Christ said, ” I have come to give your life abundantly.” What is life? Life is warm tropical breezes, the salt air from waves breaking on the reef, an intimate dinner with a your life partner, the birth of a healthy child, a warm home on a cold day, wonderful friends, the opportunity to travel and explore new places and try new things. Life is also the bad lab test, the doctor telling you that your beautiful newborn has health challenges and may not live, the love of your life doesn’t recognize you anymore, that things you took for granted like seeing, hearing, moving and helping yourself and others are becoming memories. Less faces are around the holiday table. And we are promised Life in Abundance! How do we hang on during the storm when we are swept with waves of grief, despair, and pain? Christ also said, “I will not leave you life orphans in the storm.”
I am now an orphan. My mother died on February 4, 2015. I knew that her time on earth was fleeting. She had multiple health issues but never talked about them unless they were something she worked around. She would sometimes annoy me as I do my daughters BUT she was always a source of help and love. My dear husband has been very patient with me with my bouts of grief. Something my mom said will come back to me like, ” I put gloves in all my coats so I never have cold hands.” I put my gloves in my jacket when I got to Kauai because I wanted to find them when I got home. I was packing to return home today and couldn’t find my gloves. I checked my jacket and then remembered thinking, ” I should stick these in my pockets like my mom always did.”
A new friend at church told me before I left for Kauai that I am experiencing a sudden death like a car accident or heart attack. My dad died over Labor Day Weekend. Hjs last words were for a kiss at the ER and then he went into a coma. I talked to him and played music that he liked. He died when I went home for dinner. I had said my good byes and he knew I loved him. I spent 8 hours with my mom in the ER and wouldn’t leave her side until she was admitted for the night and out of pain. I thought she would recover and be coming home in a few days like she did this summer. Instead I was met by the chaplain at the elevator and saw my mom peacefully leave the planet.
My mom wanted her ashes to be spread in the Pacific Ocean. She didn’t want to be in the garage or on the mantel and she told me, “It will give you an reason to go the Pacific, to think of me.”
As I look out at the beautiful ocean tonight Mom, I am thinking of you. I also know that I will be comforted for your not being in my life anymore. I am blessed by the lives you impacted and the people that loved you and love me.
As the 23rd Psalms states so poetically, “He leads me besides still waters, he restores my soul.” Even though the waters tonight are not still, they are restoring my soul.