Amanda and I used do a skit on Mother’s Day in our church. The skit was more of a reading. We did it several times over the years. I loved performing it with her. The skit was about us as Mothers taking care of our children as they were growing up. Over the years we had people request for us to perform the skit.
Things I would say as a Mom to Amanda – “Put your sweater on, it’s cold outside.” “Be careful walking down the steps, you don’t want to fall and break a leg.” “Hold my hand, we are crossing the road”. Things Mom do – Tuck them in bed, kiss and hug them, bandage their boo-boo’s, drive them to wherever they need to go.
Then the skit moved to Amanda saying and doing the same things for me. How the roles would change to her taking care of me. Telling me to “Put your sweater on, it’s cold outside.” I’m sure you get the picture.
In our family, we would get to talking about my husband and myself getting older and/or dying. I have pointed out several things in my house that are to be passed down. The kids used to laugh and say the first thing they were going to do was have a garage sell. They were glad I pointed out the things which would bring the higher price. My son-in-law used to tell me, I should be very thankful for him. He would be the one to take care of me. I always said I know and I was and still am very thankful for him. As I am for my daughter-in-law. But the point is – it’s not so funny now. A parent should never have to bury their child, but unfortunately it happens every day.
Amanda took care of us while she was alive in several ways. She was my prayer partner. She would stock up on different grocery items (coupons!) and give them to us. She would go with me to grocery shop for vacations and would go with me to pick out clothes for the kids – especially the holiday stuff. I’ve always enjoyed buying their clothes for Easter and Christmas especially. Amanda would always check to make sure we were alright on our travels. When we were leaving and when we were coming back. Any time I had something to prepare for at Church, she was there to help. Children’s Church, AWANA, Children’s activities….she would make the time. Amanda was a care giver. Not just to us, but to her brother and nieces. Funny, the one thing she wouldn’t do was help clean up the kitchen after family dinners!!
The last month has been absolutely horrible. That’s putting it mildly actually. Between the anniversary of her death and Mother’s Day coming, I am struggling. There are only a couple of people I have told how bad I feel. But, I am going on. I dread just about everything. When I feel like something good is happening or has happened, there is someone or something to blast it all out of the water.
Yes, it has been two years. No, I am not over it. Please, try to imagine – burying your child. Please, try to imagine – your family life being totally disrupted. Please, try to imagine – people saying horrible things to you. Please, try to imagine – people do not want to be around you. Please, try to imagine – your church life being changed drastically. Please, try to imagine – watching your husband holding in all in. Please, try to imagine – struggling to find something to talk about around people. Please, try to imagine – friends ridiculing you for crying. Please, try to imagine – being hurt over and over again for the past two years. My daughter died. She’s not coming back. I’m not going to “get over it”. I go on. I live. But, I will never get over her death.
Thank God there are few people who send text, send cards, invite us out to dinner and give me hugs. They realize the struggle. They understand the gravity of the situation.
One thing I will never do is act like she didn’t exist. I will not take down all of her pictures and remove the things she made as a child. I do have my bumper stickers to remind me to “Live, Life, Loud”. Amanda lived. She had a family. She had friends. Amanda was loved by a lot of people. Her memory needs to live on for all of us who loved her. Especially her children. Amanda was a good example of a Mother, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Aunt, Grandchild and Friend.
I know this blog sounds like I am venting. I am. Not just for me, but for all of you out there who have lost a child and people expect more out of you than you can give. I understand. I understand how horrible it feels to not be understood at all. I understand how everything in your life is turned inside out. I understand some times you just can’t hold it together – not for attention as some will say, but it’s part of our lives now. I understand others think you should be over it and you are far from it. I understand the victories are small at times and large at times. I understand there are periods of time when it’s all you can do to look at another person. I feel your pain and anguish.
I also know, we can not stay there. We can not stay in the pain and anguish. We can decide what we will and will not do. Of course, all of these decisions need to be made with the Lord’s guidance. We just have to be ready to realize some people will not like it. Being in the minority is not unusual when you are following God’s guidance.
The following verse is quoted to me in different ways a lot: Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare (peace) and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” The thing about this verse is – God was talking about after 70 years. I do love the verse though – because it reminds me God is thinking about me. God loves and cares about me and you!! Our good in life may not be today or tomorrow but it will be!! We will be victorious through Him and Him alone.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8: 35-39
God loves us. Jesus loves us. We need to remember, we need to tell and we need to show this truth. No matter how hard life is, no matter how we are treated, no matter our circumstances, no matter the hurt – GOD LOVES US!!!
Prayers, love and hugs to all of you Mothers who have lost a child. I will be praying especially on Mother’s Day.