Well, Monday I did what I have advised everyone not to do. I stayed in bed all day. I didn’t take a shower or change out of my pajamas. I did get some laundry done with the help of my understanding husband.
It all started Sunday morning. I went out to Amanda’s grave to change the flowers. I had not changed them since Christmas and I knew I needed to get new ones out just in case someone decided to visit the grave. I walked up thinking it was a matter of switching one set of flowers for another only to find the extra vases for her children and husband were broken. Pieces all over the place. I left because I didn’t want people arriving for service to see me so upset.
After a little while, I returned. I picked up the broken pieces as best I could. Saved the pieces the children had written on with chalk. Crying and trying to hold myself together. I kept thinking really Cindy, get it together. This is just crazy. Allowing broken pieces of pottery to upset you to this point. My husband eventually came out looking for me. As I showed him what happened, I could see the look on his face. I realized, maybe I’m not as crazy as I think. He held me as I fell to pieces on the backside of my car; didn’t want anyone to see me cry!
It seems like a small thing. Vases broken. I was mad and hurt and weeping all at the same time. Over broken vases.
I pulled it together to eat lunch with my son and his children and then I went home and went to bed. Stayed in bed or close to it the rest of the day. Slept. You would think I would have not been able to sleep Sunday night, but no, slept through the night. Well, my normal sleeping through the night. Got up Monday morning around 4, studied my Bible. Went back to bed and stayed there most of the day. Why? Just because I didn’t have the will to do anything else. I was angry with myself for giving up. Kept telling myself to get dressed. Tried to talk myself into going to work. But, I just couldn’t. I kept thinking about the grave.
The grave which holds my daughter body. The small lonely looking place. The place, for some reason, I am in charge of keeping up – just in case the kids go out to visit. I know without a doubt she is in heaven, but it’s still her grave. It’s a place with her name – AMANDA PEAKE GLOVER. Her date of birth, her date of death and a scripture. “Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her” Proverbs 31:28. Her initials are on the permanent vase. Normally also, the extra vases for the kids and her husband.
The vases were purchased from Hobby Lobby, so they were not expensive. They were painted with chalkboard paint so the children could leave notes for their Momma. Something they told me they wanted to do. I have already ordered more permanent replacements. I also ordered a footstone with Proverbs 31: 29 – “Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.” It’s for me and my husband. It adds the fact that she was a daughter too.
A daughter. Our daughter – her father and mother’s own flesh and blood. That is what hit me so hard Sunday. I’m her mother on my hands and knees picking up pieces of shattered ceramic and glass off of my daughters grave. It shouldn’t be.
Things like a shattered vase hits us (those of us who have lost a child) like a ton of bricks sometimes. It brings us to our knees. It shuts us down for a time period. No matter how much you tell yourself to get up, you just can’t. Not today. Not at this minute. I knew I needed to get a shower. I knew it would be best to get up and not give in to the temptation to quit. I knew all the right things. I just couldn’t.
During the times I was awake, I went through her life in my mind. I am sure you have done the same thing. She was born Amanda Hope Peake. Slept through the night from the time she came home from the hospital. Baby full of laughter. Toddler so very stubborn. She loved school, played school long before she went. Made good grades, involved in plays and ball. High school life was full. Getting married to someone who made her beam. Having children and excelled as a mother. Then, the horrible day of the race. More detailed than the above list, but you get the picture. Special moments, special trips, special times all highlighted.
Then, I allowed my mind to drift to now. The stress. The loneliness. The division. The abandonment. The frustration. The silence. The questions. The unknowing. The hurt. The weakness.
I would like to say I had some revelation from God which got me out of bed Tuesday. Some word or encouragement from a friend which got me dressed. Nothing really, except one small fact. I knew- I had to get up and get dressed. If I didn’t, if I stayed home and in bed one more day, it wouldn’t change. I would be there for a week, two weeks, a month. I don’t want to live in bed.
One thing I know without a doubt, it would be a victory for Satan. He would like nothing more than to take my faith, my witness, and my hope away. He likes to use the little things to make us stumble. Things we don’t know are coming. Hit us out of the blue.
I know people who believe life is about thinking positively – positive thoughts will see you through. After all, God wants good for you. Nothing wrong with positive thoughts but positive thoughts will not always see you through – it’s not the complete story. There was nothing positive about those vases laying in pieces on her grave. Nope, not at all. There has to be a mixture of consequences for your actions. The consequences of laying in the bed forever are huge. It’s not a price I am willing to pay. In this day and time of all is good and fun and happy, we forget there is also seasons of life. “A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance;” Ecc 3:4.
Fear of what would happen if I did something wrong kept me out of a lot of trouble growing up. Momma didn’t play! Fear of what the consequences could be, keep me going at times today. I do not want my grandchildren to remember me as someone who gave up or gave in. I want to them to remember their Grandma went on, even after the death of her child, their mother, their aunt. I want them to remember – I have faith in God, I have hope because of God, I will see Amanda one day because I know Jesus. I want them to know, Jesus is the only way to get through this. His strength is what sustains me, I am very weak. And yes, I want them to remember, there are consequences for even the smallest action – like deciding whether to get up and get dressed. God does not want us to merely feel good; He wants us to be good. A witness for Him lost is a hard thing to recover. Love also consist of breaking a leg to reset it.
‘“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” John 9:3
So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. 1 Peter 4:19
“See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For My own sake, for My own sake, I do this.” Isaiah 48:10 & 11a
It’s a hard pill to swallow. It’s truth. I have to continue, I can not give up and I can not give in. The consequences are too great to do otherwise. I want everyone to know, Jesus gives me strength. I want the works of God displayed in me. I have faith in the faithful Creator. I want to continue to do good. I want to be a good witness for Him in this world. After all, He is the only One who picks up the pieces of my life and creates a new creation.
Love, hugs and prayers – Manda’s Mom #APG