Today is a first for me, the first time I have ever shared this picture of my Mom and Dad. I treasure it- and them. I miss them both, and never quite as much as when I am hurting. I'm hurting today- very much, so took an extremely long memory walk- one which led me here- to my parents.
My growing up years were not perfect or easy, so when I take a backward look, I never linger at the painful, troubled, chaotic moments. Instead, I revisit those moments that touched the deepest part of my heart, the moments when I learned something.
I love studying this photo. It is the one time in my life that I remember seeing peace upon Mom's face. She loved my father so much, every bit as much, if not more, than I love my Johnny. Before his death her blue eyes sparkled and danced, especially when she laughed. But on the day he died, as she gazed at him for the last time during the funeral service, the stars in her eyes went out; that special sparkle never came back. When Dad died, part of her died too, just as part of me will die when I lose my precious Johnny.
Death is like that; it steals one's joy, saddens a man's heart, often removes hope for a time, and fills one with a terrible numbness, which is actually a blessing in a way. At least I view it that way. The day my Mom died, I wrote in my diary "I never knew pain till I lost she who gave me life." The pain of losing my sweet mom was the greatest pain I've known, yet I bore it, and grew in ways I'd not expected to grow.
Our journey, my Johnny's and mine, is now way past the middle, much closer to the end then we'd like. The sadness within my heart is so heavy sometimes, often feels more than I can bear. But I know that I can- and will. I cry a lot more in my alone times now, but the Lord, knowing my need, my great sorrow is always there to wipe them away.
I grew up without my dad but loved him with all my heart. Sometimes, when discouraged, I imagine him with me. I ask "What would you tell me if you were here" I think he would say "Life's not perfect so don't expect it to be."
Harsh, rather cold words, yes, but they are words that have helped me through life. They are words that have kept me strong, steady, hopeful."
If Mom were here beside me and I said, "This is so hard, Mom, so terribly hard." Her reply would be what it always was when I said something like that. She would smile that sweet smile, while taking cautious sips of her coffee, and say, "You've been through worse, Barbara, and you did what you had to do. You'll make it through this too."
I will! Just taking it a day at a time. Well, more like a moment at a time these days. So sorry I've not been able to respond to emails, letters and calls. I've not felt my best and wanted to spend all my time with Johnny. My hands are somewhat better, obviously. I typed this but that will be the end of it for a day or two.
If you're having a good day, give thanks, if not, don't lose hope. Just remind yourself that the choices we make determine, to a large degree, just what kind of day we'll have.
Take care of yourselves.
Love you much.