Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Smiles and Teardrops

Labor Day Week-end is always a special week-end for me, however, this year is much different.      I was born on Labor Day week-end and am celebrating my birthday today. .    It's much different this year as it will be my first birthday without my Mother.   My mother loved to shop and when birthdays would come, she would shop with a passion looking for that perfect gift.    The last several years of her life were harder for her to get out for any length of time so she shopped through magazines and absolutely loved QVC.    The gifts were always perfect, but more importantly, I was blessed to see the joy as she wrapped the gift to perfection and she waited with eager anticipation as you opened the gift.    This year, there will be no gifts to open from her, but the gifts that she gave me were worth more than any gift I could possibly open.     This blog is dedicated to my sweet Mother and so I thought it fitting to share some of my thoughts and experiences that have happened since losing her and this week-end.    

After losing my mother, tears would flow at the drop of a hat.     With each holiday, my sister's birthdays, and Mother's Day, I would put on a smile, but inside, my heart broke.       Just because she was gone didn't mean that I would ever stop loving her or that I would ever forget her.    If anything, it only made me love her more.     Over the last few months, I started going through her pictures and would smile as memories of her would flood my memory.   

Going through the pictures helped with healing as instead of shedding tears each time I would think of her, I could concentrate on what was instead of what wasn't.     Friday nights were an evening that I would visit with her, take her out to eat, and spend time with her.    In the beginning when a Friday night would come, I could barely hold myself together.    Now, I'm grateful that I took the opportunity to be with her, hold her hand, and enjoy her company.       As I mentioned, my mother loved to shop.    It isn't something that I can't wait to do, but it was an experience with her.     At Christmas time, we would visit store after store looking for a gift for everyone on her list.     They were never extravagent gifts, but they were given from her heart.      The last time I took her out shopping was at Christmas time and I rented a wheelchair so she wouldn't tire as easily.     I was exhausted after several hours, but so glad we went and I have that memory.  

My mother never loved cooking and wasn't shy about telling you that it wasn't her favorite activity.    She joked that she wouldn't mind if her home didn't have a kitchen because she was rarely in it.     All this and still a cup of tea would still taste better when she made it.     I remember having her make scrambled eggs and toast when I was sick and she made them to perfection (eggs not runny and toast just lightly browned).    I also remember having her take the popsicle or fudgsicle off the stick because I never liked (and still don't) the feel of the stick in my mouth.     She may not have loved the kitchen, but these memories bring a smile to my face as I work in my own kitchen hopefully making good memories for my own family.      

While walking our dog, Jazz, on the sixth month anniversary of my mother's death, the day started off hard.     I was missing her and tears starting to roll down my cheek.    I began to pray and asked God to help me through the day.     I looked down on the ground and saw this:

A perfect shaped heart in the grass.     God had answered my prayer as he showed me that he was still guarding my heart by showing me his.      Instead of sadness, I felt joy as I knew she was with him.    She was healed.     Her heart was now strong,   She no longer suffered.     She was in his care.     A smile came across my face and the day was a little easier.    

This week-end, I spent some time in my garden.     My heart was breaking as I anticipated my birthday coming up.    When I say this, it sounds selfish and I guess it is.      So, again, I prayed and you won't believe it, but in my garden I found this flower.

This flower isn't suppose to be blooming this time of the year, but it is.     This flower is the one that my mother enjoyed the most in my garden.     She always commented on how beautiful they were.    In the midst of heartbreak, there was plenty of beauty as long as I looked for it.   All I could imagine were plenty of flowers and beauty all around her.    How could I possibly not be smiling for her?         

The day got a little better as I took Jazz out for another walk in the yard.    I looked down and saw this; another heart guarding my heart as I smiled and a tear fell down my cheek.   

I love and miss you, Mom.  


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