My New Normal
Mother’s Day is here and I’ll admit my emotions are all over the chart. I lost my sweet mama just under five months ago and the thought of not celebrating with her is surreal. Some days the tears just flow. Other days I’m remembering the special times we had together and I smile. Whether I like it or not, things have changed. Her loss is still fresh and the gaping hole is a mile wide. So how do I cope with the loss of mom this Mother’s Day?
“Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”
Deal with Reality When it Hits
Reality hit me hard recently when I visited one of my favorite stores and ran smack into the Mother’s Day gift and card display. I wasn’t prepared for the swell of emotions that came so quickly. Tears welled in my eyes and my throat tightened. I tried to focus on the good times and steer clear of the sadness I was feeling. It made me think:
- Did I spend enough time with her?
- Could I have been more patient with her?
- Were our conversations filled with kind words?
Remember Her Devotion
I know this–God doesn’t want us to sink in doubt or second guess ourselves. He wants us to remember that a mother and her love is a reflection of His love. He wants us to remember her sacrifices and her devotion to her family.
I was blessed to spend a lot of time with my mom. We lived close and I was able to visit her several times a week. I also made it a priority to talk with her each day–sometimes multiple times a day just to check in.
My patience was tested here and there, especially when it came to decluttering. My sweet mama received enough mail to share with the entire neighborhood and I had a difficult time convincing her that she could throw most of it away. She refused. So I had to concede what was important to me and honor what was important to her.
I would also love to tell you that every conversation we had in the last few years was void of any conflict, but I can’t. She needed to go to her doctor appointments, but sometimes she just wouldn’t. I’m sure I sounded like a mother scolding her daughter, but I did it because I loved her. Then there were times when she would tell us to clean up or throw away, only to supervise what would stay and what could go. Regardless of the discussions, I always made sure at the end of each visit, that I kissed her bye, told her I loved her and that I would see her soon.
Love Like Jesus
That’s all I could do. God’s Word tells us we’re to love unselfishly and fiercely. We’re to be loyal and care for others. Mother’s are special individuals and they deserve our respect, gentleness and kindness, because they are a beautiful example of God’s love.
Right now I would love nothing more than to be with my mama to celebrate her special day. Maybe you feel the same way. Maybe you’re feeling the same sadness and tears because you’ve suffered your own loss.
Whichever it is, I know this–I miss her terribly. Some days I wake up thinking about her with tears rolling down my cheeks. Other days, I smile up at her, tell her I love her, and keep moving forward. That’s what she would want.
Since I can’t see my mama face-to-face to hear her sweet voice or say I love you, I’ll remember her as the best mother ever. I’m grateful for the sacrifices she made for me; for the love she so unconditionally showered, and most importantly, for the legacy she leaves me, my sister, and her grandchildren.
Whether you’re situation is new or you’ve been without your mom for years, it’s okay to cry and grieve. As I encounter yet another first, here are five ways I’m remembering my mama this Mother’s Day. Regardless of the emotions I’m facing, I’m choosing to focus on what I have rather than what I don’t. I hope they help you too.
Honor Your Mom’s Memory
I loved my mom for many reasons but I’m especially thankful for her strength and grace. She faced some tough journeys in her life, but she always came out on the other side a stronger, more confident woman. And she made sure we were raised with those same attributes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25 NLT
Be Thankful for Her Example
I’m grateful for the way my mom treated and cared for others. She was kind, loving and gracious to those around her.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude, it does not insist on its own way, it is not irritable or resentful, it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV
Appreciate Her Influence
I’m thankful for the impact mom had on my life. We don’t always recognize a mom’s powerful influence until years later when we find ourselves in her same shoes.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Ephesians 6:2 ESV
Give Yourself Some Grace
It’s okay to be sad one minute and happy the next. The emotions will come quickly and often, but give yourself some grace. Take time to mourn and grieve–it’s necessary. You’re dealing with the loss of your mom and God is there to guide you every step of the way.
“Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.” John 16:22
Surround Yourself with People You Love
Today I’m choosing to celebrate my daughter, my sister, my nieces and my precious friends. They are women I count on. They are strong, confident, grace and joy-filled women whom I’m thankful are a part of my life and journey.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and to insight, “You are my relative.” Proverbs 7:4 NIV
I’m praying for you this weekend as you cope with the loss your mom. Remember her and thank God for His glorious gift!