I watch these trees change outside my windows, God. The leaves turning from green to bright orange and red. There is quiet here, in this new place where all six of us moved. We are far from the city now.
The countryside sings tunes sweet and low—the creak of the branches in the wind, the frogs when night blankets the hills. There is music here I wish she could hear too, God. I miss her. I miss her voice and her smile and the way it felt when her arms were around me.
She’s been gone now, twenty-one years. Remember how she battled? Do you remember how she believed—and we all believed—she would be healed? My heart aches for her. And I look at my daughters and my sons, three of the four whom she never met. Oh, how can I take it in how you let her meet my daughter, my firstborn, her first grandchild, in the same hospital where she was staying and where she died ten days later? Oh, God, you let her meet my daughter.
I wish she weren’t so sick so that she could have held her, too.
That daughter of mine is growing up so fast, Father. I can’t believe she’s moved out and on her own. Twenty-one years old, the same number of years my mom has been gone. How is it my daughter is already grown? Is this the same little girl I used to carry around and cuddle close? How is it so much time has gone by and I’ve raised these four and my mom has been gone this whole time?
Where am I going, Father? Am I doing okay? Am I raising these children in a way that would make my mom smile?
We’ve moved so far away from what I knew, and it feels right. But I still worry and wonder and hope this is all going to turn out more than fine.
Oh, my darling how she loved you. She loved you with an overwhelming love, a love that came from my heart in her. And she showed you that love, because I adored her too, my love. I know what it is like to give up something you love. I know what it means to have a beloved suffer and you wish it didn’t have to turn out the way it did. But I have been present with you, my love. I’ve never left you. All the hours in the hospital. All the nights when you were at home alone. All the times when you stayed up late at night in your room, worrying and wondering how to fix this, how to pray hard enough to make her well.
I know it was so hard and your heart hurt and you didn’t want her to go.
I give you new beginnings, my daughter. Each time you turn to me, each moment you surrender to me, I begin again in you. I gather you up, my love.
Those were my arms you felt, too, when she held you close. Those were my words of love, too, when she looked you in the eyes and told you it would be okay, that she was there, that you could tell her anything, that she loved you and she would never stop.
That mother’s love is a fierce love. It is a love that would give anything for her children. And she hated that she wasn’t able to keep staying here, loving you. But she knew me, and you know me too. Her prayers, again and again, were prayers of love for you. Prayers of yearning for you. Prayers of desire on behalf of you.
She loved you with a love that surrendered you to me. She loved you with a love that would have given anything for you, because of me.
Those children of yours? This love is passed down, my darling. That love she showed you? That love I gave to her? You are showing it to your children. You are blessed with my presence. You are blessed with my love in you. You are blessed with my hope in you.
If you know me, if you hear me, if you follow me, believe me now. Believe I am here. Believe I help you to stand. Believe I am your steadfast anchor, your rock.
You are not slipping. You are not falling. You are not alone and fragile. You are given a love that holds you and protects you and goes before you. You are the one to keep leading, my dear. Keep leading them to me. Keep leading your children to me. By my love. By my words in you. By my whispers to you and my love upholding you. It is the only thing on which any family can stand.
Song to listen to: “Majesty,” Caedmon’s Call
This is day 19 of Voice: 31 Conversations: Click the image below to find out more. Subscribe to follow along each day.