I am not a morning person. Neither was my mother. I need a moment to collect myself before I can put my feet on the ground. Some mornings, I talk to God, some to my mother, and others to Jesus Himself. And then there are some I share with the old lady cat, Millie, lifting her to sit and purr on my chest.
This morning was shared with a pink sunrise.
Our bedroom is situated at the front of our house facing the road. There is a bank of three windows flanked with two inch faux wood blinds that are never opened. At the top of the windows and right in the very middle is a tiny half-moon shaped window that is much smaller in proportion to the three below it. When we first moved in, it took some getting used to. Depending on the season and time of month, the moonlight peaks its way through that little window. On stormy nights, I can watch the motion of the trees in the wind, the streetlight shining behind them. On sunny mornings, the light beams in on my face and there's no chance of sleeping late.
This morning I opened my eyes to a pink sky unlike I have ever seen before. Pink. I couldn't see the sun, only the magnificent color it rendered in the sky around it. I winced and smiled at the same time. That's the story of my life right now; pleasure and pain so equally dispersed. For every thing I have been thankful for this month specific to my mother is also something that I miss so desperately about her. So, though I have searched and found so many things I thank God for about my mother, I have also pinpointed an equal number of things I wish I still had.
But that's grief, I guess. What we loved when they were living, we miss equally as much in their absence.
So how do you deal with it all? How do you appreciate and miss something at the same time? Perhaps this is why I am so tired lately...
I have found myself exhausted the last week. Not tired or sleepy; exhausted. Yesterday was the six month anniversary of her death. Thursday is her birthday. In another week and a half will be my first birthday without her. The heaviness of right now takes so much energy to carry around. And I am exhausted.
Someone brought up my mother Saturday night, and then apologized, saying, "I am so sorry I brought that up..." I told them not to worry. That whether it was brought up in conversation or not, I am always thinking about her. In fact, when someone mentions her, I actually feel better. I feel like the load I am carrying is acknowledged in some way, made more visible. Then I don't feel so crazy.
I don't know what the moral of my post is today. I can't say that it has one. I am thankful for the beautiful pink of the morning sky this morning, and I do feel like it was a gift from God, reminding me that the beauty and the pain are sometimes so intertwined that you can't really tell them apart. And that's okay. That days like Thursday, my mother's first birthday in heaven, the day I cut this hair of mine so that someday down the road a cancer patient can wear it on her head in place of her own locks, will be so equally painful and glorious that there's no sense in trying to make any sense of which is which. "Just live it, Tamara," He says to me in the beauty of the sunrise. "Just live on, and feel the pain with the joy, all of it I give to you."
Today I am thankful for the pink sunrise. For the grief. For the beauty and the pain of this internal struggle I fight every day. For it is shaping my soul. It will all work together for the good. For that is what has been promised.