I will never forget the day.
It is as clear in my mind today as it was then.
I woke up to my little brothers screams.
My mind was foggy as I had been out late the night before with my friends. But I heard his screams.
I raced out of my bed in the only downstairs bedroom of our house, up the stairs to see him.
I didn't believe him.
I told him he was mistaken.
But he was right.
Our mom had died in the middle of the night.
We had no idea, no clue whatsoever.
I last saw her the day before when she was off to play bridge with some friends. And I was gone before she came home.
The day before that, my mom and I had a very long conversation about what it meant for me to say I was now a "christian".
She didn't get it at first. She said that as Catholics, we were Christian. That the United States was a christian nation.(boy, has that changed.)
I explained to her that everything she believed was true. That Jesus was God's son. That He did come to earth to die for our sins. And that He did rise from the dead on that first Easter morn.
What was different for me was that Jesus wanted to be involved in my life every single day. That He wanted to be involved in our daily decisions; the big ones and the little ones. It was a very good conversation, and I shared with my mom what I did and told her she could do the same. She wanted to think about all we had talked about.
I never knew what she thought. Never knew what she decided. It took me a long time to deal with that.
Today is 40 years.
Forty years ago, my mom died.
I have lived now almost two thirds of my life without her.
She has missed the BEST moments of my life.
She wasn't there when I graduated from nursing school. But she was instrumental in me going to nursing school. It wasn't until after she died, that I decided I wanted to be a nurse. That maybe I could help others and their families.
My mom missed me falling in love and marrying Scud.
She wasn't there when I had each of my children. In fact, she only met two of her 15 grandchildren.
That is sad to me. She missed the greatest gifts I have been given in my life: Scud, Kristi, Todd, Katie and Ryan, and now Kellen and Jax. As of yesterday, when my great niece Dylan Madysen was born, she now has ten great grandchildren.
My mom wasn't there to help me, support me in the toughest moments of my life and of my siblings.
My life changed forever the moment my mom died.
It was then that I truly knew of God's faithfulness. It was then that I learned the MOST important thing or lesson that I ever learned in my life; that God is THE ONLY ONE in my life who will ALWAYS be there for me. That lesson has turned my life upside down. It has been a hard one to comprehend. I have wrestled with it and struggled to really believe it, but deep inside the core of me, I know this is true.
God has blessed me with so much, but my relationship with Him is what really steadies me and grounds me. It is this relationship that has kept me going in the darkest of times. Losing both my parents, watching my kids struggle, getting a cancer diagnosis and so much more. I am so grateful for God's faithfulness and His love and Grace and Mercy to me.
I can't believe it has been 40 years.
40 years of God carrying me when I didn't think i could go on.
40 years of wondering how my life would have been different if my mom had lived longer.
I still miss you Mom.