Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May 10th falls on Mother's Day

Every year instead of checking the calendar to see what day Mother's Day falls on, I check to see where May 10th falls. A few times in the last 22 years it has ended up on Mother's Day. Just like it did in 1987.

On that date I was up at the church getting ready to teach a youth Bible study when Steve walked in and told me there had been an accident. That is all he said but I knew what the rest of the story was going to be. "She's dead isn't she?" were the words that came out of my mouth. Don't ask me how I knew, I just did. Just like I knew something was wrong the day I called to check on her only to hear her crying on the other end of the phone because her husband told her he was moving out. Or the times through Jr. High and High School when one would call the other because we had a feeling things weren't right.

We always called ourselves "twin cousins" because we looked somewhat alike. But it was deeper than that. I used to think about her all the time, remembering all the fun times we had. Remembering the times we cried together and laughed together. When we were younger and all the cousins, aunts, and uncles would gather at my grandmothers' house, Paula and I would always sit together at the dinner table. Until our parents separated us because we couldn't ever finish our meal for the laughter. Almost every time. We would just look at each other and start laughing. We played racketball and laughed. We bowled and laughed. Everything we did, we laughed. Oh, I miss that so much.

I find myself still thinking about all the fun times we had, but more often now I think of when I will see her again. She's gonna be waiting for me at the gate smiling from ear to ear, running to embrace. Michael bought me a 'Women of the Way' piece that is called "Joyous Reunion". The way the two are embracing brings tears to my eyes because I know that is what I have to look forward to. We're going to hold on tight. Sweetness. What a blessed day that will be.

Jesus, tell her hi for me. Tell her I eat a Reese's Cup on our birthdays, on the first snowfall of the year, and if there is another reason to celebrate, just like we always did. Tell her that her grandbabies are beautiful and mine is too. That I have a horse and chickens and a garden. She'll get a kick out of that. Tell her I'm amazingly happy. Then again, maybe You don't have to tell her. I have a feeling she just knows.

Don't you love the 80's hair?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

T is for the Tears

Mrs. Oden stood behind the piano with one hand on the keys and the other up where all her sixth grade students could see as she directed us in music class.  She taught her students from the time we entered the room and took our seats until the time we lined up to return to our classroom. She taught us all the classic holiday songs.

One of those songs has been going through my mind the last week or so. You will probably remember it.

M is for the million things she gave me
O means only that she's growing old :(
T is for the tears she shed to save me
H is for her heart of purest gold
E is for her eyes, the love-light shining
R is right and right she'll always be

Put them all together they spell MOTHER
The word that means the world to me.

It's kind of a funny song to me now. "A million things" seems like a stretch. I know I'm growing old, I really don't want to be sung to about it. The next part is where I've been stuck the last few days: "the tears she shed to save me". We probably never really thought about what we were singing when we were 12 years old. Save from what?

Now that I'm a mom and think back to the times when I was brought to tears for the sake of my children, I can see how that phrase can apply. Save them from everything. There have been times of weeping over physical things, but many more times of weeping over spiritual things. I don't know this for a fact, but I kind of think that all those tears will go into that bottle talked about in Psalm 66. Then my mind keeps going and I think that maybe they those tears are the precious stones that will be poured out of that bottle and stacked up with the gold, silver, wood, hay, and straw that will be tested by fire when I stand in front of my Jesus. If I don't shed tears of joy, of frustration, of petition for my kids, there may not be any shed. I believe there is power in those prayers that are poured out from our hearts like that.

Tonight I went through 16 dozen roses and took the thorns off before we give them to our moms tomorrow. One thing I noticed is that the ones that smelled the best had the most thorns. Interesting, huh?

To Kyle, Adam, Kayla, Hannah, Leah, and Rachel: I'm so very proud to be your mom. I love you more than life.
To Jade, Kevin, and Amber: even though I didn't give birth to you, I pray for you as if I did. I love you that much.
To Eli: you are amazing. Lollie loves you Baby.

I'm so grateful I have something to cry about.