I think be know it when we are about to die.
Two weeks before the tornado, my mom tried to give me her ring-the beautiful opal ring Dad had made for her.
She said "Here, take it. I really want you to have it." and I said "NO! Mom, what are you talking about? I can't even picture your hand without it." She said "Please, take it. " and she started to take it off and I said "Mom, I'll have it someday." "Okay", she said.
11 years ago today I spoke with my mom for the last time.
I was in bed reading a wonderful book from Tom Robins. I was HOOKED. I was "all in".
The phone rang.
It was Mom. "Hello?"
"Hi sweetie. What are you doing?"
"I'm reading a book. Can I call you when I get to the end of the chapter?"
"Sure. I love you."
"I love you, too."
It went on like this for five or six cycles (I'm a slow reader) till finally she said, "It's okay. I'll just talk to you tomorrow. I love you."
"I love you,too." I said.
By the next morning she and my father were dead.
I hate this day because I wish I would have put down the book (which is still here) and talked with my mom.
I'm so mad right now and I feel so ripped off. I wish I could say with a healed heart and as a follower of Christ I'm all peaceful and "it's all good"
but it isn't all good. Some of it sucks. Some of it won't be okay till I'm in His presence and I don't give a crap anymore. Today, stinkin' 11 years later, I still give a crap. I give a crap and I want to shout and cry "my God, my God! Why have your forsaken me?"
My mom was the greatest woman I've ever met. She was smart and wise. She was beautiful and funny. She loved me like no one else ever has or will. She was patient and a great cook. She was a social justice activist. She was a hippie. She was an amazing woman of god.
Ya know how Billy Joel says "Only the good die young?" It may be true and if it is, the best I can hope for is to go like her.
I want to live old and wise. I want to see my kids be grandparents, but today, mostly I want to finish that talk.
I think she wanted to tell me that she thought she was going to die. I really do.
I'm sure she knew. I don't know how, but I'm sure of it and when I am ready to die, I think I'll know.
I am not ready.
Here's what I would say if she were on the phone right now.
Mom, I don't know how you love like you do. Will you please show me? Will you teach me how to be patient like you? Will you teach me how to cook like you do? Will you tell me how you withstand it when times are tough in you marriage? Are we really part Indian or is that a myth? How did you and Dad wait to have sex until you were married? How can I help my kids do that?
If she were on the phone right now I'd say "come over or I'll drive there and I don't care if I have to miss work." I'd say "why did you have to leave?"
If she were on the phone right now I'd say "I LOVE YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN EVER IMAGINE." to be honest, I'd probably say "Please, don't leave."
I am going to go and put her ring on. I got it at the funeral home. It's the first time I was sure that she was REALLY dead. The mortician emptied her rings and Dads out onto the table and I thought "Yep. It was them."
God, your will be done. If you want to deal with me in weakness, then make me weak. If you want to stregthen me, do.
I'm sad and I don't understand. I love you, I trust you, but I don't always like the things that you do.
9 Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and my body with grief.
10 My life is consumed by anguish
and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction, [a]
and my bones grow weak.
11 Because of all my enemies,
I am the utter contempt of my neighbors;
I am a dread to my friends—
those who see me on the street flee from me.
12 I am forgotten by them as though I were dead;
I have become like broken pottery.
13 For I hear the slander of many;
there is terror on every side;
they conspire against me
and plot to take my life.
14 But I trust in you, O LORD;
I say, "You are my God."
15 My times are in your hands;
deliver me from my enemies
and from those who pursue me.
16 Let your face shine on your servant;
save me in your unfailing love.