How do you honor the person who first showed you what love is? How do you recognize all the daily sacrifices she made for you all those years? Is it even possible to put into words the love between a mother and child? As I’ve felt the 5 year anniversary of my mom’s death sneaking up on me this past month, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting. I so desperately wish that I had the eloquence to put my emotions into words in a way that would do my mom Mickey justice, but even though I may lack that artistic gifting, I want to do my best to remember some of the things I love, appreciate and miss so dearly about my mom.
I think mom is my age (early 30’s) in this first picture. She was so hard-working and gave so much of herself to care for your family and friends. She was the consummate hostess and truly cherished making people feel honored and special in her home. I remember her throwing tea parties for me and my friends when we were little girls, and never did we feel more elegant and treasured. Mom was the queen of doing things “the right way”, even if it was harder and took a lot longer. Her ENTJ personality would have made her quite the force in the corporate world, but instead she turned her ingenuity and efficiency homeward, where she created a truly amazing home environment for our family.
This picture of her walking down the aisle at my wedding still makes me laugh to this day. Mom LOVED people and loved to be surrounded by them! 🙂 She loved “talking deep” and really getting heart-to-heart with others, and God used that to bless so many lives of women that she mentored and counseled over the years. In fact, on this very day, my mom was so excited to see and talk with all the loved ones at my wedding that she almost missed helping me put on my wedding dress! I remember her rushing in saying she was so sorry – she was having such a great time catching up with everyone that it totally slipped her mind! Friends were like family to my mom and she truly cherished them.
My mom loved an adventure and even more so if it was done spontaneously! This picture was taken at the Alaska State Fair on a trip that just the two of us took when I was in college. It was so much fun exploring Alaska with her and catching up with our loved family and friends. I can remember lots of funny things during my childhood that mom helped plan out: like our BACKWARDS NIGHT with the Feltman family. Everything was done in reverse – our clothes were backwards, we ate dessert first and worked our way to dinner and played tons of games backwards-style. Mom had such a heart for laughter and FUN!
My mom taught me how to be a mom and even though she wasn’t here to witness much of my motherhood journey (Liam wasn’t quite 2 when she died), I often think back to how she did things as a reference point. She showed me what selfless, sacrificial love looks like with her every move each day. I rarely remember her leaving us with a babysitter and she always wanted to spend her time with us. We felt truly cherished and loved.
Every year or two I re-read Hope Edelman’s book “Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss” and this quote from her book always resonates with me: “When a mother dies, a daughter grieves. And then her life moves on. She does, thankfully, feel happiness again. But the missing her, the wanting her, the wishing she were still here — I will not lie to you, although you probably already know. That part never ends.”
Never have truer words been said… I love you, Mama, and I will never stop missing you. Thank you for showing me love and pointing me to Jesus. I cannot imagine having a better mama than you!!