On this day ten years ago, you passed from this life into the next. When I think back to that day, and the days following, I cannot even fathom how I went through the motions aside from the grace of God. It was such a surreal time as I sat in your hospital room the day before you passed, knowing your time was short and you were already drifting out of this world. My mind reflected on so many things...every moment of my life up until that point...every moment I would now live without you here...and reflecting that 35 years ago that day you were also in a hospital bed, holding a baby you'd longed for after many, many years...me. I had no idea what the future held and I couldn't imagine you not being here to experience it with me.
I miss you daily, but am surrounded by things that trigger sweet memories. My backpack for work sits on a stool that you painted. When I reach for a knife to chop vegetables, they sit in a wooden holder that you painted in a class we took together. I pull a book off the shelf and see the inscription you wrote. And, when the memories that I have surrounding me in my house aren't enough, I go to the local craft store and stroll around the aisles you and I walked together before. Or I pop in a movie that we both loved. Or open a bottle of Pleasures perfume and take a whiff of your signature scent.
I knew my life would never be the same, and after ten years, it surely isn't. I've worked at four different places in the last ten years, but back working with the same team that walked through losing you with me. For that, I'm thankful. God has used your life to mold me for ministry. Somehow I feel that was a prayer you prayed that I may have never known for my ministry to be as vibrant as it is and be grounded in the foundation of the legacy you left me. Losing you showed me the void that so many women have by not having a godly, wonderful Mother like you. Because of that, I've been able to touch the lives of so many young women...more than I could ever give birth to...and hopefully make a difference in their lives. I've stood before groups of women sharing my testimony and teaching, all laced with stories about you and the lessons you've taught me. Your life lives on, Mom.
I've become you. I talk to random people I don't know. I sometimes speak the truth a little too quickly. I cry a bit too easily at sappy movies and books. But, I still haven't finished an afghan...one of my goals after you passed away. You always made afghans and blankets for new babies and newlyweds. After two failed attempts, I'm on blanket number three and hope third times charm. If you were here, you'd have finished the first two that looked a bit like a failure to me. I long to be more and more like you to keep your remnant alive in this world.
I could spend days, oh really months, with you filling you in on all the things in my life that have happened in the last ten years. I'd sense we'd shed some tears and you'd hold me while I shared the saddest times. And you'd remind me that it's these times where we learn the most about what God is teaching us. I'd want to introduce you to all the people who've come into my life that you never met...but you'd love like I do. We'd laugh about the funny times...oh how I miss your laughter! But as much as I wish you were here, I know you are living in a place that is unlike anything I can imagine and have a fully glorified and restored body....something you left this world without but now you have. I know you are heavenly beautiful...because you were oh so beautiful on earth.
The one prayer you lifted up has yet to be answered...I'm still not married, your one request to the Lord for me. Like your prayers that were lifted up for 18 years for a child, I am not giving up on that longing. You would be happy to know that there is an army of people praying that for me in your earthly absence. Your prayers are continuing. As much for my own desire do I pray that happens one day to fulfill a longing I know you had for me.
Until we meet again in that city that lies four square, my love for you never ends, my Mother, my Rose,
From Your Rose