Some days begin with raw memories. Unexpected. Unwelcome. I have no idea why, but some just do. Today is one of those days.
They were wheeling my Mama off to surgery. A craniotomy, to be exact. A surgeon would take out a piece of her skull, remove a tumor, and place that thin piece of bone back where it once was. All surgeries are dangerous, but this one felt different to me.
She hadn't been the same since she had fallen. She was silly and goofy, uninhibited. It was funny, sure, but it wasn't my mother. I feared that she would never be the same.
We weren't sure what caused the fall, but we knew what was in her brain. A baseball sized tumor had grown inside her head, unexpected and unwelcome, just like the raw memories that pierce my heart from time to time.
The anesthesiologist was at her head, and we were saying our goodbyes before they took her in an elevator to the surgical unit. And I felt this urge, this need to pray with her. And so I took her hand and I whispered to my Father and Savior only loud enough for us to hear. And she heard the words, she felt my fear, and she said to me, "Everything is gonna be okay." And for a moment, she sounded like my Mama. Not a brain surgery patient. Not a woman with a massive tumor in her head. Not slurred or silly or different. For a second, it was as it should be.
And I woke this morning with that memory. And I don't want to think about it. Not at all. There's so much I don't want to think about. Not the brain surgery. Not the cancer. Not the last week. Not the sights or the experiences of the end. Not the loss. Not the sadness. Not the way this still doesn't make any sense to me at all. Not the fact that I am still surprised I have to remind myself that she is really gone. Not the way that I wake up on a random Wednesday morning reliving something and feeling the pain in such a different way.
But then there's this tiny blessing of hearing her words in my mind all day. Everything is gonna be okay. Everything is gonna be okay. Everything is gonna be okay.
Oh what I would give to hear them again. To feel her words drip over me. To bathe in them. To cherish them.
One day, Lord, one day.