It’s hard to believe it’s been over 25 years since I lost my mom. I hardly feel old enough to have been without her for so long; I’m only 43 years old, and it seems like 17 was a whole other lifetime ago. Actually, it was, because when I turned 34, I reached the age at which I had lived as long WITHOUT her as I had lived WITH her. God willing, in a little over 5 years I’ll reach 49, the age when she died. From that point, on I’ll always be older than my mom ever got to be.
I guess I’ll always measure my life in terms of before- and after- I lost my mom. I miss her every day, and time hasn’t done anything to take away the sting of losing her because each new milestone for me is a milestone I can’t share with her. She’s missed telling us about motherhood and holding her grandchildren, she’s missed proms and graduations, she’s missed joys and sorrows, triumphs and defeats.
She’s missed watching us grow up, and we’ve missed having adult relationships with her, the kind where all the pieces fall into place and you finally get to thank her for all the times she encouraged you, or prevented you from doing something you’d later regret. The times where you tell her how RIGHT she was about this, or how WRONG she was about that, the times where you laugh until you cry, or you cry until there are no more tears left.
There have been many times over the years when I’ve thought about what she would say or do in a certain situation, and her wisdom has continued to guide me. I’ve marveled at how I’ve continued figuring her out, and how she’s still influenced me after all these years. And I’ve been amazed at how getting older and walking through some of the things she walked through has given me the perspective to understand her life and come to terms with losing her so suddenly.
And while I know it may never get any easier to bear than it is right now, because nothing will bring her back, at least I feel like it has already been as bad as it’s ever going to be. While this pain will never go away because I will never stop missing her, I take tremendous comfort in knowing she has gone to be with the Lord, and she’s safe in His arms. And while I’m here and she’s there, that’s one comforting thing we’ll always have in common. God bless.