Last year, I shared the story of my mother's death, and how we celebrated her life in remembrance. This year, unexpectedly, I am a strange mix of emotions: happy and sad; peaceful and unsettled.
I miss Momma more than I thought I could, and in ways I never expected. I miss talking to her about adoption, even though I never did speak with her about it, about becoming a parent in this way--it is so different from being pregnant. When I have dreams that I don't understand, I miss hearing her interpretation of them and what she thinks it means for my life. I miss listening to her tell stories; stories she made up or stories from her past, or from her family's past. She had a flare for story-telling.
Still, even now on the second anniversary of her death, I am giddy with excitement. Today, Taylor and I get to go visit our Little Girl--the court date is getting so close! All I can think about is whether or not we will have her home in two weeks.. in just 13 days.
And last night, my family welcomed another little grandchild--a girl, my oldest sister's third baby. They haven't settled on a name yet, but the breathing, cooing reality of a New Baby is foremost in our minds today. How fitting to have a new life to celebrate on the day we remember our mother's beautiful life. I can't wait to see pictures.
My best friend told me, soon after Momma died, that there will come a day when I won't feel sad or weepy when I think of Momma's death, and that I will be mad at myself for not feeling those intense emotions at such a tragic loss. But, she said, it is part of the process, and you begin to understand and accept that phase, too.
Today, I am not overly sad. I miss her still, certainly, but I am at peace with missing her. I do confess to feeling guilty at having to remind myself of this anniversary. With Our Baby's court date coming up in just 11 days, I have been mostly focused on that, instead of remembering what was happening two years ago. My gaze is drawn forward today...in hope and anticipation.
And yet, I cannot forget. In conversation with my sister, we decided that tonight we will have an all-you-can-eat shrimp dinner, in honor of Momma. I went shopping yesterday for the ingredients, but alas! I couldn't find any frozen, ready-to-fry shrimp in Boston. So I purchased frozen shrimp and we will bread them ourselves before frying. A touch of Momma in our own style :) We might even watch old Star Trek episodes to remember her.
-----And so, this is life, on the way. We may lose those dear to us but we are given grace to continue on, until we see them again. We are given hope in new relationships and blessing in the New Life that is all around us.
The anniversary of Momma's death will always be during Lent, a time to remember the promise and hope of the Resurrection. A time to reflect on the joy that we hope to share, and the glory of the Risen Christ on Easter morning. My gaze is indeed drawn forward. Forward to the day when I can see Momma again, robed in white at the banquet table of the Wedding Feast, waiting with open arms to welcome her children Home.
How blessed we are to have such hope.