I cannot yet touch the full subject of losing my mother at the end of May. Most likely, I never will.
But I do want to tell you about the beautiful people who have done so much to hold me up.
People have mowed my lawn, pulled weeds, packed boxes, bought all the party materials, moved boxes, cooked my family meals, and sent flowers that touched my heart along with a flowering tree to plant in her memory.
I’ve gotten emails, texts, and posts at all hours and often when I needed them most. The cards I have received are some of the most thoughtful and genuininely loving words I have ever read. One friend from my childhood sent me her short story about a turtle and grief. I will treasure it always.
One friend asked if it was okay to sit and cry with me over the phone. It was. A retired Army helicopter pilot expressed his sorrow and told me I was a ‘good soldier.’ I knew that was the highest compliment he could give and it fit what I was feeling exactly.
The people who answer the phones at the Employee Assistance Program are no longer strangers now. I recognize their voices when they pick up and they have helped in so many ways. I’m working on how to best tell them.
My aunt and uncle stepped in gently and lovingly when they saw my sister and me floundering over how to do the service.
My husband has walked through it all with me and made me glad yet again I lucked out and found him. My older son told me mundane stories when I needed him to and my younger son has soothed me just with his sweet presence.
I am sure I am forgetting things. There has been so much and I have been so raw that it all blends into one big embrace from everyone around me.
Shortly after my first son was born 18 years ago, the doctor could not stop my bleeding. I had my eyes shut against the pain and fear while the medical professonals struggled to help. My mother gently held my hand and told me to open my eyes and look into hers. The moment I saw the intensity of her own blue eyes so full of love for me, I relaxed and the doctor stopped the bleeding.
That is the last time I remember feeling this intensity of peace because another person cared so much about me. It is such an overwhelming gift to feel such mother-like love coming from so many.
I cannot thank my friends and family enough. My heart has cracked open and will never be the same, but my people near and far are filling in those cracks with loving kindness.