Wednesday, March 2, 2016

An Empty Space

This past weekend I was so blessed to be with my sisters in Pheonix for our nieces wedding. It was so beautiful. Whenever I get to spend time with my sisters and brother, I am reminded just how blessed I am. It wasn't until last year that someone gave a name to the deep and abiding feelings I have for them. I have loved my siblings for as long as I can remember. In the last 30 years I have grown closer to both of my sisters and my brother. When other people talk about their siblings I scratch my head. Until recently I had not understood why my feelings were and are so strong for them. I have asked the LORD to please take me first of the four of us. I can't imagine one of them dying before me. I think it would be more than I can bare. That is saying something since Rich and I have buried two of our own children. Apparently what we have is called a "trauma bond". It's a bond that is born from great adversity and yes trauma.

I have always been grateful for who I am and the blessings that God bestows on me. I certainly am a victor and NOT a victim! But there are times when I am acutely aware that there is a hole in my heart that never can be filled. Who would have thought a mother's love could be so powerful.

It wasn't till the moment I held our first baby Serenity that I asked myself, "I wonder what my Mother thought of me the first time she held me?" That was the beginning of the questions I had. As my life has gone on I find myself asking the same question, "what did my Mom think"  The truth is, I am deeply sad that I never knew my mother. Growing up I remember girls asking me, "don't you miss your mother?" It was always asked hush hush. My response was always the same. "What would I do with a mother if I had one? I know how to cook and clean and iron our clothes. What would I need a mother for?" I was truly serious and until the very first time I held our precious first born daughter, that answer was always enough. I could not imagine in a million years having a mother. I had no clue what I was missing. All I knew was I could take care of my siblings and I didn't need anyone.

We are now at the 6 year mark of my husbands illness. We have been robbed of a normal life together. These past years have been a challenge for me, all the way to the depths of my soul. It has had a ripple effect, on our marriage, on our finances, my husbands ministry and yes, especially on our children. Two of our boys spent part of their high school years without a dad coming in from work and just being normal. We have suffered deep loss several times in the past few years.

The picture above is of a woman sitting in a chair next to an empty chair. To me that represents all the loss in my life. I will never get the opportunity to know my mother.  I would never get the opportunity to hear her encouraging words as I tried desperately to be a good mother without even a hint of what a mother is supposed to do. I will never get the opportunity to love and serve her in her old age. I will never get to help her into my car and help her get her seatbelt on and put out my arm of protection if I have to stop suddenly. There is a hole that will never be filled.

Laying in bed in the hotel room this weekend, I thought again of our mother. Apparently she was very creative. She would have loved coming to Robins house and help put all the flowers together for the wedding. She would have been so proud as her granddaughter Hannah walked down the aisle, looking like an angel. I told Hannah at some point this past weekend, she looked like the pictures of her grandmother , tall, slender and elegant. Right before she walked down the aisle, the grandmothers were to be seated. There was only one, from her Dad's side. We could offer no grandmother and that makes me sad.

All I know to do is love my children better. To keep making memories with them as I can. They have always known my love so I doubt they can even comprehend what their mother misses since they never went without a mother. It grieved me greatly when our children were growing up and I had no grandma to give them. I want to be a Grammy to my grands so they could have what I could never give my children.

What about you sweet friend. Is there a hole in your heart? Do you have a Mama that drives you crazy? She can only drive you crazy if she is alive, so count your blessings. Has your Mama already passed but your heart can recall so many memories? Count those memories as a true blessing from God. I am reminded that someday God will indeed wipe every tear away. For that I am truly grateful. I want to encourage you to hold your loved ones a little closer tonight. Thank God for the blessings you do have, even if it is an empty chair.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

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