I am 60 years old, and this will be my first official Mother’s Day without a mother on this earth. And to be perfectly honest, I am not looking forward to it.
I am grateful though, for all the moments, days, and years I had with my mother. I am so also grateful that my mother knew Jesus Christ as her Savior and that she pointed all three of her children toward Him every day of our lives.
In fact, right before she died a few weeks ago, I reminded her that very few women come to the end of their journey and are able to thank God that all of her children, their spouses, her grandchildren, their spouses, and even her great-grandchildren have declared Jesus as Lord.
I whispered and told her, “You did it, Momma! You brought us all to the feet of Jesus. Well done, good and faithful servant!”
But despite that amazing blessing and despite the steadfast hope of eternal life with Christ Jesus, I am still living here and now in an earthly body – and I miss my momma.
I miss talking to her, seeking her godly council, relaying the latest grandchild anecdote to her, and sharing my prayer concerns with her. I miss her voice, her smell, her cool, gentle touch, and the quiet, calm of her presence.
I miss knowing that she would always speak the truth to me, no matter the pain or the cost. I miss looking into her eyes and hearing her laughter. I miss the sheer wisdom and insight she had to share about people and places and situations.
I even miss trying to patiently explain how to operate her cell phone and navigate her Facebook page. And I already miss her reminding me that if I would just take the time to make my bed first thing in the morning, I would always have something to look forward to at the end of a tough day.
I will miss the way she always had some little gift waiting on me, a new bracelet or book or even a hand-me-down shirt or a piece of pottery. Sometimes, she would simply slip a few dollars into my hand as I walked away from her. No one ever left her presence without a gift of some sort.
And I will forever miss her cooking.
My heart literally sinks when I think of never sitting down to her table again. It was the one place where I could bring my joys, my troubles, my questions, and leave them with her – right beside my empty coffee cup and the crumbs of my half-eaten piece of baklava or cheesecake.
Speaking of baklava, who in the world will take the time to make that for us now that Momma is gone? And if one of us could make it, would it ever taste the same? I doubt it, and I know we will never be able to make and roll out enough fresh pasta for our entire family.
All of the grandkids are already mourning the fact that they will never have Mamaw’s homemade pancakes again. Who else will stand patiently for hours making Saturday morning pancakes until every kid (and grownup) in the house is full and satisfied?
Who will think to have warm sausage balls ready for Mamaw’s little hunters to stuff in their pockets on the first cool morning of dove hunting season? And who will make the pralines for Christmas? Or the cream puffs or the peanut butter fudge?
And who will teach the new grandbabies how to count by making peanut butter cookies and crisscrossing the fork on them – one, two, three, four? Who will take the time to write out silly stories filled with rhyming, three and four-letter words, so that learning to read is fun and easy for our sweet babies?
I just keep wondering – who can possibly do all the countless, selfless things that Momma always did for us? Who?
These are questions I am not ready to answer and barely able to ask. It’s just too soon!
So, instead, I have been deploying the traditional Southern-girl coping skill – total avoidance of the issue. Every single day, I just resolve to think about it tomorrow.
But now, tomorrow is upon me. Mother’s Day is coming, and I cannot avoid the weight of the truth – my mother is no longer here. She has gone on to our forever home, where her celebration is ongoing!
Until the rest of us join that never-ending, eternal celebration, it’s up to me and my siblings to carry on my mother’s legacy of faith and family. And therein lies the heartache.
Where do we even begin to fill the gaping hole Momma left in our hearts and our lives? Because it wasn’t just what she did for us, though her acts of selfless service were many. It was how she did them.
Everything our mother touched and every act she completed was filled with her love and her prayers. She was ministering to us through her words AND her deeds. Yes, she had the heart of a mother for her family. But more than that, she had the heart of a Christian mother, and her kind of love was willing to give all she possessed for those she loved.
How can we ever replace such sacrificial love? Is it possible? Where would we even begin?
Well…as I have written these words, cried a bit, and then prayerfully looked back over them, I believe a good place to start might be with the pancakes.
I mean, seriously, I can make pancakes; I have made them a million times before for my own kids.
So, when we all come together as a family for this next holiday, I will get out the griddle, mix up the batter, and act like I know exactly what to do.
I will laugh and complain and joke with each one of the grandbabies. I will simply stand there and flip pancakes till every little (and big) belly is full, and I will purposefully put a piece of Mamaw’s love into every single plate.
Then, I will clean up my mess and put the griddle away till the next family gathering.
Yep, that’s a good place to start!
See, I got this. No big deal! I can make the pancakes, for sure.
But I can tell you this right now – somebody else is going to have to make the baklava and pralines.