Wow, I love that word – “mom.” It’s just bursting with warmth and hugs and laughter and the smell of yummy things coming from the kitchen. That word means comfort to me even now. I love you.
I would say I hope things are going well for you, but even the thought of using the word “hope” makes me smile. Of course things are going well for you – so very well. Your beauty is more radiant than ever. I wish I could see you now, vibrant and healthy and dancing. I know you are dancing, no matter what you are doing. I close my eyes and see us moving together – to some wonderful Latin samba or the tender strains of a movie theme – and my feet feel the rhythm you passed on to me.
I try to imagine your life now. And I ponder what you are doing with that life. I can’t help but think you have graciously accepted one of two roles. You could be in the kitchen, preparing for a feast. Every ingredient would be so pure, the measures exact, and even those little “just throw it in for fun” moments would be perfect. Or you could be in the garden. Oh how you loved the smell of earth and grass and flowers! I remember walking home from school and finding you busy in the flowerbeds, planting and pruning. To think that now the sun wouldn’t burn that delicate skin and the weeds wouldn’t choke out the blooms – you could stay in those gardens all day.
Mom, what’s it like? What is it like with no more darkness, no more pain, no more sickness, no more evil or hatred or self-centeredness? What is it like to experience only happy tears? What does color look like when there’s no gray?
Gosh, I miss you. There are countless times when I just want to grab the phone and call you to tell you the latest news – “Ian is engaged!” or “I lost my job.” or “I just met my sister – mom, she looks like you!” I cling to the thought that you do see – that you are indeed part of the “great cloud of witnesses” that cheers us on as we continue to live this life. I want to believe you have seen Gina – oh, what an amazing gift she is to all of us! I want to believe you smile when you see our “Petite Assembly” gather around the table for home cooking and fellowship on Sunday nights. I want to believe you still say “isn’t Brad a wonderful husband?” to those standing next to you. And if I’m very quiet, I promise I still hear your voice sing “I love you, a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck…”
Mom, thank you for all you taught me. Thank you for potato soup and dances on the living room rug and how you gently stroked my hair when I was tired. Thank you for the poems you wrote and the laughter that filled every space. Thank you for calling me “beautiful” and “graceful” when I didn’t feel that way. Thank you for telling me I could do anything I set my mind to, and that you loved my strong will because I would stand for something great someday. Thank you for being unafraid to seek God – even when you were angry with Him. And most of all, thank you for the best hugs in the world.
I can’t wait to see you again. May I have the first dance?