There are times I've probably said all of the old cliched sayings many times before.
-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 9th 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 nine 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 9 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.