I have spent today thinking about my mom-the Nettie mentioned in my blog title. Today would have been her birthday. She died suddenly on March 2, 2005 at 4:15 a.m. after suffering a massive heart attack.
My own birthday came in August that year. (Well, it comes in August every year………but, oh well.) I think I felt her absence more that day than I had any day so far, even the day we buried her. It was the first birthday in my memory that I didn’t hear her say “Guess what I was doing X number of years ago today?” I loved the way she asked that question as if it were the first time every time. I can hear her voice and see her smile even now.
Then, along came October 17th that year and I wondered how I would get through her birthday. I felt like bursting into tears every time someone spoke to me and knew that I would have to find a way of coping at work. Leave it to my sisters to make that possible for me. Each one of them made sure to let the others know that they were thinking of them and thanking God for the gift of each other. Being reminded of the great treasure we have in each other made it possible for me to make it through that hard day.
Today was the third birthday for her since her passing. I didn’t spend the day in tears or even have terribly sad thoughts. I have been thinking about this day for about two weeks, wondering if I would be sad. I have thought about my sisters and wondered if they were doing well this week. But, I have spent most of my thoughts about her just remembering how blessed we were to have her for the years we did.
Earlier this year, after the death of my youngest sister, one of my nieces sent this note of encouragement to all of us:
“James Patterson wrote, “I won’t lie to you. I won’t say why God would take her now. But if the fact that she was sent here among us doesn’t point to a loving God, then I can’t help you.”
And so, maybe that is it. The Lord in his infinite mercy loans us those that have the power to shape us, people who are fallible, people who try their best and sometimes still end up short, people who inspire us to leave this world better than how we found it, people whose absence leaves those left behind with the uncertainty and sometimes the unwillingness to carry on without them. And maybe that too is a gift: to feel that deeply, to love that much, to have had them in our lives even for a short while.”
I do believe that God’s mercy is infinite and that His love is indescribable. And that He chose to give me almost 49 years with my mother and I am so thankful for that.
Happy Birthday Mom. I hope you are beating Daddy in a game of Scrabble using all those words you learned with the letter Z!