Dates are really important to me. I don’t know why, but they bring up a deep feeling of significance, of remembrance, of rejoicing or mourning, but mostly remembering. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but my mom was first taken to the hospital on Mother’s Day. That was the first day when we realized her life might very well be threatened–on the day we celebrated the gift she was to our family. Six months later, my mom passed away on my dad’s birthday. It was such a weird juxtaposition, a morning spent in a hospital, surrounded by so many who loved and still love my mama, tears flowing endlessly, followed by lunch at a pub and a birthday dinner, where we were surrounded yet again by so many who love my dad. The strange thing about his birthday was that, while it was still a celebration of his life, most of the day felt like we were there as reminders, a reminder that he was still living, that he was still loved, and that he still had a purpose to live in the midst of such fresh and heartbreaking loss. Dates are really important to me, and they have become more so, as the 26th of each month rolls by, and my internal time clock somehow always reminds me that just months ago, we started learning to live life without Mama. It’s still the strangest thought to me, whenever I see her picture or a video of her, where her eyes are bright and her laughter loud. The 1st of July is coming up. Why is this significant? It marks twenty-four years since my mother brought me into this world. I’ve always loved birthdays, but as I’ve gotten older, their glamour has faded into a quiet contentment, having a day to celebrate what God has done in my life. But this day is different. As important as remembering is, this day coming up fills me with both that same feeling of anticipation but also trepidation. My mother played a significant role in my birth and in my life following, and this day serves of a reminder of that–the realization that the role she played is in the past, and it is my role now to allow her impact to affect my future. I have lived nearly twenty-four years so far, and only God knows how many I have left on this earth. Looking back, this year held a lot of pain but also redemption. I am learning every day that grieving with Jesus is the only way I can because He reaches down into the ugliness of pain I’m afraid to face and speaks healing, lifting me up with promises of a new day. And hope–I don’t know what I’d do without Him. So, as we all go into the next half of 2014, here’s to remembering His faithfulness and the promise of eternity, in the midst of every life circumstance.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. And He who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’” Revelation 21: 4-5