The soul inside me is constantly aware, whether I would like to be or not, of her, of the story we lived out in real life. The battle. The up and down movement of energy and hope and faith and fear. It all melded together and became distorted after she died, and now I live it out in vivid memories left imprinted in my mind forever.
Some memories are unpleasant, but they connect me nonetheless to her soul, her life here. And I am thankful for every memory I have of her whether good or bad.
Two years ago today we learned my mother had a massive brain tumor. It was an awful day. I have no other word in my humble vocabulary to describe it other than awful. I remember my brother's voice on the other end of the line. I remember hitting my knees when I hung up the phone, hitting my knees and pressing my forehead to the carpet below me in complete despair. Complete despair.
There are few times in life that one feels that sort of pain. Only the deepest love can produce an equal amount of pain. I had experienced the shocking news of a diagnosis, of the ups and downs of my mother's cancer treatment, but nothing had prepared me for that very moment, the one in which I thought we were losing her, that this was that moment I had been afraid of all this time.
I look back on the weeks that followed the discovery of the brain tumor and her surgery. The roller coaster we rode in the three weeks that followed that tumor diagnosis were heart wrenching, exhausting, unforgettable. And two years out from the experience, I see things a little more clearly. I see little moments in which God was preparing me for the last week of mother's life. I see tiny specks of beautiful. I see love unlike I've ever experienced before.
And so, I am reminded, that no matter what battle we find ourselves in the middle of presently, there are tiny specks of beautiful. Tiny, tiny, indeed, but there. It may takes years to notice them. Perhaps when flipping through the memories in our minds we notice little details we had missed before, and we see the beautiful then, and only then, once we have been removed from the pain of the moment. And we begin to view things from the place of the little flecks of love and hope we had to wait for.
For we know that all things work together for the good of those that love the Lord.
We know that, but when we are asked to live it, to accept it... it's hard. That's not an incredibly poetic statement, it's hard, but it happens to be true. Life is hard and full of hardships, both big and small. But we can rest in the knowledge that if we have faith in the unseen, all these things begin to form the lovely picture of our life. Even the ugly things have their purpose. My mother's brain tumor and surgery prepared me to take care of her in her final days of life. It conditioned me to the things I would need to do in caring for her physically, conditioned my heart to rely on God for strength, conditioned my brain to focus on what was important in the present moment and not think too far ahead.
We know. We are certain. That every little thing will work together. And it will be hard, at times unpleasant and ugly. But when we glance over our shoulder at the past, we will find it glittered with the little bits of lovely He brilliantly intertwined. And we will turn our heads forward and carry on.
It hurts and feels so wonderful at the same time, carrying on. And today, I glance back two years ago when life looked so different from my today. And I believe that things will continue to fit together brilliantly if I can only keep my eyes on Him.