Admittedly, this is a hard week for me.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been some rather bright spots and I try to keep perspective on life and all that jazz but there are a few times when life kinda kicks you unexpectedly and this happens to be one of those weeks.
So when I looked at my blog schedule to see what Life Saver I got to write about today, I had to smile amid tears. It read:
“He who dies with the most toys is still nonetheless dead.”
Either this is the definition of irony or it’s one of those moments when God is trying desperately to give me comfort by reminding me of what is truly important. Let me start at the beginning……
One year ago today, I spent the last moments I could in my mom’s hospital room. It was one of the last days she was coherent and she was afraid to die. Not because she was unprepared, but because she didn’t want o leave us – especially my youngest brother who was serving a mission in Mexico – as motherless waifs. Dad had passed away nearly four years before and she, even though we were grown (if you can call six kids between the ages of 20-40 grown), didn’t want to leave her family behind without a parent.
“Stacy,” she said, “Do you think I’m going to die?”
“I don’t know, Mom. We’re going to fight this till the very end. And I don’t know if we’ll win or if the cancer will but I do know this, if taking you from us is the Lord’s plan, then we will be here with you holding you as you are ushered from this world into dad’s waiting arms.”
“Just promise me, that you will take care of our family. Promise me that Taylor will always know that he has a mother who loves him..”
That was when I knew she wouldn’t make it – she was passing the torch.
One year later, as I prepare for my brother to come home (his official release date is June 29), I cannot help but remember the promises I made to her. And I have cried bitterly at an economy that hasn’t allowed me to put into play all the dreams I had for his homecoming. I have ached as I realized that he won’t come home to a parent or his house or even his ward on a permanent basis.
I somehow wanted to make up for all of this and give him something similar by giving him the house she would’ve or the car, take him on trips and help him refocus. I had in mind grand Christmas presents and anything his heart desired to take away the pain of losing his mother.
But I can’t do any of this and feel as if I failed miserably in keeping up my end of the bargain because in today’s world, I am just lucky enough to keep a roof over all of their heads. As much as I want to, I can’t lavish everything on him because I still have four others at home to provide for too.
But I can give him love and support and let him know everyday that he has a mother who loves him. She may be in heaven but her arms will always be wrapped around him – and so will mine.
So I think that today’s Life Saver was meant for me and I pray that I can take it to heart and remember that it’s not the material things that are important but the gifts of the heart and the memories we make that mean the most.