Some Things You Don’t Get Used To


It’s been nine years now. Nine! But in many ways, it still seems like yesterday. I’m talking about the last time I saw my mother.

As Mother’s Day approaches, I think, as I have any number of other times, that I should write a tribute to my mom. It would be fitting, and I’d like to honor her. But when I try, the words won’t come.

They wouldn’t come when I wanted to write something for her memorial service, and they haven’t come ever since. I suspect it might always be this way. Losing a parent isn’t something you get over. Ever.

I remember after my dad died, spending Mother’s Day weekend with my mom. It was hard because the last day I saw my dad alive was on a previous Mother’s Day. I felt his loss more keenly on that sad anniversary that should have been a happy celebration.

As I talked with my mom about it, she reminisced about losing her own father. She mentioned his birthday and stopped to think. He would be a hundred and twenty-four, she said and then we both laughed.

Death always feels premature, even when we know that we’re not going to live until we’re a hundred and twenty-four. And because it feels premature, it’s hard to get used to.

I suppose this year, nine years into life as an orphan, is particularly hard because I know a number of people who have lost their mothers recently. My “Glick” cousins when my dear Aunt Doris died last fall. (She I could write about. Go figure!) A former student of mine, whose mother died months after her father passed away from a sudden heart attack. And most recently, author Karen Hancock’s mother who died on Palm Sunday. As did my mother, nine years earlier.

I want to offer comfort and encouragement, I really do. But what keeps rushing to my mind is, You’ll never have another mother. Mother’s Day will never be the same. Christmas will never be the same. Your birthday, her birthday, and lots of other little days when you really want to celebrate or cry or laugh or talk things over. Just things. Nothing special.

The thing is, even though I never get used to Mom being gone, I do have comfort. And encouragement. It stems from a little verse tucked in Psalm 27:

For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
But the LORD will take me up.

I know, I know. Dying isn’t the same as “forsaking.” But it seems the principle is the same — God parents us when we need parenting.

And me, I always wanted to go the way of Peter Pan, so I figure I’ll always need parenting. 😉

Thanks be to God that He gives just what we each need when we need it. And for me at Mother’s Day, I need my loving Father’s reminder that He will not fail me or forsake me. I’ll never have to get use to getting along without Him.

Published in: on May 6, 2011 at 5:37 pm  Comments (10)  
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