Wednesday, February 15, 2012

for the love of linda lou...

i consider myself one lucky girl,
to be in this woman's life.
she didn't choose me,
her son did.
well, if she had known me first...
she probably would have picked me. :)
that makes her my

and, you know what they
say about in-laws.
"they say"
they are complicated.
you are told to make sure and
set good boundaries..
and the list of "helpful" suggestions is never ending.

that's why i consider myself lucky.
lucky.lucky.lucky me.
i love my in-laws.
my husband loves his in-laws.
in fact, we actually don't use the title, in-laws,
we did away with that term.
we call each other's parents
mom and dad,
and siblings-sisters and brothers.
we are family.
and terms and titles put no such boundaries
on the love we have for each other's family.

one of my first memories
with mom was when i broke
my leg playing soccer.
i was dating ben at the time,
and i lived in a house with 8 girls in heritage hill.
we had a lot of, ben asked his parents 
if i could move in with them for a couple weeks.
mom took care of me.
she brought me breakfast, lunch and conversation each time
she came in my room to see me.  
as i started to heal a bit and use my crutches,
i became very interested in our conversations...
so, i would head upstairs for more.
i was used to living with 8 girls-
there were always conversations to be had!
poor mom.  she didn't know what
ben was getting her into.
it seems a lifetime i had with her
and yet, i wish it were more.
only 12 years...certainly not enough.

in the last year and a half...
once we knew it was cancer
that she would battle with again,
i promised myself that i would
take in as much as i could
from her.

without her even knowing it...
she became my teacher, and i her student.
i watched how one ties up the end of their life.
how it is done.
it was as if she unfolded a message with
each conversation we had.  she would often
give me advice for olivia and will's future.
we would venture into unknown territories
as she would talk about what life must be like on heaven's side. 
i hope to be as intentional as she was
in spending time on important things...

when her cancer was brought up,
it was clear that though
cancer had wracked her precious body,
it did not have her.
He had her...her Lord and Savior.
He kept her in the palm of His hand.

i never heard a complaint out of her about her pain...
and, there was pain.
severe, chronic, exhausting pain.

after her 6th stint replacement for her bladder,
i remember telling her how angry i was
at the cancer for doing such damage to her 
once, very healthy body.
her response-
"this brings me closer to Jesus,
this all brings me closer to Him."
how am i coping?
most days, i tell myself that she is up north with her sissies...
visiting her brothers.
i really won't accept that she isn't with us anymore.
not now anyway.

every day, olivia tells me that she misses her amma.
and every night, she asks God to tell amma how much
we miss her.  she also asks him to remind jack, bailey and
our cousin aaron that we miss them too.

we are starting to write down her memories with amma.
so one day, she will have them-in her own words-
to be able to share with will, millie and sweet baby henry.
mom's other precious loves.

olivia's auntie gave her some necklaces that were mom's.
she asks to wear them all the time.
they make her feel close to amma.

yesterday, was will's official adoption day.
valentine's day.
i wanted to feel close to mom too...
so i wore a bracelet that she gave me
a few years ago at christmas.
it's one of my favorite bracelets.
i just needed to bring her into our day somehow.
she loved will so much.  mom and olivia were the only
ones that could make him bust out into a big belly laugh.

she would have loved yesterday.
and she would have been so proud of ben.
 hearing him speak so eloquently in front of the court
about our son and what his life means to us...

we had a small gathering after the court hearing-
and, i used her water pitcher.
{the place just needed a little touch of linda lou.}
 i also bought swedish coffee.
i don't think she ever made swedish coffee...
{i'm sure she brought some back from sweden
when she went with her brothers and sisters a few years ago.}
but, it reminded me of something special she would have liked.

mom always did something special for
ben and i on valentine's day.
one year it was white candles with red hearts
to decorate our table,
another year she gave us conversation date cards,
other times, she volunteered to take olivia
so that we could go out...
there was always something. special.
so, the swedish coffee was my valentine-something special
to mom...

anyway, she would have loved that will's special day
 landed on valentine's day.

we love you mom.
every day.  we love you.


oh. my. goodness.
i'm pinching myself...
for 2 separate reasons.

1.  that mom colored glasses put my article 
in their amazing online magazine!!!!
2.  that i wrote so candidly about something that
i have been dying to write about for the last 2
years...i just didn't have the words...
and maybe the courage, until now.

thanks MCG for telling my story...
for helping me find the courage to say more.

and, since we are close to st. patty's day-
and because i am oh, soooo irish.  i will pinch you too.

well, maybe i won't pinch you-i've never been
comfortable with that sort of thing.
but, i am comfortable in pinching you lyrically...

to be authentic. to write what you are really
thinking.  to give an extension of your story
so that someone else might take it and breath
in a new perspective.  do it.  do it for you and
do it for someone else.

p.s.  if you don't have a blog, or a place to post...
send it to me-i will post it here.  i would love to read
where you are at and breath in more of your perspective.