Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Remember the JOY

I'm having a "Groundhog Day" movie kind of day. Not because I am re-experiencing a day until I get it right, but because I have snippets of vivid memories about this day from 14 years ago. It's a little unsettling and sad and yet this year, the season has been so much better in many ways. (Thanks to friends new and old.)

Fourteen years ago today, we had just had a snowstorm, my baby was 15 months old and I was patching together snow clothes so J could play in the snow for the very first time. I was going to my parents' for dinner to celebrate dad's 62nd birthday and my husband was working. We had pot roast for dinner. I remember sitting at the kitchen island while mom told me about the people who had come to visit for her birthday two days earlier. She was really happy and had been very active lately. My mom had heart disease, high blood pressure, you name it, but she'd been able to do so much more lately. My little boy and I had been taking shopping trips and going out to lunch with grandma quite often.

My mom and I had been really building a new type of relationship- as fellow moms. It was a good club to be in with her. :) While we didn't agree on some things (I was all about breastfeeding and my mom said "If you'd just give that baby a bottle...") she taught me about sacrificial love and kindness and was an incredible role model of charity and generosity. She wasn't a saint (If there was an award for holding a grudge, she would have been a contender) but she was a pretty good model for me and she was seeing me as an adult. Sort of. Finally. Maybe. ;)

After dinner we were gathered in the family room. I was playing on the floor with J and mom and dad were in their "his and her" recliners. My mom said, "Well, I have my granddaughter and my blue-eyed grandson." (My mom and my husband have blue eyes, we now have two blue-eyed boys and three hazels) It was a strange comment, but she sounded content. As the evening wore on, it became obvious to me that she wasn't feeling well. I tried to convince her to go to the ER but she said she was "fine". I said, "Don't you want to see your grandson grow up?" Sensitive? Yep, that's me. She gave me "the look", said she was "just tired" and I shut up.

The last time I spoke to my mom was when I called that evening to let them know I had arrived home safely.

My mom died on December 16, 1995 late in the afternoon. When the ambulance brought her in, she told the doctors that she couldn't stay long because she still had a lot of wrapping to do.

So today as I recall my dad's birthday I remember the last day I spent with my mom and I am thankful for those memories of tender pot roast, a warm family room and the look of joy on her face when she watched J play.

Thank you for your joy, Mom. I think you're getting quite a kick out of the antics of your grandsons as you watch from Heaven.
-wishing you peace and blessing during this glorious season of JOY.

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