It’s been 364 days since I last wrote and I’ve never had so much inside me, yet so little power to articulate. The past year’s events mean life will never be the same. And yet in so many ways, life is the same. The week after my mom died I reached out to a friend who regularly buys eggs to see if she needed some. She did but expressed she hadn’t wanted to bother me during this difficult time. My answer: “Well, the chickens keep laying no matter what.” And in so many ways that says it all.
When I think back on my summer, all I really remember is sitting with my mom every day while she slowly released her strong grip on life, and also tending my garden. During this time, my best friend offered to come work in my garden, understandably assuming that I was letting it go. But in truth, it was the most weeded and watered and productive it had ever been. It was my solace. I needed to keep my hands busy and to see life springing forth in abundance and blessing.
Life going on is a severe mercy… it pierces and taunts, but what would we do if it didn’t?
You are sad, and then your kid proudly dresses himself and shirts are backwards and patterns are clashing and life is hysterical for a moment. And those moments keep happening and the laughter rings more true each time.
There are long stretches when the color seems drained from everything and then suddenly the sky is ablaze and beauty is everywhere and you can’t bring yourself to feel the sadness in that moment.
You want to lock yourself away and cry for a good, long while, and then the cows escape the pasture and you have a cow pie closer to your front door than you ever thought possible, and once again the laughter comes.
You are humbled to realize that death is so strong, so devastating, and then hope reminds you that it is life that always prevails, for there will be life…
SO much life.
You think this life may never seem sweet again and then your daughter (the one that you pull your hair out a little over) hugs you close and whispers, “I’m glad I have you.”
And you remember the one you had for forty-one years: the one who thought you were the most amazing person on earth, the one who exaggerated your talents terribly, and the one, who if you could be just a fraction of the person she thought you were, you would be doing alright.
And you are thankful, so very thankful for the life she lived, for the love she gave, for the Place she now dwells, for the Savior she’s now with. And you know that if you hadn’t loved her so much, you wouldn’t miss her so much, and you wouldn’t have it any other way.
It is life, all of it… so bitter, yet so sweet. And God sifts it all through His mighty hands and allows us to live the life He unfolds before us with grace. And what can you do but be thankful?
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
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