There have been times in my life when I was going through the hard stuff and it felt as though I was the only one who had ever walked that path before, but every once in a while God would gift me with someone who had journeyed down that same road.
Those people God provided for me were a gift.
They gave me hope and they gave me strength.
MOMentous Monday is my gift to you. It is my way of reaching more of you in hopes that you would not feel alone.
On MMs we go there. We talk about the hard stuff… divorce, depression, loss, infidelity, you name it.
Here is how it works… on MOMentous Mondays I turn the mic over to someone who has a story I think you need to hear. I only have so much to offer and so many life experiences to share. However, I am surrounded with beautiful women with amazing stories of trial, struggle, and redemption. I am determined to use this space to bless more women with the bravely shared stories of others.
This blog is not about me, it is for us.
Today my sweet friend Keri is sharing her heart, pain, questions, and struggles about the loss of her beautiful mother. I sat around a MOPs table watching Keri walk through the process of losing her beloved mama. Her hurt was deep, her frustration was justified, but her faith was strong.
The raw emotion she pours out is so real, so raw, and so honest. I am grateful for her authenticity. I am grateful that people are going to be able to see that you can hurt badly and still keep your eyes on Him. He is not afraid of your questions, He is not afraid of your anger, and no matter your hurt… He is always worthy of our praise and gratitude.
As we approach the year anniversary of my little mom’s passing, disbelief still haunts me.
Since she died, I still move, still mother, still love. I try to be a good wife. A good friend. A good sister. I try to have a strong and faithful relationship with the Lord, even though it is He who has allowed this to happen. Even though I have been angry with Him for permitting my mom’s suffering, then my loss, I still go to mass as often as I can. I still pray. I still make the sign of the cross on my baby boy’s head as I am laying him down for the night. I still ask the Lord to keep my family happy and healthy, mostly out of fear for watching someone else I love go through the same thing my mom did.
But I have tried to remain faithful and live my life with my faith bigger then my fear.
I think my mom is proud of me. I just wish I could hear those words spoken from her lips, with that infectious smile, saying, “Keri Leigh, I knew you could do it, and I couldn’t be more proud of you honey.” What I would give to hear that. What I would give to smell her, to hug her.
A year has gone by, and it still feels like yesterday. I walk around this earth, and something constantly nags at me. Something is always missing. I feel as though I am forgetting something, every day of my life.
I look at her pictures and without even thinking about it, I find myself shaking my head, in disbelief. In disgust. In anger. In sadness. How can I go from talking to her almost every single day of my life, to not talking to her for an entire year?
I ask God, “why?” Why has he allowed this suffering? Why has he allowed such a beautiful soul, so full of love and life, be taken from her life here on earth? Be taken from us.
I know she feels like her life was complete.
But I don’t.
I can’t shake the feeling that she was cheated.
That we were cheated.
I tell myself that God has a plan, and it’s not for us to understand. It doesn’t make me feel any better.
People often say, “only the good die young” or “it was her time.”
Is that supposed to make this an easier pill to swallow?
Am I supposed to say, “Oh! That makes perfect sense.”
Because it doesn’t.
It makes no sense at all.
I still pray, and I still try be the person that God, and my mom want me to be.
As I watch the snow fall, I think of my mom.
When the leaves changed from green to yellow, or red, or orange, I thought of my mom.
When the thunder bellowed, I thought of my mom.
When the birds sang on warm summer evenings, I thought of my mom.
When my 4-year-old says something hilarious, my first instinct is to call my mom. 888-9023. But that number belongs to someone else now.
Now I just talk to myself when I want to tell her something, hoping her heavenly ears are listening.
Everything reminds me of her.
But I keep moving, keep praying, keep living the way she raised me, because all I want is for her to be proud of me, and to be able to see her again someday.
For those of you who have not experienced great loss, I envy you, but please don’t think for one minute, a year is a long time to grieve. If you think that time heals all wounds, you are mistaken. Maybe in 10 years, I will feel differently. But right now, all I feel is the hole in my heart, that my mother’s physical love once filled.
I look at our Christmas tree, and remember sitting in front of it last year wondering when I was going to wake up from this nightmare.
I never did.
In fact, I’m still waiting.
It is surely a different kind of Christmas this year. I listen to the Christmas music playing and it is incredibly bittersweet, because my emotions for a once loved and greatly celebrated holiday, are now mixed. While I want to celebrate our Savior’s coming, it is hard, because 5 days after He came, my little mom took her last breath while my face was buried into her neck, breathing in her living scent for the very last time. That is something I will never, ever forget.
I went to confession 2 weeks ago, and confessed to being angry with God. Cursing Him. Using His name in vain. My priest said it was understandable to feel this way. He said it was ok. He said that in my darkest hour, even though sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, He is closest to me. Sometimes I feel that. And sometimes I am comforted by it. He asked me to thank God for giving me my beautiful mom, for blessing me with 35 years of her loving presence, so I did. Though it wasn’t nearly enough, 60 years wouldn’t have been enough either.
So I will continue to move, to mother and to love.
I will continue to pray and let my faith be my guide.
I promised my mom that I would keep God close, and even though I am angry, we are closer than ever.
I owe that, along with everything good and pure in my life, to my dear little mom, and in turn, to our gracious God.
“Nothing in life will call upon us to be more courageous then facing the fact that it all ends. But on the other side of heart break, is wisdom.” Author unknown
Keri, I have said it before and I will say it again… I am so sorry for you loss. I am so sorry for your hurt. Thank you for being honest, vulnerable, and transparent. I will continue to pray for you and your broken heart.
If any of you sweet readers out there have a story you’d be willing to share… I would love to have you.
Let’s continue to give pain a purpose by blessing people with our stories