My Spring Mourning

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It’s a cottonwood heavy kind of spring. I’ve never noticed so much of the bits of fluff drifting through the air before. I ate some yogurt and berries out on our deck today, and I kept covering my bowl between bites so the stuff wouldn’t land in it.

On Monday my husband and I sat at a lake for about an hour. The air was so thick with cottonwood you could almost imagine it was snowing. I put my sunglasses on to keep it out of my eyes. I pulled bits out of my mouth.

I’ve had to make lots of adjustments this spring. My first spring without Daddy sharing this earth with me. My thoughts are thick with him. And emotions, like the fluffy “snow” of the cottonwood trees, swirl and drift and touch me continually.

I spoke with one of my elderly neighbors today that hadn’t heard yet about Dad’s passing. She was shocked and sympathetic.  I’d been having a pretty good morning, but then she warned me the house was going to take a year to process and cost a fortune in lawyer fees.

And she said, “Once your parents are gone, you’re the next generation in line to die.” She gave me a sad smile. And then added concerns for my health. We finished speaking and I went back into my house feeling depressed and defeated.

I have neglected my health in the last year of mourning Mom and caring for Dad. And I do feel it. And I’m the Trustee in charge of administering Dad’s Trust and the responsibility weighs on me.

I called the funeral home yesterday wondering why I hadn’t received the death certificate yet. After some research the woman came back on the phone sounding frustrated and unapologetic, saying the application showed the number ordered was zero.

I heard her mumbling angrily about this happening again! Apparently someone isn’t doing their job right. But she could see we had paid for several copies. She said she’d put the order in and we’d get them in a few days. Meanwhile, all the things I could be doing to settle affairs have been delayed, waiting for the death certificate.

Waiting for the death certificate that I need, but don’t want to see.

Meanwhile I’ve been writing thank you notes. And wondering for a micro-second when the phone rings if it’s Dad. And then reminding myself that of course it isn’t.

Dad can’t call anymore. And I can’t call him. And though I’m blessed with wonderful family and friends, there is something unique about talking to your parent. I felt it last week especially when my tooth hurt and I needed a root canal. And then I felt a crack in the tooth a couple days later and I was discouraged and in pain.

My husband was sympathetic, but I wanted to talk to my Dad about it. My husband has perfect, problem-free teeth and can’t understand in the same way Dad could. I knew Dad would care even more than I did. I got teary about it even. And though a tooth is such a tiny thing in the realm of problems, and I felt kind of babyish about it, I just wanted to talk to my daddy.

Dad liked updates about everything. Even when he was dying and it was hard for him to talk, he wanted me to tell him about all the kids and what was happening with everyone. Mom used to be the main listener, until Alzheimer’s took that away. And then Dad picked up the role, and the phone, and was always there.

And now I miss that listening. And that intense caring. And that deep parental love that is irreplaceable.

But one thing I find comfort in is The Lord’s Prayer. I stop after I pray, “Our Father…” I stop and thank God for being my Father who cares about me even more than my daddy did. I thank Him for loving me faithfully and being wise and kind and good. I thank Him that He is always listening and will never die. He will always be with me. He will always care.

And then I say, “…who art in heaven…” And I thank Him for creating Heaven and for sending Jesus to die for our sins, so Mama and Daddy and all who trust in Him can be there in paradise with Him. And I thank Him that I will see them again someday and for eternity.

And I’m thankful I still have a Father I can talk to. My Abba Father. He knows the number of hairs on my head and He surely knows all about my tooth. He wants to hear updates on my kids and loves them even more than I do.

It’s a cottonwood heavy kind of spring. But God made the cottonwoods. And He will give grace for this too.

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19 comments

  1. Thank you for your precious words. I am walking the same path albeit a few steps ahead of you. The pain of losing both parents is still a great awareness for me but kind words from others and God’s amazing grace smooths the road. Do take care of you. It’s so hard to get back into self-care after being a care-giver but so important, not because you are next in line to die but because you have so much to give! Blessings to you and all praise to Our Father in heaven!

  2. I’ve been reading your posts for nearly a year. I too am walking your path. What you share always strikes a cord with me, often opening up a grief wound. Thank you for sharing your pain and your wisdom. Even though you are hurting you put yourself out there for all of us who share your journey.

    1. I’m thankful to hear my posts have been meaningful to you, Kristine. Sorry that you’re on the same path, though. May God give you grace. Thank you for the encouragement! It means so much! ~Cheryl

  3. Thanks for blogging I really appreciate reading it. I lost both of my parents 79 days apart last year. I’m the trustee of their estate. I just want to encourage you! You can do this the same way you took care of your parents… one day at a time! And continue your talks with your Heavenly Father!

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss, Ruth! How hard to lose them so close together! Thank you for your beautiful encouragement! You warm my heart! – Cheryl

  4. So sorry for your precious loss. Such a void in our lives and heart when we have to let our parents go. We just buried my mama Memorial Day. She died of late stage dementia. Daddys health is greatly impacted from the intensity of her care. I just pray his health can improve. Losing one parent is hard….I can’t imagine losing two close together. Prayers for you.

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss, Jan, and that your dad isn’t doing well. Praying that God will restore his health. I wish I’d done more for my dad after mom passed. I was grieving so much and had other circumstances, but I wish I’d been there for him more. May God give you continuous grace. 💕

  5. I have been following you for some time now as my mom has Alzheimer’s and I love your sweet perspective as a caregiver. I just found out that my mom also has cancer. We go to oncologist on Monday. You know how hard these discussions are and I am praying for discernment through this process. I want to honor my mom and to glorify God. I’m not ready for the months ahead, and know that God knows… and will carry my mom and me through. 🙏🏻😥

    1. I’m so sorry, Kim. My heart goes out to you and your mom! Praying that God will hold you close and that You will see His grace with you every day. 💕

  6. I just want to sit down and have a cup of coffee with you! Your words mirror my life! I am thankful God dropped you smack down in the middle of my midlife journey of loss and love too! This blog in my mind and heart is like the ‘koinonai'(sp) that is spoken of in the bible. I believe it is in Acts where we are like minded believers sharing and supporting one another. Breaking bread together, kind of sort of…… Isn’t that just like him? I always pray thanking Him, that he is the Great I Am, and I am not!!!!!!! Blessings to you!
    Tammy

    1. I LOVE your comment, Tammy! Read it to a couple people even! Thank you! You are an encouragement and I love picturing having coffee and koinonia with you!

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