I John 3:18

All original content copyright Jessica Nicole Schafer, 2007-2016.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Thank You Note.

I pulled out of the driveway quickly, ready to go get a new haircut for my crazy and curly hair that needed a change. 

When I got back home, My Love grinned and commented on how he really liked it.  Our sweet offspring said he liked, too.  (Well, he was being super sweet after I chopped it off, even though he'd mentioned weeks earlier that maybe I should keep it long.  haha)

A couple of hours later, sitting with my husband and about to have the .7 seconds of alone time that we get in a month I blurted out, "I was so excited when I left that I tried to grab my phone and call *Her*, to tell her all about it..."

He knew what I meant by that.  My Momma.  She's the one, the one I wanted to talk to.  She's the one I still, to this day....after all of the years I've spent without her, want to call about all the stuff and things going on in our lives.

Sometimes it hurts even to utter the words, "My Momma"....because with that comes all the weight of the grief that lingers...the grief that will always linger.  My Momma, the one who was my biggest cheerleader ever.  The one who celebrated all the things for her whole family, making them feel loved and important. The one who didn't just ask what could be done, but did what needed to be done.  The one who showed up. The one who could hear my voice over the phone and notice enough to say, "What's wrong?"...even when I tried to hide it.  The one who knew me like only my Momma could. The one who listened, the one who told me all those years ago on what would be the last time I ever heard her voice, "Baby, you can call me as many times as you want, whenever you want." 

And I did, I always did. 

Only now, I can't. 

I remember her being in tears one time when I was just a couple of years older than our sweet boy is now.  It was after her Momma had passed away.  I was a young teenager, I had seen cancer run its course on yet another family member...this time, our sweet Grandma.  I remember trying to do everything I could do (as much as I could think to do as a teenager) to ease her pain.  It all happened around the time my sweet sister was married.  I remember seeing Momma being torn on what she was "supposed" to be feeling.  Her oldest daughter, her firstborn, going off into the world as a new wife, what a beautiful and wonderful part of our lives.  And she did celebrate that, she was always so proud of her.  All the while, she was dealing with her Momma's cancer that was stripping days off of her life. What a dance between beauty and tragedy.

I don't remember where we were, I just remember seeing the tears.  A small window of time had passed since we laid Grandma to rest.  I saw such sadness in Momma's eyes, I wanted to fix it.  I needed to fix her pain, I needed to make her not hurt so badly.  Nobody made me feel this way, it's just what I was feeling amidst all the changes that had happened in our family.  It felt like such a tragedy to the world that my Momma could be so sad, and I didn't know what to do.  Yet, in all of her grief, not once...never in seeing my Momma's tears did I ever feel like she loved any of us any less.  Never in the years after that did I feel like the pain she had over missing her Mom took away from the love she so lavishly gave all of her family. 

In fact, my Momma's tears helped me see how much love she had to give, both to her family and her Mom...her tears helped me realize even now as I remember her face that day so many years ago...that love truly is unending.

I was never able to thank her for that moment.

As I think about the next few hours, seeing the calendar roll around again to my sister's birthday, her son's birthday, my birthday...and our sweet boy's 12th birthday...I think about how I learned long ago to do that same dance between beauty and tragedy. 

Life is so full of celebrations, milestones, victories, failures, parties, birthdays, anniversaries, pain, tragedy, life, death, hopelessness, and hopefulness.......and all the time LOVE.

***Momma, thank you for showing me with your days here, as short as they were, that I can celebrate and be glad, yet it's perfectly acceptable that my heart still aches for you. You are missed. Thank you for always making me feel welcome and heard around you, and for saying I can call you whenever I want.  Thank you for unknowingly having a hand in helping me to keep living, even though it has to be done without you.  Thank you for helping me go on with this grief.***


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