Remembering … Five Years Later

Today is heavy with cold and ice and clouds.

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I’m propped up in bed, where I’ve spent most of the day due to whatever nasty ailment that’s going around, and I look out the window. The ice-encrusted seed pods on the Crepe Myrtle tree pull the branches downward, as if in sadness.

 

The imagery of sadness comes easy; it was this day, five years ago, that my mother left us. I had determined to make this a day of celebration in remembering her life, and I am forever blessed that she is my mother. It is hard, however, to not remember the day of her death. My sister has memorialized that day beautifully, with a reminder of her life that pervades our lives even now.

 

There was snow on the ground when we laid her to rest, she writes. After the flowers were placed on her coffin, we watched as she was lowered down into the frozen earth. Like the snow blanketing the ground, our hearts were covered with a wintery cold.

 

Five years later there is snow on her cold grave. Our lives here on earth have continued. Seasons have come and gone. Life events have brought many changes. As we try to keep warm in the blustery gusts of winter, we hold on to the hope of spring, for it always arrives, year after year, no matter how cold the winter. In the same way we try to keep warm in her absence with the memories of her life, which comfort us like hot cups of tea, cozy blankets and fireside warmth, until the promise of being reunited in the presence of God’s glory is fulfilled. And the spring always comes.

 

As I gaze at the tree outside, I see a tiny bird fluttering with life among its branches. I think of the new pink bud on my dormant cactus plant. I think of the healing and hope God has brought to my heart throughout the seasons of the last five years. And I think of the single tulip in my Valentine’s Day bouquet downstairs, remembering that I sent tulips to Mom in the middle of winter, two weeks before she died.

 

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And maybe they reminded her, like my sister said, that spring always comes.

 

 

 

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