Since Jonathan- I mean Fritz- recently posted about missing our childhood, all sorts of thoughts and feelings in me have been bubbling to the surface so I thought I’d try to write them down. They may not be very coherent, but here they are.
I really miss my mom. So many times have I asked God why He took her away from me. Did He really have to take my mentor away? Did He really have to take away the one person who could understand how I was feeling usually better than I knew myself? Did He really have to take away my best friend?
Whenever I do something new with the house- maybe paint a mural of a giant coffee cup in my kitchen or a red-winged blackbird in the front hall- I always wonder what Mom would have thought about it. Most likely, she would have looked at my latest work of art and smiled hugely and said “Oh, how cool!” and she would have stared at it and gone on to say what exactly she liked about it and how great the colors looked. And then she would have talked to Joshua to make sure that he appreciated this work of art in his home as much as she did (and of course, he would have.) And then she would have asked me if I’d be willing to paint something in her house next. And I’d know that she meant every word of praise that she said because she’s the one who taught me to be creative in the first place.
My mom taught all of her kids to go against the grain of society and to be interesting, creative people. And since my style of creativity most resembled hers I always felt that she had a special appreciation for my art. She was the master artist and we kids were the apprentices. And now the master is gone and it’s up to us, her children, to share art and beauty and creativity with this gray world. Now I’m the master artist in my home and I am teaching my children to be artists. But sometimes I wish my master were back here. Sometimes I don’t want to be the master. Sometimes I wish I were still the apprentice.
There are many times when I’ll be struggling with a some issue and I’ll remember something mom said years ago and then I’ll know what do or how to respond in the situation. I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be and I hope that when the time comes for me to leave my grown children that they will be able to see some wisdom in my words and actions.
I’d hate for someone to think that just because I write about my mom that I don’t appreciate or admire my dad. It’s quite the contrary, I assure you. Rarely a day goes by in which I don’t talk to my dad and quite often both Joshua and I turn to him for advice and guidance. My dad is my pastor, my daddy and my friend. And even though he may deny this, he is very wise and I have been extremely blessed to have been raised by this man.
I think the greatest thing about my parents was the balance they created. Mom was artistic and emotional and Dad was logical and rational. My dad taught us to think. My mom taught us to feel. As parents they balanced each other out so that we kids were taught to have a proper amount of both art and logic.
But even though I still have my dad, I miss my mom. Moms are the ones who comfort us when we’re down. Moms are the ones who can sense when we’re under too much stress and then offer to babysit so that we can get out of the house for a bit. Moms are also the ones who can explain and sympathize with the funny quirks of pregnancy, parenting and marriage. Dads give wisdom and guidance. Moms give hugs and warm meals.
I keep telling myself that if God took my mom away that means that I don’t need her anymore. It’s hard to believe sometimes, but when I’m feeling the emptiness of the hole that my mom left I have to know that God has provided something else to fill it. My mom will never be replaced, of course, but somehow God has brought me to the point of not needing her anymore. He would never have taken away something that I needed.
At this point, I could say something schmaltzy like, “I know my mom is watching us from above and is here with us in our hearts.” But I won’t sport with your intelligence like that. I do know that my mom is a part of that great cloud of witnesses that the Bible tells us about and while I don’t understand how the saints in Heaven relate to us down here, I do know that we are connected by the same Love and the same blood that saved us all. I’ll see my mom again, of that I’m sure. I wonder what she’ll look like then. I wonder who I will be then. Can she see my art that I’ve created? Does it matter if she can?
There is so much that I don’t understand. You’d think that someone who has known so closely the bitterness of death would understand it a little better. But I’m content now to be confused. My God has given me all the knowledge I need for the tasks He’s given me. And that’s good enough for now.