I have heard that life can change in the blink of an eye my entire life. It is something that I think we all know, but until we experience it first-hand it is hard to understand. I have experienced loss in my life, like many of you, in the past. I always have been an empathetic person. And when others experienced loss or changes, I tried to be there for them and sympathize. But I don’t think I ever truly understood, until now. I told my best friend yesterday, that when I sit and think about the last year of my life, the whole landscape has been dramatically altered. It will never be the same.
Today is my Mama’s birthday. She would have been 65. All of my memories popped up on Facebook where I wished her Happy Birthday over the years. Last year, before her Stem Cell Transplant, we all planned a birthday celebration for her. I remember calling her and telling her that we wanted to do a party for her at my house with some of her closest friends and her family. She said, “Don’t do that. It isn’t a monumental birthday. You all gave me one when I turned 60. Wait until I turn 65 next year.” But something made us ignore her request.
I rarely did things against my Mama’s wishes. My sister likes to claim I am a suck up. Haha! But we felt strongly that it was important for her to be able to celebrate. She needed to have a good time with those closest to her before her transplant. We knew that she would not be able to be around a lot of people with her lowered immunity for a while post-transplant.
So on the Sunday after her birthday, we had a great meal at my house with so many friends and loved ones. I was lucky enough to get a friend to smoke barbeque for me. My sister and sister in law helped and we had all the fixings and yummy desserts. But most importantly, we had a lot of love present. When I look back, I am so thankful that we have this memory and that we took the time to celebrate my Mama.
Like I said earlier, a lot can change in a year. In August of 2017, my Mama woke up with a swollen lymphnode that was later diagnosed as Amyloidosis. August of 2018, she had a stem cell transplant as treatment. And this August, I am spending my Mama’s birthday writing and reflecting on all the memories I have with her instead of spending it with her.
It is one reason I write all these things on my blog. I want to record things permanently, so that I never forget these things about her. If you have a fond memory of her, I would love for you to comment with it on this post. Then I will always be able to look back and think of all of the great things about her that I remember and the things others recall too. No matter how small or big your memory is, I will cherish it. And I am sure my family will also.
In close, I want to share the lyrics of a song that I recently heard by Chris Young. I will also share the YouTube video below. Part of the words go like this:
“So, tonight I’m gonna pull out pictures, ones with you in ‘em
Laugh and cry a little while reminiscing
I can’t help
That all I think about
Is how you were taken way too soon
It ain’t the same without you
I gotta say, missing you comes in waves
And tonight I’m drowning”
Don’t get me wrong. I know without a doubt that my Mama is with Jesus in Heaven. And as the preacher at her funeral reminded us, God knows what is around the corner, even when we don’t. The feelings of missing her are for my own selfish wishes that she were with me. I know she wouldn’t come back here for anything. But I will hold on to the promise I will see her again, one day. Until then, Happy Birthday, Mama.