An Open Letter to My Mom, 14 Years Later

Dear Mom,

Today marks 14 years since you stepped into eternity. Some days it feels like a million years since I have seen your smile. Some days the pain of your absence feels like it started yesterday.

I still scratch my head and wonder why you had to go so soon. I no longer am angry that you were taken too early. I can now see how your death forced me to learn new things, grow in my faith, and allow other people to become my family. I just wish things could have been different. I try to encourage people around me to be thankful that their parents are around. They can’t truly comprehend what I am saying, but they are gracious in listening to me remind them what a blessing it is to have parents that are alive.

You would be so proud of your grandkids. It breaks my heart when I talk about you that the boys don’t have any idea of who you are. I have to remind them every time that they have never met you. Ashley is a knockout. She is also strong willed, intuitive, and in many areas of life, wise beyond her years. Samuel is kind hearted and musical. That kid can play the drums! When he puts on his glasses and flashes me a smile, I see you. Josiah is a kick! He makes us laugh all the time. He has silly facial expressions and comes up with one liners that have us rolling. He is also fiercely competitive yet a snuggler. Daniel is a thinker and very artistic. He can draw, paint, and sculpt. He has your artistic side.

Josh and I are doing great. I know when you passed you were worried. I am here to tell you, no need to worry. Josh is a wonderful husband and father. He is my biggest cheerleader, sounding board, helpmate, and comic relief on call. Over the last 14 years we have been through 2 pregnancies, 3 babies, 2 moves, 3 career changes, 4 deaths, a tumor scare, heath issues, calling struggles, and financial trials. Through it all it has caused our love for one another to deepen.

Mom, I miss you. I miss talking to you. I miss your wisdom. I miss your expertise. I miss your hugs. I wish we could sit and talk about life. I wish I could call you to come help me clean my kitchen.

Thanks for being my mom for 25 years. Thanks for showing me how to trust Jesus with every aspect of my life.

I love you.

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The First Week Of October

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This first week in October is always a week mixed with great emotions. October 5th is my mom’s birthday. She would have been 64 this year. October 8th will be 19 years since my dad died.

It is so hard.

My Dad died at 46 and my mom 5 ½ years later at the age of 50. Dad’s death was sudden. No goodbyes. No closure. Here one minute, gone the next.

My mom fought inflammatory breast cancer for over 2 years. Each day the cancer consumed more of her body. It was a slow, sometimes invisible death.

Both types of death are painful. Both deaths left me, in my early twenties, without parent. It is interesting when you lose both your parents, you lose them physically and their daily impact in your life, you also lose a part of your past and history. I have no idea if my kids show similar characteristics of me as a child. I have no one to ask.

As I reflect on this week many thoughts, emotions, and memories flood my mind. Here are some:

  1. Loss sucks! My daughter will never have the opportunity for my mom to take her on girl trips, sleepovers, and do fun grandma things. My boys will never be able to learn how to pitch like my dad did when he played in the minor leagues for the Dodgers. They won’t learn embarrassing stories about their mom. There are gaping holes in our family history. Our story is missing the beginning. Loss hurts. I don’t have parents to call and ask them to watch kids for the date night. I don’t have a mom who will help with my family when I am sick. I don’t have a dad to talk leadership studies with. Loss hurts.
  2. Foundation is important. I am so incredibly thankful that I had two amazing parents. They loved each other. They had fun together. They worked through tough things together. They trusted God with all that they had, were, and believed. They modeled a healthy marriage. Because of their hard work and dedication to our family, I have a solid foundation to stand on. My kids are who they are today in part because of the foundation my parents laid.
  3. Trust in God is what has kept me going. At a young age I surrendered my life to Jesus. I committed to live for him all the days of my life. I believe that he loves me, cares about me, and has my best interest in mind. I believe that, though I don’t understand why this happened, I can trust the one who created the world. He has proven over and over again that he cares about every detail of my life. His past faithfulness demands my present trust.

This week, rather than dwelling on what I don’t have, I am choosing to celebrate the life and legacy that was given to me. I stand on that strong foundation they toiled over. I continue to trust the creator of the universe with my life and the life of my family.

Thanks Dad and Mom for being you. Thank you for being awesome parents.

I miss you!