I have thought about today for many years – dreaded it, really.
Today I’ve spent exactly half of my life with my mom and half of my life without my mom. I was 12 years and 14 days old the day my mom went to be with the Lord, today I am 24 years and 28 days old. When I wake up tomorrow, the majority of my life will have been lived mom-less. I know a couple days doesn’t make much of a difference, but I’ve always dreaded the day that I can no longer say that I’ve spent most of my life with my mom.
Over the years, there have been a lot of times that people have asked about my mom and when I tell them how old I was when she died they respond with a, “Oh, so you were really young…” no biggie type answer. And I get it – I was young! But I always feel like they need to know that it’s still a big deal. A huge deal. 5 years later.. 12 years later.. 50 years later. Those first 12 years played an enormous role in who I am today and I’ve been missing her every day since then.
In the first twelve years of my life I had a mom that taught me that picking up antique treasures out of neighbors garbage piles is nothing to be ashamed of, that taking a bath is the best remedy for a sad heart, that squatting to pee takes a lot of practice, that fighting with your friends is just never worth it (although I didn’t really get this until much later), that my dad is probably the most incredible guy in the world (but that doesn’t mean I’m allowed to marry him… that’s confusing for 6 year olds), that if you take your six year old daughter on special dates to get chinese food – she’ll probably never forget it, that you have to learn to laugh at yourself, that if you clean your house before you go on vacation – you will be so thankful when you return home, that ignoring your brother is the best way to avoid arguments (I still haven’t mastered this), that sticking tissues in your nose and leaving them there is the best relief for terrible allergies, that it’s okay to leave a disaster in your living room while crafting, that putting cottage cheese on a piece of lettuce makes it more appetizing, that there are never too many kisses and I love you’s…
And those are lessons that I will always cherish.
Most young girls have their mom around to tell them to get off the phone, to tell them “yup, all that blood is normal, welcome to womanhood”, to tell them to put on longer shorts, to tell them when their choice in friends is not the wisest, to comfort them when their heart breaks, to tell them they’re beautiful when their face is covered in acne, to embarrass them in front of their friends, to teach them how to drive, to be at their graduation, to support them as they attempt to grow as a woman of Christ.
But mine wasn’t.
Most women will have their mom around to encourage them to chase their crazy dreams, to make a home cooked meal when they’ve been living on pizza, to sit in the front row and cry at their wedding, to be over-the-moon excited to be a grandma/free babysitter, to be just a phone call away when they’re hurting, to know them for exactly who they are and love them despite it.
But mine won’t be. And let’s just be real… that sucks.
So for the past twelve years I’ve been learning a lot of things on my own, trying to figure out who I am, and trying to figure out how to be a part of a new family (and being thankful for a step-mom that loves me!)
And it’s been hard sometimes. And it’s been great sometimes.
I know that so many people go through much worse things and they survive – and thrive! I am so incredibly thankful for God’s blessings in every area of my life but some days it’s hard to not think about the things you miss out on when your mom isn’t around. So today I let myself think about it a little and tomorrow is another day.
“But as for me, I will sing about your power. I will shout with joy each morning because of your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety in the day of distress.”
Thanks for reading along, friends.