I’ve been ready to cry on and off all day. And it’s a little confusing.
Today is the birthday of one of my mama’s brothers. She had eight brothers and two sisters. Now four of her siblings are still with us on this earth. Uncle Don lives in the deep south, where Mama was raised. I haven’t seen him for probably nine years, separated as we are by over a thousand miles. We don’t talk on the phone. And though I send Christmas cards most years, he never does.
But I’ve always been so fond of him. He is such a sweet man, tall and thin and cheerful. He has such a soothing southern accent and has always been so gentle and kind. And today, I can’t think about him without choking up. And I’m trying to figure out why. I have shed tears often enough for aunts and uncles who have passed on. But he is living, and healthy as far as I know, so this is new territory for me.
I’m guessing it’s another shadow of mourning. Because I can’t picture Uncle Don without also seeing Mom, younger and full of life and smiling and laughing. She so loved her family. She would visit whenever she got the chance, even if it meant sleeping in a leaky tent to get there. And she would call them, before free long distance was ever an option.
But now Mama is gone. One aunt and uncle came to her memorial service, but the others couldn’t. And they are so far away. I wonder if I’ll see them again this side of heaven. And I guess a part of me feels like if I could hug them, I would be hugging Mama again. And I type this through tears I don’t quite understand.
I tried calling Uncle Don to say happy birthday. I thought Mama would like that. But he didn’t answer and didn’t have voice mail set up either. It’s probably just as well because I think I would have burst into tears and he would have wondered what crazy woman was on the phone with him.
Oh, this road of grieving is full of surprises. I’m thankful I’m not walking it alone. I have family and friends who care and who listen. And Jesus is with me, too. And He is the one who said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4 (NKJV).
I find comfort in His Word and in prayer. I find comfort in spending time with His people and in reading the messages and cards people have sent me. I have comfort in knowing that Mama is with Him now and that I will see her again and for always.
I have comfort in knowing that Mama has loving siblings that miss her here on earth, and others that are keeping her company in Heaven.
And I take comfort in knowing that Jesus, too, wept. And that He never said, “Don’t mourn.” But He did say that I’ll find blessing and comfort when I do.
Maybe a trip to see your uncle would brighten up his day and help you with healing.
That would be amazing! My 94 year old mother-in-law, with Alzheimer’s, lives with us now, so it’s hard to get away. But maybe someday. Thank you!
Praying that you will continue to find abundant blessings and our Lord’s grace and peace in your grief journey.
Thank you so much, Vickie!
You are not alone, and God has placed so many others in your path, that you do not even realize. I appreciate so very much your stories about your mom. It has helped me tremendously in my current journey with my mom. It’s a journey that no one can understand unless they have been there, done that. Many people are gracious and loving, but to truly understand, you have had to experience this life with Dementia/Alzheimer’s. I will say that when my dad died very suddenly in an accident, I found a great deal of comfort in his siblings and still do to this day. It does feel like you are with a part of your loved one. Thank you for sharing your story, and blessings to you. I will pray that you will find comfort and some joy when you do speak with your uncle.
Your encouraging words bring tears to my eyes. Thank you so much, Tammy! I’m especially grateful to hear that my stories of mom have been a help to you. That so blesses my heart. May God continue to give you grace and strength for your journey.
Thaank you for this