Like the moment of silence at a ceremony, to commemorate the dead, I have been silent. The moment of silence is now over. Ordinary days will begin again. I suspect they will not be the same as ordinary days before. From here on out, ordinary will have mix of sadness at moments when I remember.
Tomorrow I will stumble out to the apartment kitchen in Brookings looking for coffee. My youngest daughter gave a latte style mug. It is my favorite. I’ve had other favorite mugs. Perhaps my all time favorite mug was a mug that said MOM. We were on a trip to Hershey PA. All the children were told pick out something for yourself. They had a dollar limit. Jason, one of my older sons, took his money and bought that coffee mug for me. His sacrifice touched me deeply. I never let anyone else touch that mug. I still have it. The MOM is worn to where you can barely see it.
This latest favorite mug does not have a story with it. My youngest daughter Shahnaz gave it to me for mother’s day. It says:
A mother is a friend you never outgrow.
I’ve received other “mother” things. I cherish them as I cherish all of my children. Yet, perhaps because she is my baby and there seemed so much love in the message, I cherish this mug. My relationship with this daughter has been the least complicated.
Tomorrow as I sip my cups of coffee, that mug will seem different to me. I will think about my own mother. All the mixture of feelings we all have for our mothers. At a time like this, we think of them as saintly, matriarchs, yet also frail and human. Death seems to burn away all the frustrations and hurt that all mothers unintentionally inflict on their children. Their ashes blow away easily.
As I sip my coffee, I will pray for my own children. I will pray that they will find comfort through this dark time. I will pray that they will hear the words of the Pastor yesterday admonishing them to faith in Christ. I will pray that my love for them will override the frustrations and hurt I inflicted on them. Like all mothers before me, I am also a mixture of greatness and humanness.
My mother is at peace. She received love and care from her family until the last moment. I defended and fulfilled her last wishes until she breathed her last. Yesterday I sang at her funeral as she had asked. It was difficult to get through the song as I reflected on the words:
Death is not the end. Death will give way to victory. She is in heaven’s mansions so bright praising the Savior she loved. She is singing:
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus tis now.