Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Year Gone

Today, June 25th, 2011, marks one year since we lost Jan's mother. A year she's been gone, and yet, it seems like just yesterday that we set out to endure one of the most difficult times we, as humans, will experience...the sudden, unexpected death of someone you love. I think it's inevitable that we will all at some point or another experience this. With my grandfather, we knew he wasn't going to live on this earth much longer when he became sick. If it's truly possible, we prepared ourselves for our final time with him on Earth. But when Ms. Sue died, we didn't get that "preparation" time for saying good-bye. I don't which is easier (or harder), knowing and trying to prepare or not knowing at all. My heart breaks for Jan, her only child, who was the one with her a year ago tonight. One thing she and I could say we had in common was our love for Jan! (And then the grandchildren, of course!) In my mind, it's only fitting that his mother's face was the first face he saw when he began his life in the world, and his was the last face she saw. I could only wish, as a mother, that when God calls me home that my children's faces will be the last thing on this earth that I'll see. I know that even if they are not standing around me, though, I'll see their faces in my mind's eye.

For the last few weeks, I have thought about this day, June 25th, and the approaching mark of one year. We've had some moments of grief shared quietly between us, and talked about "Mamaw" with the children a lot this past week. I know she would be excited about going back to the beach with us this Thursday. Because that's the last thing she and I talked about that Friday afternoon before she died, preparation for the beach will forever be a time that I think of her. I know when Jan walks the beach picking up shells next week, he'll be thinking specifically of his mother. I couldn't help but laugh at how he teased her for how many shells she would collect, wash, then dry and then try to bag up to bring home with her..."We don't have room for all the extra bags of shells, Momma!" Oh my goodness...:-) We found shells and shells and more shells when we cleaned out the shed back behind her house. I'm not sure, but I think she had plans to make things out of the shells to give to people. That's one thing I can say about Ms. Sue, she was always wanting to give you something. It was not always an item of great value or need, but it was something. Because of this, we had engraved on her tombstone, "...for God loves a cheerful giver." II Cor. 9:7

As we began the daunting task of cleaning out her house, we came across boxes of heirloom quilts she had packed. She had included notes to Jan in which she described the quilts and who made them and when. They are beautiful, and I will admit it was hard to read the notes from her when we found the boxes. I guess it might have been a BIG dose of reality for us both. I read them out loud, as Jan listened. Those quilts and their notes are now safely residing at our home which is where I know she would want them. We brought other important things home with us, but let a lot of things go to someone else who might have a need for them. And again, I know that is how she would have wanted it. The house has just recently become occupied by someone else, and the children and I haven't been by there in over a month or so. But, it's just a house, and while our memories hold that house in them, the truth is, it's a material thing. It doesn't need to be visited. Instead, I think we'll more often visit the moments in our minds, when we do something she would have done with us, go places she would gone with us, when we place flowers on her grave, when we eat "pistachio pudding" or anything resembling the concoction (hehe), when we drink sweet tea made with REAL sugar.
A year gone, but always on our minds... 

1 comment:

Laura Dawson said...

thinking of you and Jan today. I told Jan the other day that I am glad I have my maple in the backyard grown by her because it gives me something to remember her by. Love you guys!