Wednesday, June 18, 2008

There Are Times

There are times I've probably said all of the old cliched sayings many times before.

Things like:

-Time heals all wounds.

-It's so wonderful that she's no longer in pain and now she's in a better place.

-I know just how you feel.

-It'll get easier as time goes by.

-Don't be sad, you'll see her again one day.

Although I've said them all before, know without a doubt that they are said in love and kindness, and know in my heart that many are true, there are times on days like today- the 6th anniversary of my sweet mother's death- they are simply empty words that do nothing to soothe my aching and breaking heart.

It's been six years since I stood by my precious mother's bedside, held her hand, and told her that it was okay for her to leave us.

I so vividly remember standing there, with my heart absolutely, positively breaking and lying to her over and over and over again saying...........

"It's okay Mommy- we are going to be fine. You've loved us enough for a lifetime and I know you're tired of fighting and it's okay. We will miss you but I know how tired you are it's okay to stop fighting now. I promise that Madison will grow up knowing you and knowing how much you loved her. She will not forget her amazing Nana- I promise. So it's okay- you go and be with Jesus and we will see you soon."

I stood there lying to her while every fiber of my being wanted to scream at the top of my lungs.........

"Please, please, please don't go Mommy, please don't leave me. Don't leave us. We need you. I need you and I love you and I don't know how to live my life without you. I can't do this. I need you. Please, please, please don't go."

It's only through the strength God gave me that day that I was able to stand there and say what she needed to hear. It was ONLY because of Him I said the words that I believe she needed to hear.

She was my best friend, my biggest cheerleader, my safe place when things were bad, my protector, my comforter, my precious Mommy.

I miss her as much today as I did 6 years ago- and sometimes even more so.

There are times when I have to stop myself from thinking about her-and literally make myself think of something or someone else because I am fearful that if I do think about her that the grief will overwhelm me. I'm afraid that I will start crying, and never be able to stop.

There are times when I allow myself to cry and remember and I feel the pain of her absence so strongly that I feel that it will overtake me. I think of all the stories I never got to hear her tell, the conversations we never got to have, the holidays we never got to share, all the lessons she never got to teach me, all the laughs and tears we never got to share and I feel so cheated. And my heart breaks a little.

There are times when I start remembering all the amazing things about her and all that was lost when she died. The world was a better place with her in it. And it stinks that the world no longer has her. And it makes me angry. And my heart breaks a little.

There are times when I think that I was robbed of such an amazing mother. I was not prepared or ready at the age of 32 to lose my mother. I wasn't done growing up, I wasn't done needing her, I wasn't done loving her and being loved by her. And my heart breaks a little.

There are times when I watch Maddie dance and I cry because my Mommy never got to see her dance and I know how much she would have absolutely loved it. She never got to truly know the girl that is my amazing and precious daughter. And my heart breaks a little.

There are times when I realize that Maddie has now been alive longer without knowing my mom than she has been alive knowing my mom. She has more memories without her than with her. And although she has memories of my mother and we try hard to tell her stories and all the wonderful things about my mother, she does not truly know the wonderful woman that was her Nana. And I hate, hate, hate that. And my heart breaks a little.

And then when there are times- like today- when I think that my grief will overwhelm me, that the tears will never stop, that thankfully and mercifully my Savior reminds me of His promises in Lamentations 3:22-23 where He says:

Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young. Let him sit alone in silence, for the LORD has laid it on him. Let him bury his face in the dust—there may yet be hope. Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him, and let him be filled with disgrace. For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.

And those promises? They comfort me. And I heal a little.

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  1. Oh Shannon, I am sorry that there is still such a great hole in your heart. I cried the whole way though this post. I know the pain you feel. I feel the same about my grandma. As I read this I thought so much about her.
    Love you my friend.

  2. I am so sorry for what you are feeling S, what a beautiful post. Our moms are the biggest influence on our lives and you were so very blessed to have such a wonderful relationship with yours. I too look to scriptures for comfort when I remember my mothr's last days. God bless you and hold you nearer to Him on this very difficult day.

  3. Shannon,

    As hard as it is, grief and loving and healing is all in God's time. Yes your heart breaks, but think of the place where your mother is. You know that she sees all and knows all and is most likely very amazed at the mother you are and the young woman that Madison is becoming and is duly proud. Imagine the reunion one day! I know easier said than done sometimes.

    What a beautiful, heartfelt post today my friend.

    Many hugs,

  4. Oh my goodness SweetPea! You could have warned me that this was a 3-hankie post before I got started! Sheesh....
    What an amazingly beautiful post and gosh, it is powerful and moving. Your pain is palpable and acute - and I so wish it wasn't... because it hurts ME to see you hurt, my friend. I can't do anything to make it better for you but to pray for comfort for you... and to drive my tail-end to TX and spend a week trying to make you laugh! That won't take it away but it might help you set it aside for a few days, anyway.
    Now, I gotta go reapply my face. ;o)

  5. I won't say I know how you feel - I don't. I won't say it will get better - it probably won't. I won't say that time will eventually heal the wound - it probably won't. Cry, get angry, miss her, and continue to wish she was will keep her memory alive, my sweet friend. As I read your post, I wondered if Katy and Kelsey or ANYONE for that matter would ever miss me as much as you miss her. I can only hope so. She would be so proud of the woman that you are. I love you - Donna

  6. I agree about the hankie warning above. Oh sweet Shannon - you are such a loving testament to how wonderful your mama was. I am so sorry you're hurting today - all days, but especially today.

  7. There are no heart is with you this morning. Lean on Jesus.

  8. Five years ago my father and our wonderful first puppy passed away within three weeks of each other.

    My father was always my go to guy for anything good or bad. You can imagine my loss.

    I asked a friend who had lost his mother 16 months prior..."does it get any better?" He said, as time passed he found he could put the grief aside for a time, and with each passing week, he was able to put the grief aside for just a little bit longer, but eventually something happens to remind you, and then it comes rushing back at full force.

    I remember someone saying to me..."it will get better", and I thought, "I don't want it to get better, if it means I will feel less awful about their passing." It sounds crazy, I know, but death of a loved one is crazy.

    I live with the loss everyday as you do, for me, it doesn't get easier.

    Take care.

  9. Shannon,
    I've read and reread this again & again over the past 24 hours. It breaks my heart and makes me scared for the time to come when my own mother passes on. I'm sure I've told you that she had a serious brush with cancer a couple of years ago... I was in a state of sheer panic throughout her treatment. What would I do without her??
    Mommys are awful special and just cannot be replaced.
    I don't know what else to say and that is why I've visited your site 14 times without commenting.
    There are just no words.
    I am sad when you are sad. Thank God that He is there for us and gives us strength to get through the heartache.

  10. I am so sorry for your loss and the depth of your grief. I do not know how you feel, I can only imagine. This is so beautifully written and shared!
    I have a sadness in my heart b/c I do not have this kind of relationship with my mother...never have and will not. I want this kind of relationship with my own daughter and it saddens me that my mother has missed out on the opportunity of such a wonderful thing!
    Blessings to your tender heart!