Tag Archives: grief

The Mountain or the Molehill

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It is hard to believe in just a couple of days it will be 5 years since my momma went to be with my daddy in Heaven. Every year it’s hard and this year is no different. It has been a while since I wrote on here, but I thought this would be a good time to share something I had written a while back. I shared this as a devotion at my church recently. Maybe it can help someone else who might be going through the same thing.

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My mom and I in 2007

The Mountain or the Molehill

In the early weeks of January 2012, my preacher preached a sermon and encouraged us, in order to grow our faith and strength of character in God, we needed to ask Him for a mountain. In asking God for that mountain, we were acknowledging that God would walk the mountain with us or move it if we had enough faith.

I know the power of words and what a brilliant listener God is. I was afraid to ask for a mountain because I knew if I asked God for it, He would give it to me. So instead, I bowed my head that day, and I requested a molehill.

Just a few short weeks after that sermon, God answered the prayer. If what I received was only a molehill, I’m glad I didn’t ask for the mountain.

My mother was in remission, from stage-4 lung cancer with mets to the brain, for almost a year. We were planning a cruise. It was her dream vacation. On this particular morning, the day before we planned to leave, I walked out of the kitchen, where we just had breakfast together. Moments after I walked away, I heard a dreadfully loud crash. I rushed back into the kitchen to find my mother sitting on the floor with her leg and hip bent unnaturally. I knew when I saw it that my mom had broken her hip. The cruise was a trip she would never take.

Less than a month later, while she was recovering in the hospital, she began to talk crazy and say bizarre things. An MRI showed new spots on her brain. In February, they gave us the news. There was nothing more to do. They gave her six months.

I was devastated. I had lost my father in 2009, and now it was inevitable that my mother would join him soon. The brain mets combined with the hip fracture left her unable to walk, she was wheelchair and pretty much bed bound. Initially, she went to a nursing home, but it lasted merely a few weeks. I couldn’t stand the thought of my mother spending her final days in a strange place away from her family. My husband and I packed her up and brought her to our home. Hoping my two-year-old daughter, who my momma named Stormy, would bring her some joy in her final days.

It was hard. It was more than hard, I was working a full-time job from home and dividing my time between it, my husband, daughter, and mother. It was nearly impossible, without God it would have been impossible. But, I was now momma’s sole personal caretaker. I took her to the bathroom, bathed her, prepared for her and sometimes fed her meals. It was exhausting, but it was something I knew I willing to do, something I truly believe I was born to do. People would often ask me how I did it. My answer was always “Through the Grace of God.” Towards the end, mom weighed over 150 lbs. and lifting her was harder each time. Still, I mustered the strength through my God and did just that.

There were moments I would turn up momma’s TV and go outside on the porch and scream as loud as I could. I wasn’t screaming at God. I was screaming at this horrible Cancer that was taking my momma from me. There were times when I wondered how long I could do it. But, I knew what it would mean if I didn’t have to support her anymore. I knew that when I stopped having to do those things, then she was gone from me.

There was a moment at the beginning of the 7th month after they told us we had only six left that I could see she was declining fast. It was getting harder to lift her. Her strength was failing at an alarming rate. When I stood her up from the couch on this day, I held her close and hugged her. It was hard to hold her up. She was heavy, and I was tired. I had been her caretaker so much those last few months that I had forgotten to be her daughter. I hugged her close and told her how much I loved her. She held on as tight as she could. Her strength was gone by now. That day I sat at the breakfast table and fed her. She was too weak to lift a spoon of oatmeal. It would be the last time we talked because after this day she was too weak, even to talk.

I told her how much I loved her. I told her what a wonderful mother and friend she had been to me. All the things we hope we can tell someone we love before they die. She was by far the strongest person I have ever known. But, on that morning, I told her that it was okay for her not to be strong anymore. That is was OK. The last words besides “I love you” that my mother ever spoke to me were, “Now YOU will need to be strong.”

Less than a week later, my mom passed away surrounded by friends and family and totally at peace.

I often think back to that January morning when my preacher told us to ask for a mountain. Part of me wishes I would have asked for nothing at all. Part of me is glad I only asked for a molehill. And, yet the other part, deep in my soul, knows that even though I asked for the molehill God gave me the mountain because he knew that with Him I could cross to the other side.

 

I will leave you with this 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

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In a Blink

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In A Blink

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In a blink

It all changed

The laughing joy

Turned wracking tears

The smiling boy

Turned angel wings

In a blink

It all changed

There was no warning

No sign of things to come

One moment he was with us

The next

He was gone

Hold tight your treasures

Hold tight your loves

Life can take a sudden change

In only

A blink

© S. Tennyson Taylor

The Locked Box

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Today’s daily post prompt is an Audience of One – Simply to write a post or letter to the one person you wished was reading your blog right now. My contribution is below.

The Locked Box

I miss you.

I am a master at putting my feelings away in a little box and locking it up with an array of different locks and keys.

Why do I do this, you ask?

Because I miss you.

If I didn’t lock away my feelings, I might be reminded of the fact I will never get to hear your voice again.

I would know you weren’t going to show up for any holiday gatherings.

I would be forced to acknowledge the fact that your granddaughter only had a few short years with you.

I would be reminded that others I know, can still hug their mother close.

I would have to face the fact that I will never again feel your arms around me.

When I have news to share, I would know I couldn’t call you.

I would cry.

A lot.

So instead, I lock away those feelings. I keep them in a precious box that no one knows the combination to.

Because thinking of you is too painful.

Missing you tears me apart.

I feel raw and sad and lonely.

I love you, mom.

I miss you!

Flash Fiction Challenge – There Will Be No Gravy

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It has been a while since I participated in one of these, but since I am between stories right now I thought it would be fun.

TerribleMinds is a blog run by Chuck Wendig – He is smart, talented, and very potty mouthed. But his advice for anyone who writes is superb. If you haven’t checked him out and you don’t mind a few a lot of curse words, then you should. Check him out that is.

Anyways, each week he has a Flash Fiction Challenge – This week it is to write an entire story in 100 words. Not as easy as it sounds. Plus we are supposed to make the reader FEEL something.

I decided to give it a try and my story is below. Hope you enjoy.

 

There Would Be No Gravy

I stared at the empty pan. What was I doing?

My job was turkey and dressing. I never made gravy.

It seems like a simple task, making gravy. But she made the best. I never watched or learned.

Even while cancer ate away at her, I lived in denial. Mom the invincible made the gravy.

In a few minutes, the house would surge with family. I stared at the empty pan. The clock blinked 3:25, it was time.

The knock on the door came, “We’re here, Merry Christmas.”

I crumbled and wept. It wouldn’t be a merry Christmas without gravy.

© Shelly Tennyson Taylor 5-2014

To Walk in Your Shoes

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Today marks 1 year since my mother passed away.

I found a poem I wrote to her in 1999 – This would be 11 years before I had a child of my own and so it was so fitting that “I could only imagine”.

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To my mommy – To Walk in Your Shoes

I can only imagine how you must have felt to hold my tiny body in your arms the day I was born.

How you must have rejoiced when I spoke my first words and took my first steps.

Or how your heart must have broke the first time I got hurt.

I can only imagine how you must have sat and watched me walk into school that first day

How proud you must have been when I read my first words knowing that you instilled such a love of reading and writing.

I can only imagine how you must have felt to see me turning into a young woman.

To look into the eyes of what you still remember as a baby and see a little lady growing up before your eyes.

I can only imagine how your heart might have broke the first time mine was broken by a boy.

Or how you must have been filled with joy, love, and a even a touch of pain, to see me walk down the aisle on my wedding day.

Your little girl, all grown up.

I can only imagine how it feels, to be the most loving, giving, selfless, beautiful mother in the entire world.

I can only hope that one day I have the chance to be half the mother you have been to me.
I love you mommy, Happy Mother’s Day, your little girl, Shelly

(c) Shelly Tennyson Taylor 1999

A Confession and Suppressed Grief

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So, for the past week I have been going through the motions of a mindless eater. Actually that isn’t entirely true, I have knowingly gone into the cupboards and found the hidden Nutella jar (by the way it is either heavenly goodness or the devil, I haven’t decided which yet), eaten spoonfuls of peanut butter & Nutella mixture, taken handfuls of cereal, eaten ice cream and basically anything I wanted. Now, for a normal person this might be okay, however I am recently back at my Weight Watchers lifetime weight and so this has put all of that in jeopardy.  I dread the scale next week…. Sorry Susan, advance warning of my breakdown.

Not only have my eating habits been bad, but also I have not written a single word or edited a single page in my novel in the past 6 days. I am not reading, and I am spending mindless hours a day trying to Crush Candy…..

The question is why?

I had an epiphany moment a bit ago when I opened a piece of mail from Cobb Hospice. Reminding me, As if that wasn’t all that has been going through my head since the start of September, that we are coming up on the 1-Year anniversary of my mother’s passing.

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Aha!
In all my mindless acts, I do not have to think.
If I start to think, I might be reminded that I have lived the past year of my life without my mother, my best friend, my daughter’s Nana. Without these mindless acts, I would have to think and realize how much I miss her and how I would love to just have her arms around me one more time in a comforting hug.  I might have to realize that I finally wrote and finished a story AFTER she died and so she was not able to read it. I might have to register when my daughter says she misses her Nana. I might have to take off the mask of “I am fine, I am strong.”
I might have to allow myself to grieve for her again.  

I guess the little box I had this all tucked away in is getting wet and soggy and breaking down.

For a moment, I will allow myself to cry and be mad and sad and happy she isn’t in pain anymore. I will feel sorry for myself and for my daughter for not getting more time with her. And then, I will wipe away my tears, put on my happy face, and put it all back in a new little box and tuck it away.

Of course, in 3 days on September 9th, when we come to the “actual” day that Momma went to be with Daddy in Heaven then I might have to pull that box back out and allow myself another good cry.

The First One Without Her

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Me and mom

Me and mom

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It will be the first Mother’s Day without my mom. She died last September 9th, the day after what would have been her and my father’s 45th wedding anniversary if he hadn’t passed in 2009.

On one hand it seems like she has only been gone a moment and on another it feels like she has been gone forever. I don’t think my 3 year old daughter remembers her that much anymore. It makes me sad to think that she won’t remember the endless amount of love that my mother had for her. I try to talk about her when I can but that is hard. Talking about her reminds me that I will never be able to put my arms around her and hold her close again. My heart breaks.

My mother was my very best friend. She was smart and funny and strong oh my was my mother strong, both physically and emotionally.

As I sit here I am trying to remember a “just” me and mom story and I am reminded of a time when I was just maybe 9 or 10 years old and mom had a gym membership.

Looking back can’t help but wonder why she even had the membership she was always so fit. I don’t remember her ever being overweight. But she had the membership and my dad used to drop us off at the gym and she and I would go in get changed and then go play racquetball.

We weren’t very good at it but we had fun playing, plus we got our exercise in.

Afterward we would go to this little bar inside the gym and get a fruity drink. It is pretty much what is called smoothies these days but back then in 80’s they were just icy fruit drinks.

When we were done daddy would be waiting for us outside in the station wagon. We always had a station wagon or a white van, lol!

I have no idea what those afternoon racquetball games were about. We didn’t go long. A few months was all maybe. But I loved that time with my mom. It was just us girls. And I had forgotten all about it until I sat here to write today.

Everyone says life is short but we never seem to realize it until we begin to lose the people closest to us.

Mommy in Heaven, I love you so much. I miss you every day. I dreamed about you a few days ago and in my dream I was hugging you. It felt so real that I didn’t want to wake up. Enjoy your Mother’s Day in Heaven and I will see you again one day!