Saturday, May 7, 2016

Mother's Day

This is one of the few pictures I have of me and my mom. I was 7 years old and we took a trip to California to Disney. What I didn't understand at the time was that we were also going out to California for her to undergo treatment at one of the multiple places they attempted to "heal" her cancer. A little over a year later, she would take her last breath on this earth.

I miss her, even though I don't feel like I got the chance to know her. There is just something about a girl and her mom. Something that I grew up wishing I had. Something that as an adult, I realized even more how much I needed. I knew she was sick. I knew she couldn't do the things that other moms could do. I knew she was losing weight and losing hair. I knew that people came and went from our house a lot. I knew that she was at the hospital a lot. I knew that my brother and I had to be cared for by others. What I didn't know is how her death was likely imminent without a medical miracle and that I was about to experience a loss that would impact me so deeply forever.

Now as a mom of 3 boys who have lost their dad so unexpectedly and early in life, there are moments that take my breath away and bring me back to being that little girl again. I sometimes think it is a blessing and a curse.

A blessing because I can empathize with my boys in a way so profound. I know how much things don't feel right in their world. I know how unfair they feel like life is when their dad can't be around when everyone else's is. I know how their heart longs for one more day with him. I know how angry they feel when a friend takes their dad for granted or vice versa. I know how Father's Day will feel like a slap in the face, until hopefully one day when they themselves become a father and that day will have new meaning and a reason to celebrate. I don't just hug them and say "I understand"...I really do! Those are not empty words and they know it.

A curse because I also know how time does and will heal some of their pain, but in a lot of ways, there will still be an empty place that nothing and no one can make complete. And for that part, my heart just has to grieve with them and pray that their Heavenly Father will help them see the beautiful and purposeful story He has created...even in the midst of the brokenness. It's hard. It sucks. It hurts. But God does redeem and He will do so in His perfect timing.

I'm so thankful that I have been given the opportunity to be a mom to these boys. If they only truly knew how they allow me to feel such joy when I only see dark circumstances in front of me. They challenge me to be a better person and follower of Christ. They cause me to lean more heavily on God for strength to parent alone. They push me, without even knowing it, to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

These precious boys were part of God's redemption plan in MY story. He knew that I would need them, and that unfortunately, they would need me in ways that I could only fulfill with the loss of my own mom as a child. He so perfectly entrusted these boys to me, and while most days I don't feel like I am enough...I know that God must have thought so. And I am grateful for that!