Flowers for Mom
As Mother’s Day was approaching, I found myself dreading it. This would be the first one without Mom, and it was hard to face. Since her death a couple of months ago, grief has hit me in waves and unexpectedly at times. For the most part, I’ve tried to push the thoughts out of my mind in order to keep functioning, to continue doing the day to day things of life.
Yesterday, as I was helping my son with his school work, a thought came into my mind out of the blue. The realization came hard that I can’t call my mother anymore, that I won’t hear her say “I love you”, or her words of encouragement telling me to “keep trying” or “well done”, and that I’ll never have another chance to tell her how much I love her. Never again will I be able to give her flowers, something that always put a beautiful smile on her face.
I thought back to this past Valentines Day. I remembered the smile on Mom’s face when my son and I surprised her with flowers and candy. A few moments later, Dad also surprised her with flowers and candy. Her eyes twinkled like the stars with happiness as she proudly placed her flowers on display. I was reminded of how when I was a child, I used to pick dandelions and other wildflowers for her. She always smiled with pride as she placed them with care into a glass or vase, something like I do now when my son brings me flowers.
As the tears began to fill my eyes, my son looked at me for a moment. Very thoughtfully he said, “It’s ok to miss her. We always miss what we love when it’s not here anymore”. Then he placed his hand on my chest and said, “But what made her special to you will always be in here. That won’t ever be taken away because God put her there in your heart for you”.
Then a new thought began to form in my mind. I was thinking about how even though I found comfort in knowing that Mom was no longer in any pain, and that I would see her again in heaven someday, there was still a lot of sadness and a sense of loss. That’s when it occurred to me, I have lost something! I have lost something that was very precious to me, and I miss it very much! I realized that when you lose something important to you, it takes time to adjust to not having it.
My life is different now, a part of it has changed. It may be hard to accept it and adjust to the change, but change is a constant part of life. And my son is right, even though Mom’s body may be gone, she is still here with me, right here in my heart! Just as all those flowers from over the years have died and are gone, but the pictures of them are still in my memories and the joy they brought is still in my heart.
As I have stated in many of my previous posts, my faith and trust in Jesus is what gives me strength to carry on. And I am so thankful for everything He has done for me. Going through this grieving process is not easy, but I know He is helping me through it. He touches my heart on a daily basis through the comforting and encouraging words of others around me, like my son. He reminds me often of the beauty of His creations, when the rain is followed by sunshine and flowers. And His Word constantly lifts my spirit with the promises of His love for me. His Word also tells me to be helpful and encouraging to others. That is why I am writing this post.
I know that I am not the only one with a grieving heart. The world is full of hurting people. But it is my hope and prayer that my words may find their way to touch another heart that is hurting, to let you know that you are not alone. I want to tell you that there is hope, that even in the midst of pain, you can have peace and comforting. Jesus never promised that life would be easy, but He did promise that with Him, the burdens would be made bearable. A part of my heart may be hurting in missing my Mom, but Jesus gave me another part of my heart where there is joy in remembering the love we shared.
At first, I didn’t think I wanted to celebrate this Mother’s Day. I thought it would be too painful. But I have decided that even though I know there will be tears, I am going to celebrate it anyway. In memory of my Mom, and in honor of God’s gift of having known her love, I am buying flowers to give away. I am also giving away copies of my book, Faith, Hope & Miracles. And I will be spending the day with my youngest son, building more joyful memories to fill our hearts, and praising God for creating mothers.
I don’t know exactly what it’s like in heaven, but the bible says that “…with God, all things are possible” (Mark 10:27). So I’m asking God to give flowers to all the mothers who are in heaven, and that they know their love is remembered.
Happy Mother’s Day Mom! You are forever in my heart. – Amber
Moments and Memories
By Amber Leggette-Aldrich
On Thursday as we gathered around giving thanks for our Thanksgiving dinner, my mind was filled with memories of all the people I have loved over the years. My thoughts drifted on to loved ones that have passed.
I’ve learned over and over again how quickly life can come to an end, suddenly and without warning, it’s gone. Sometimes we don’t get a chance to say goodbye. There is pain in losing a loved one, but there can also be joy in remembering the love shared.
I received the following poem the day after my oldest son Jason passed away in 2002. It was circulating the internet at the time as a tribute by an unknown author to the victims of the 9-11 attacks on America. Upon further research I discovered the author’s name was Norma Cornett Marek and that she had actually written this poem in 1989 in memory of a lost loved one.
The words of this poem struck very deeply into my heart when I first read them, and 10 years later they still affect me. I am reminded again that it is the moments that we don’t share that become regrets. The moments of love that we do share become the memories that will bring joy and comfort. Never pass up the opportunities that God gives you to share your love with others.
If tomorrow never comes…
If I knew it would be the last time that I’d see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly, and pray the Lord your soul to keep.
If I knew it would be the last time that I’d see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss, and call you back for just one more.
If I knew it would be the last time I’d hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would tape each word and action, and play them back throughout my days
If I knew it would be the last time, I would spare an extra minute or two,
To stop and say “I love you,” instead of assuming you know I do.
So just in case tomorrow never comes, and today is all I get,
I’d like to say how much I love you, and I hope we never will forget.
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance you get to hold your loved one tight.
So if you’re waiting for tomorrow, why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes, you’ll surely regret the day
That you didn’t take that extra time for a smile, a hug, or a kiss,
And you were too busy to grant someone, what turned out to be their one last wish.
So hold your loved ones close today, and whisper in their ear,
That you love them very much, and you’ll always hold them dear.
Take time to say “I’m sorry,” “Please forgive me,” “thank you” or “it’s okay”.
And if tomorrow never comes, you’ll have no regrets about today.
© Norma Cornett Marek ~ 1989
When I contacted Mrs. Marek back in 2002, she kindly granted permission to share her poem, providing proper credit be given.
Norma Marek suffered a massive stroke in 2002, then lost her battle with cancer in July 2004. But before she passed away, she had written many inspirational poems. A book of her poetry was compiled titled “Whispers from the Heart”. I have not been able to locate a current link to purchase the book, but I did find a link to some of her individual works. http://www.heartwhispers.net/
For those that have gone on, may our memories bring us joy in times remembered. For those still present, let us always grab hold of the moments we have and turn them into precious treasures.