The month of June holds much significance in my life. It’s a month of remembering great loss and new beginnings. I truly believe the Lord strips away another layer of sorrow and loss from my life every year. Twenty five years ago my brother and I lost our mother. I was twenty two and my brother was four and a half. I know with all my heart that God prepared me ahead of time for her death. I really didn’t understand it and found myself taking blame where I truly had no control.
I recall the morning quite vividly as I was braiding my daughters hair getting her ready to see her great grandmother on her father’s side. One of my uncles came to my house to tell me that my mother had died and my first response was “Don’t play with me like that!” but his response stopped me cold. There I was holding my daughters hair in a half braid and his words pierced through me like a long dull spear. “Do you think I came over here to tell you a f’n joke?” Then he broke down crying. All I could do was sit there.
I don’t really remember feeling any emotion, I became instantly numb. I didn’t believe it. I didn’t want to believe it. Surely there was a hidden camera somewhere and this was a sick joke.
My uncle drove me to my grandmothers house and when I got out of the car my little brother came running toward me. He put his little arms around my legs and looked up at me with big serious eyes and declared “the fan killed our mommy”. He associated her cold body with the fan that was blowing on her through the night. His words shattered my unbelief and I knew it was true. Our mom was gone.
The last time I saw my mother alive was right after Mother’s Day when I brought my daughters to see her and my grandmother. We had some serious conversations that day about my life. My life was a mess during that time. I lied to her about something that day and she knew I lied but never let on that she knew. The day she died that lie haunted me. It kept ringing in my head. I felt like such a terrible person.
So much happened that weekend and throughout the next week in preparation for the funeral. I had several conversations with family members who shed light on many things that I might not had known about my mom. I’m grateful to those family members.
My mother and I had a huge fall out about nine months prior to her death. I didn’t speak to her for three months. Then one day I just knew I had to make amends with her. It was right before Christmas that I stopped by to see her and as I look back today I am so thankful. I’ve never been one to hold grudges long and three months was a long time to be mad at my mother.
I was pregnant with my son when mom passed and I knew I had to keep my emotions in check. My great aunt died when I was pregnant with my second daughter and I became so depressed through that pregnancy that it affected my daughter. She was one crying child and didn’t like anyone! I couldn’t let that happen again. So I grieved for my mom for one day and let it go. Truly I don’t know how that happened but it did. I read the entire New Testament of the Bible over the next months and I’m sure that helped.
Over the next seven years I allowed myself to grieve twice a year, on her birthdate and her death date. It was a long process. I cannot say I will ever truly be over the loss of my mother at a time when I really needed her. My brother needed her more. He was so young and would not have the memories that I had. She loved my brother so much. I thought he would be able to have the childhood I didn’t have with her. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.
Today I think of my mom and wish I had one last phone call, one last hug, one last kiss, one last bag of popcorn and sweet tea, one last Chinese dinner, one last laugh, one last cry, one last chance to hear her yell at my dad to buy us dinner, one last chance to see her smile.