It happens on Mother’s Day – and her birthday.
You read the ones that say, “You’ve always been there for me” and “I could always count on you.”
After you put those back, you find, “I hope I can be just like you” or “Now that I am grown, I still love coming home to you.” Not honest choices either.
I remember struggling to choose a card. I felt guilty picking out the simple one that just said, “Happy Mother’s Day.” Those were supposed to be the cards you give to your distant sister-in-law or maybe your aunt. . .just to be kind. Those weren’t made to give to your actual mother.
But it was the best I could do. Most of the time, mom and I didn’t struggle well together. Her depression, and the threats of suicide that were companions of her darkness, taught me to hold my breath at an early age, and perfect the art of walking on eggshells.
We didn’t often really connect – my mom and I. Especially when either of us struggled.
When she struggled, trust was the first door she closed to people. No matter how much I loved her, she couldn’t find any hope in it.
When I struggled, trust was the first door I closed to her, too. No matter how much she loved me, I couldn’t gain strength from her love.
Mom went to heaven about five years ago. She trusted a bunch of pills to help her in the struggle of the moment; it helped her get to Jesus. It took 22 days. From the day we found her until the day she breathed deeply the joyful air of eternity, we had three weeks to struggle together.
The door of trust didn’t fly open while we waited for her liver to fail. This is not the part of the story that says, “And we lived happily ever after.”
But the door was open one day, for just a little while. Long enough to say, “I’m sorry. Will you please forgive me? Yes, I forgive you, too.” And my favorite part, “I love you, Mom. I know you love me, too. I’m not mad. I’m glad you get to go home.”
“Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I miss you. And I know you know this already, but I’m learning to trust. It’s a good thing.”