Wednesday, November 27, 2013
People always talk about that holiday season - the first one after losing someone you love. It's supposed to be really hard, you know.
Well, Megan and I had our first birthdays without our Mom. We share a birthday, Megan 5 years to the day after me, and it's always been quite an event. My Mom was the queen of birthdays - well, events, really. She always dreamed of being an event planner, and she would have been the best. She had Pinterest in her head long before it ever existed. The birthday rolled around, and it was just awful. It was marginally less awful than it could have been since I shared it with my sister, and we clung to one another, understood the pain and the craziness of having our birthdays without her.
But now here we are, facing our first Thanksgiving and Christmas without our Mom. I've dreaded it since before she died. I mean, last year was pretty darn bad. She was suffering, and we were too, and wondering if she would even be here for Christmas, praying that she would. And she was, but it was not really like Christmas. In a way, I wondered if in a whole year, this might all be easier to face.
I should have known better. Everything reminds me of the emptiness that I feel without her. The Nutcracker is coming, and we bought tickets. We always went with Mom, and she always took us to dinner and bought the kids each a new "nuttus" to celebrate. The year before last, the last time we went, she bought the entire Nutcracker suite for them. I wonder if she knew then that she might not be around for another performance.
This would have been our year to have Thanksgiving with my Mom and Christmas with my in-laws. It's strange, to say the least, to have no plans for Thanksgiving day. I really don't care if Wal-Mart is open on Thanksgiving because this year, it's just another day. Maybe I'll go just to get paper towels or dog food or something.
I wrote out my Christmas planning list and not having my Mom on there was so sad that I haven't even looked at the list again. We're usually just about finished shopping by now, but I just can't hardly go there. I can't fathom celebrating Christ's birth without the one who brought me into the world.
I remember years ago, when my Mom had gone through a lot of hard life events, she just kind of gave up on Christmas decorating. It was so strange, because all the time we were growing up, she went to so much effort to make our home into a Christmas wonderland. To walk into her home, year after year, and see nary a Christmas tree, was depressing. I can understand now, though. It's so painful to think about having Christmas without my Mom that, if it weren't for my children, I might be tempted myself to just hide under the covers and pretend the holidays weren't happening.
But you know, there's another side to all of this. Despite how sad we are here without her, she is living with the King of Kings. She has the heavenly perspective that we, as Christians, strive for. She truly would not want this to be a time of sadness and tears, but a time of hopefulness and celebration, a time of closeness with our family and friends. And most of all, she would want us to draw near to our Savior.
So though I long - ache - for even one hour to sit and talk with my Mom, to laugh with her, to know how she's doing, to tell her how Alif is doing, how we have disability court next week and Malachi just got his learner's permit and Graham has a heart issue that we'll now be monitoring yearly, and how Canaan still sleeps with us at least part of most nights and I love it so much, how nervous and excited I am about starting the nursing program, and on and on and on? I will instead draw near to Jesus. I will pour out my heart to Him and ask Him to carry us through. And because He loves us with a never ending love, He will.