Cleaning Closets

#APG #KariJobe

Over the last few months I have been going through the closets in the house.  I am trying my best to get rid of things.  You know, the things that pile up and do not have a reason to be kept.  We have been living in the same house for 30 plus years.  A lot of stuff can accumulate in 30 some odd years, especially when you are married to someone who doesn’t like to throw anything away!!

I have been trying to clean out my side of the closet over the last several weeks, actually more like a few months.  It has been very difficult at times.  The master bedroom and closet is where I have kept a lot of the things our children have made for us over the years.  I have kept every card given to me since I was married.  (Funny, because I accuse my husband of being the one who will not throw anything away?!)  The things I keep are sentimental things.  Anyway, I have come across cards the kids have given me, pictures they have made, pottery Amanda made, and a journal written by Amanda when she was in kindergarten.  Several times when I have found something it’s shaken me to the point I’ve just laid down in bed.  This past Saturday is when I came across the journal.

The journal was mostly about me.  It was neat to read.  Simple sentences.  Things like – I am happy because my mommy….. About the only thing written which was not about me was she was happy because we were going to the beach.  What a great thing to have.  Things written in her own little handwriting.

It’s a mixture of joy and sadness when I come across these things.  I am going to have several of the drawings my son and Amanda framed.  I have some drawings from my grandchildren too.  Think it would a wonderful wall to have things framed from all of them.

I went through a lot of the cards.  It was neat to see the handmade cards from the Grandkids.  In the past they always handmade me cards.  It’s a blessing to have these cards still.  Their little handwriting along with their Mom’s when they were too young to write.  I like seeing all the little notes and signatures from everyone; my husband, son, daughter-in-law, Amanda and my son-in-law, along with extended family.

I am a sentimental person.  The things I keep have memories behind them – wooden spools of thread my Grandma used to sew, an old pair of overalls my Granddaddy wore, an old vase my Grandma had in her house for years, an old radio/record player my Granddaddy listened to, my Momma’s crystal glasses, a letter opener my husband received as a gift when he graduated from law school, pottery and papers our children made from preschool thru high school, the kid’s hats, stuffed animals and toys.  Then there are the things from my Grandchildren – cards, drawings, jewelry and what-not’s.  It’s not the stuff; it’s the memories of the people, the situation, the date or the place.

I am not just sentimental about things.  Songs and music will take me right back to a moment in time.  A place, a person, thoughts and memories come flooding back.  It has happened a lot lately.  I quit listening to the radio in my car a few weeks ago because I couldn’t take riding down the road crying anymore.  I think going thru things has caused me more emotional than normal.  Sunday I had a day of music bringing back emotions which I could not handle.  I fell apart several times.  My husband had the radio on while we were getting dressed.  While he was out walking the dog, “I am not alone” by Kari Jobe came on the radio.  It was one of the songs sang at Amanda’s funeral.  Normally, I am uplifted by the song but Sunday I started to cry.  It began a day of crying.  The choir sang “Let the Worshipers Arise” by Phillips, Craig & Dean.  It took me right back to a day Amanda, some of the Grands and I were riding down the road singing the song to the top of our lungs.  It was so much fun that day but Sunday it hit me – we will not sing together again until I get to heaven.  Sobbing again, worst of all – in front of the whole church.  Music is powerful.

Stories are something I love to listen to and tell.  Old stories about things that have happened over the years.  Stories our Grandparents told about their life have been passed down to my children and my grandchildren.  We tell the Grandchildren stories about their parents.  It’s more important now more than ever.  Sunday night someone was giving a praise at church.  They told of a man who was pronounced dead.  The family gathered and prayed.  A while later the family received a call, their loved one was alive!  A miracle.  The story took me right back to Amanda’s bedside the day she died. My prayer for her life.  My prayer to the Lord, knowing He had the power to revive her.  To give her life.  My prayer wasn’t answered the way I wanted it to be.  I am glad for the family who received the great news.  But, once again Sunday, I began to sob.  Couldn’t get out of the room fast enough.  Once again, I fell apart in front of everyone.

I have been more emotional lately.  Struggling more.  Part of it is dealing with the sentimental things at home.  Part of it is the 2nd anniversary of Amanda’s death coming up.  Part of it is Easter coming.  Part of it is dealing with the loss of relationships.  When I see someone I don’t only deal with the right now, I think about the times and fun we have had over the years.  I love the memories of family and friendship.

I had lunch last week with a friend I have had for years.  We do not get to see each other often but when we do it’s just like we see each other all the time.  We ate lunch and talked.  We talked a few hours – about everything under the sun.  It felt good.  It felt like old times.  We laughed about some of the things our children used to do together.  My son and her son used to act out the “preacher” scene in “Coming to America”; make you laugh so hard until you cried.  Our daughters once locked someone in the dog pen at my house.  Once again, we were laughing out loud.  Not so funny at the time, but it’s hilarious now.

Memories are good.  It’s what the Lord’s Supper/Passover is all about.  Remembering.  It’s a reminder of what God did for the Israelites – making a way, keeping them protected, and sending them to the Promised Land.  The Lord’s Supper was in celebration of the Passover.  It too is a reminder of what Jesus has done for us.  1Co 11:23 – 26 “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me. ”For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”

Being sentimental does not mean you are living in the past or that you are not dealing with the present.  It means today will be my memories for tomorrow.  It means I have memories of people I love.  I like living today, I like remembering yesteryears too.  Sometimes I may become emotional, but it’s okay.  I have new wonderful memories being made.

You see, I have hope and faith too.  Hope in a God who loves me – Psa 62:5 & 6 “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”  I might be a little shaken emotionally but my faith is strong. Faith in an all powerful God, He will see me through the days I fall apart and heal me.  Mar 5:34 “He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.””

To the outside world, I seem to be struggling.  I am in a way.  Emotionally I am a wreck at times.  But, I am not struggling with the everlasting things of life.  I know without a doubt, no matter what comes my way, how much I get hurt, what people say to me or about my family, I am standing on The Rock.  He can do anything!  I trust Jesus.

Love and prayers – Manda’s Mom #APG

10 thoughts on “Cleaning Closets

  1. I am sorry that you lost your daughter, Amanda.
    I too, lost my only daughter, Erine Brooke, July 3, 2015.
    Still feels like yesterday.
    I am glad that you are able to write and share your thoughts, hopes, and memories. It gives me comfort. I will continue to read.
    This is a hard and unimaginable place to be even with a good faith. I am tired.

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  2. Thank you for continuing get to write ,I know if can be hard. I’m coming up on the 3rd year of my sons death. Your words have truely pulled me through, some of the deepest, darkes, places.. God be with you and to all Mothers in this club

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  3. Thank you for sharing. I lost my son September 10, 2016. He was 33 years old. Never married and had no children. He was a Veteran of Iraq war and went through a lot. I miss him so much and hurt so bad. Part of me died with him that day and the huge hole in my heart aches every minute of every day.

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  4. As I read all of the comments, I want to thank “Amanda’s mom” for sharing & giving us the opportunity as well. Matt was my only birth child, age 26. No wedding, no children. I am glad he did not leave a child fatherless. My stepson, Robbie, passed age 36; & he left a beautiful 2 yr girl w us. A blended family w 4 children, now only 2. Both passed fr accidents, 10 years apart. I have a mantra “There is always something good out of something bad”. Well, I haven’t found (true good) fr our heart breaks. This site, however, is good. It allows us to speak our children’s name….& that, dear friends is very good indeed. Love & Peace to all.

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  5. today was a dark day for no particular reason and i went searching for a connection to others who know the pain of loosing a child. i found you, it’s sort of like going to a bookstore and touching a book cover, and having it be “just the right thing at the right time” wonderful, mysterious, just right”. my beautiful son samuel died june 21 2013 from a diabetic seizure. his father died from diabetic complications at age 52, and now my only other child has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. today i just feel lonely and heavy with grief. i had made the decision to keep moving forward, to live with passion and hope, to keep loving, but i seem to almost always feel… left out, alienated, never a part of the crowd, different from others… i sense people do not know what to say, so they just don’t communicate, they leave or they just never come.. i think it just makes the loss so much more painful, i know i am in a club that no one wants to be a member of.. today ,i just needed to find other members of that club and connect. may GOD’s arms stretch to embrace us all, and may we all feel bonded in love hope and inner peace.

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  6. Your page came up on my Facebook feed today. I lost my 19 year old son as well almost 2 years ago from heart complications. Your words touched me very deeply. This weekend I have also struggled with these feelings and yes, the only thing I know for sure is my Faith and God’s strength will continue to keep me going. Needed this so much today. Thank you from mom to another❤

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