It’s mid January and all the stores are gearing up for the “holiday of the heart” – Valentine’s Day. Today as I start this “CONVERSATION”, I can’t help but reflect back on the special time that has forever been stamped in my heart!
Eleven years ago today, I was sitting on the window ledge of my mother’s hospital room, praying and praying that her sudden health issues would soon be a distant memory. Well, in a way they are! The actual health issues are a distant memory but as I’ve come to know, you have to be careful what you pray for.
So what’s the change you ask? Well as my conversations always deal with change, I am coming to you today with “NOT” a change of heart. Those many years ago, my life forever changed beyond anything that I could have ever imagined or dreamed. My mother’s passing stamped my heart with a change of prayer, a change of despair, and a never ceasing change in the level of pain that I endure every year.
Ironically, all the things that occurred 11 years ago happened on the exact same day of the week as this year! Now that to me is profound; 11 years ago, I was no where near a place where I could write anything yet alone share my thoughts and feelings on how the loss of the “love of my life” changed my heart. But don’t despair! It’s not all bad news.
As I was wallowing in the black pit of my pain, a friend wisely asked me what was it that my mother brought into my life that I “obviously” (yes I was in a bad, bad place) could not live without. I digress for a brief moment! I now understand two things: 1) suicide and 2) self medicating to ease the pain!
Anywho, I’m back! Well in answering her question, my response was “unconditional love”! As the holiday of love is fast approaching, I can’t help but reflect back on the love that changed my life both in death and in life. The loss of a best friend…..I knew that! The loss of a mother-in-law….I knew that too.
But the loss of a mother/friend/confidant/protector/shelter from the storm/my all in all…..well, back then you could have never told me that I would rise up from the dark pit of what I felt was H-E-L-L! Yet today I can say that my prayers were answered.
In praying for the replacement of that unconditional love I was sorely missing from my mom, God blessed me with another son. Almost 20 years to the day, since the birth of my only other child (a son also), my hubby and I were SURPRISED with another son.
The birth of my son after so many years renewed my heart! I was a changed woman. My heart changed from anger and grief and despair….once I picked myself up off the floor…..to one of joy and love and appreciation. And to top it all off, my son has so many attributes of my mom – from the grinding of his teeth when he sleeps, to the total distaste of anything close around his neck……that’s my MOM!
So although my heart has softened and I no longer am angry or so depressed it’s hard to get out of bed, something has NEVER changed:
- I will forever and ever love my mom
- I will always, always miss her
- She is always with me; even in the eyes of my baby boy
- God always, always, always shows up right on time
So with happy hearts, as you travel down the road of life toward this holiday of the heart, remember this from someone who truly knows: Life can beat us down and throw us curve balls that we may not think we can manage. One thing we can always count on: God will never give us more than we can bear.
So as I like to say when my tears flow and my heart gets low, dust yourself off, wipe away the tears, and remember where God has brought you to and where HE has brought you from. HE’s got a plan for the future. We just have to deal with the change and not let it harden our hearts!
Happy Valentines Day