Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Card

I've been thinking about my mom and dad today. They've both passed away in recent years. If you haven't lost anyone so much a part of you, there is something you may not know. There is a small window of time after they leave you that you feel their presence. Maybe hours, maybe days. There is an electricity in the air. The wind blows cold when it should be warm. There are small unexpected gifts, like the butterfly that lands on your shoulder, the tomato hornworm for their sweet buggy grandson. The answered prayer at the last minute. There is the rainbow trout that ONLY Matthew could catch. The buzzard (because my dad had a wicked sense of humor). Then there is the Card.

When my mom passed away, she left my step-dad, lost and alone. He stayed with us for a week, getting his bearings, wondering how to survive the loss of his soul-mate. My step-dad and mom had never stayed overnight with us in the past. We had offered and begged, but they always followed the same pattern. Come bearing gifts. Stay a few hours, then head home. So we were pleasantly surprised when this this man my children called Grandpa decided to stay. He spent time with the boys and our extended family. He helped around the house and shared memories of my mom. One afternoon he decided to run home and pick up a few keepsakes that my mom wanted for me to have. As we were looking through the boxes of pictures and memories, I came across a card. It was addressed to Joe and I in my moms neat handwriting. I opened it and felt that electricity.... I asked Ronnie if he had bought the card and he said no. I could tell that he was as surprised as I was. There was a doorway behind a picket fence. There was a verse of scripture that read

Cheerfully share 
your home with those 
who need a meal or a place 
to stay for the night

1 Peter 4:9

Opening the card, it read

Thank You from the bottom 
of my well-cared-for heart 
for wrapping me in the love of Christ as you
welcomed me into your home.

Love, Mom and Ronnie

Friday, March 12, 2010

I remember...

I remember carrying my moms ashes out of the funeral home. I was her only daughter. I was so angry because nobody else offered and I was so determined not to ask...I wouldn't have let them anyway, it was not their burden to carry.  My jaw was set as I walked out the door and down the sidewalk. I was expected to be the strong one, as always... taking me back to being a child and always being the one to carry the burden. I'm grateful to God for easing my burden over the last 16 years. I'm grateful to God for a strong shoulder to lean on... in Joe.