I have learned a lot about motherhood from my daughter. I think most mommas do.
Lastly...yesterday...Mother's Day was one of the most peacefilled, comforting, blissful, and God-infused days I've had in a long long time. Here is just a sampling of things that held my attention. Most of it is pictures. I hope you have as much fun looking at them as I had cropping and adding captions today.
Life is not always a happy time. It's not always perfect. It has moments, though -- snapshots in the course of living which we need to be vigilant not to miss. Moments flash before our eyes, and can be blurred before our cameras grab the perfect shot. Often in our desire to have the perfect day, we waste time trying to catch the perfect smile, the perfect pose. Then we miss the seconds of love and lose a memory we could capture and lock inside our hearts forever. Enjoy today. Enjoy tomorrow. Be like my son...stop and smell the roses. Smell them today. selahV