Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. Philippians 4:8-9 The Message (MSG)
I like this scripture. The writer is correct. I am the thinker. I choose what my mind will be thinking about. Thoughts are not placed in my mind randomly by some outside force. I choose. Wow! I choose. I choose to acknowledge sadness and pain or to fool myself into believing I am alright. This is empowering, isn’t it?
Last year around this time, I was going back and forth to the hospital with my mom. She had achieved her goal of walking. It had been a year since a horrible fall fractured her neck leaving her to live with quadriplegia. She was now able to use a walker though. A miracle at 80 years of age.
We were planning trips again and getting ready for renovations to the home to make it more wheel chair accessible when she was diagnosed with renal cancer. She had finished her first set of successful treatments when the cancer spread to her brain. She returned to be with God on March 29. It will soon be one year.
I have thought a lot about love and grief this past year. Grief seems to acknowledge something valuable has been lost while love on the other hand seems to not recognize that anything has changed at all. In fact, when I close my eyes, my love for this special lady fills me with happiness. I almost forget all that has happened but the sadness of grief always shows up to ground me. Don’t reach for that cellphone, she is not present anymore.
Love seems to have an eternal point of view, timeless, having no beginning or ending. My childlike faith believes that grief has to be temporary. Grief seems to have only a hindsight. Some describe it as having 20/20 vision. So in my thinking, griefs hindsight gives love a foresight. Meaning I am thankful that I have loved someone so much that I refuse to just let them go. No, I am holding on to my memories, my loving wonderful memories, regardless of the tears. Too bad grief, you are only reminding me of my love for my mom. Thanks. I will keep this in mind. Oh, and since I am a Christian, I know that I will see her again. But, it still hurts and you know it.
I pass back and forth or really am tossed between these two partners everyday, grief and love. I began to think, I have to make a decision, how am I going to live with these two? Faith has helped me make the choice. The author of Philippians writes to embrace the moment and control your thoughts. I have chosen to remember.
My attitude is gratitude
I have made a decision to be open to life. I don’t have to work hard to find wonderful memories to fill my thoughts. I had a rich life with my mom. We spent quality time together. We traveled together. We shopped and talked. I have tons of stories, pictures, smiles, and laughs to share. We had lovely days. We stopped regularly and smelled the flowers. We talked about hopeful things and we always said, “I love you”. And she deposited a legacy of divine elegance in so many. So despite it all, I am grateful to have experienced God’s love for me through my mom. I will have to pass on this love to my daughter and those around me. This is how I will celebrate her life. I will live mine to the fullest, just like she did.
I miss you mom and I love you, the same as I did last year, this time.