like delicate ornaments
hung high out of reach
by thin threads
until with one small bump
to sweep them up.
Tomorrow we will bury my mother’s ashes. This act will bring some physical closure to a long journey. But I suspect emotional closure will take some time and perhaps never happen. There’s also been some sibling conflict and crooked dynamics that have added to the stress and sadness over these months.
I’ve not yet had the time and space, really, to grieve mom’s illness and passing and my own regrets–or at least have a good cry. (Well, maybe I’ve had a couple meltdowns), and so I’ve poured my heart out here and hope you haven’t tired of it.
While I’ve been gone, my daughter struggled through a hard semester of school, my husband adjusted his schedule to help care for her girls, both grandgirls and my son spent time in the emergency room, and I missed Grace’s first game basket (she actually made 6 points and fouled out.)
I’ll go home this weekend to pick up pieces, prepare to celebrate His coming in a simple form, and try to establish some new kind of normal that will likely involve more frequent trips north to spend time with my dad and extended family.
Sissy’s gone back to work this week (though she’s worked remotely throughout these months as well). Her boss, the bishop, and all of her coworkers and friends have been incredible. I wanted to do a deep clean of her house for her before I left, but that’s not going to happen. I won’t even finish my thank-you note chores.
I’ll spend time after Christmas reviewing this year that began with my daughter’s major surgery and included my son’s wedding, my dad’s brain bleed (for which I had bags packed but did not come), two vacations, and two writing conferences, and two books that didn’t materialize.
Then there was my mom’s fall the end of August, a brief nursing home stay, a brain biopsy in mid October that proved she had an aggressive brain cancer (glioblastoma multiforme), and her death only five weeks later. I’ll always treasure the time spent with her and my Sissy and my dad in those last days.
I’ll spend some time reassessing my own life and how I’ll spend my time going forward. I’ll begin to organize my own affairs and consider my own legacy. Because we just never know what tomorrow or even the next moment will bring, and I’m the family matriarch now.
And I’ll remember that though people and life change, He never does.
That He came to be wounded to heal our wounds.
That He came to die so we can live.
Thanks, friends, for hanging with me through this time. I’m deeply grateful for your love and thoughts and prayers and calls and texts and comments and posts and tweets and wisdom and comfort and virtual hugs.
You are family.
I unwrap Jesus in you every day.
The photo above is of a fragile ornament my mother-in-law (whose mother came from Sweden) gave me many, many years ago.
God Jul, it says. Merry Christmas.
Linking with Ann and Bonnie and Emily.
I never tire of you pouring you heart out here. You tell the truth and, even as you do, proclaim, “I believe that God is, and He is good.”
God Jul, indeed.
This space has been therapy for me, for sure. I’m determined not to have a blue Christmas. 🙂
May your journey back be filled with memories of love and smiles. Love and Light your way.
Thanks so much for coming by. Enjoy your pause. Rest and refresh.
Kathy Robbins says
Beautiful poem. I feel honored to call you my friend. Life-we can’t live with it; we can’t live without it, can we? Sending love your way.
Sending love right back to you. Friends in this life–and the next. Grateful for you, Kathy.
No, no, no dear Sandy – we will never tire of this good work you’re doing in this space. Yes, the burial does mark one kind of closure. But you’re right – it continues for a long time and parts of it stay with us forever. That’s how God wired us. This poem is lovely and true, just like YOU, dear one. Oodles of blessings and love winging their way from southern CA (which for us is freezing cold today – 30’s and 40’s). May your heart be warmed as you do this time of assessment and re-assessment. You have been faithful. Yes, you most definitely have.
You. You have been on my heart so often. That we have connected on so many levels. A blessing. Yes.
I feel your heartbeat. God is good. He will guide your steps.
He’s placed people like you in my path to share in the journey. He is good. Yes.
You like to make me tear up don’t you. Beautiful writing. I want a book to read that you write. I can close out the world when I read your blog. Love you!!!
Love. You. More.
Thank you for pouring your heart out here. I will never tire of it. Praying for you this week.
Thanks so much, Barbie. I’ve felt it. I have.
Megan Willome says
Beautiful poem, Sandy.
No, you haven’t grieved yet, and you may not for a while yet. Looking back, I don’t even remember the first two months after my mom died. The grieving didn’t really kick into gear until after the fog and fragility lifted.
Somewhere I read that for several weeks (months) after losing a loved one, you may feel like you are sleepwalking. I get that. Love to you, my sweet friend.
Lynn Mosher says
My dear, sweet chocolate-covered-Brussels-sprouts-eating friend…you have had a full plate this year, a medley of all things that have nourished you in one way or another. But I think in this new year, you will have your sweet desserts! The Lord will bless you mightily. I wonderful post as always! Love you!
I can’t see a Brussels sprout any more without thinking of you. 🙂 Love you much, Lynn.
Carol J. Garvin says
Friendships strengthen during the sharing of difficult times. I hope today you feel especially bolstered by the prayers and loving support of your many friends who have been holding you up before God. So often, though, people say caregivers receive more than they give, and it’s true for us. You have been such a blessing as you’ve shared your journey with us here.
As tired as I am, Carol, it’s true. The blessings I’ve received over the last few months have far outweighed anything I’ve given. In the memories made with my mother and Sissy and Dad these last days. In the love freely lavished by friends I’ve never even met fact-to-face–yet.
imperfect prose says
oh, friend, crying…. for you… for the hard of it all, for the beauty and shimmer of a season filled with the birth of a baby born to die… how i long for heaven, when there will be no more tears. love you.
No. More. Tears. To look forward to that as we look forward to Him in the shimmer of this season. I’m so glad I’ll be able to spend eternity with you, Em.
Louise G says
I think it is that we never tire of loving the one’s we miss, but the grief does lessen and the sorrow wane as we grow deeper in our Love.
Many hugs to you. Safe journies.
I think you are so right. And we can allow our grief to wither us or grow us. Love to you.
Cecilia Marie Pulliam says
You are such a sweet caring person, Sandy. You do so much for others, now it’s time to allow others to do for you. God bless you and your family this Christmas and New Year. You are always in our prayers.
Oh, Ceci. Thank you. My dad has a hard time allowing others to do for him. I told him it was a gift he could give to them to let them. I should take my own advice. Bless you for being my friend.