Summer is here. School is officially out, and I now have a 5th grader and 9th grader in my house. Seriously?!?! I can't believe how big they are getting, and it's happening right here underneath my nose every day. David was in 5th grade when you died, so I think that's why it's so hard to comprehend that now Madalyn is going into the 5th grade. It's been so long since I last saw you and talked to you. You wouldn't recognize the kids... well, I'm sure you would, but you would be shocked. David is maturing, and Madalyn is shooting up tall as a sunflower.
I was so ready for summer this year, more than usual, I will admit. 4th grade got the better of me. It's the first teacher that I just could not connect with. Could not. I guess because as Madalyn shifted to the intermediate school, there comes along with it a greater divide between parent and school. They expect them to be a little more independent, and I get that. But I only got to attend one class party, the one at Christmas. And I got tired of signing every single sheet of paper that came home. And I'm just glad 4th grade is over.
8th grade was no less challenging, just in different ways. David started the year off well, and then after Christmas break just struggled with some test grades. And in the middle of that was golf, which was so difficult this season for him. He was trying new techniques, he messed up his back, and then he just never got the zeal for it again once he could return. I don't know if it was pure discouragement or if it was fear he would hurt himself again. Whatever it was, he just stepped back from it. We had him set up for weekly lessons, but he wasn't showing any desire to practice or put in the time, so we called it off. We'll see what his future holds. Right now, he's all into his four wheeler and learning how to do different things to it. He's good with his hands when he wants to be.
I picked up reading my Jesus Calling again. It's been months since I sat down with it. When I get in a funk, it's hard to read it because it just reminds me of you and all of our struggles as you fought cancer. It's amazing, though, how much better I feel when I read it and focus my mind on the things that matter. I've been a bit of a mess lately, I will be honest. It's like I keep looking and waiting for someone, something that can fill your spot, desperately wanting someone to love me the way you did. In the past few months, I've started to realize that I will never have that again. No one will ever love me the way you did... it's just not possible. You were my Mama, but you were so much more because you were you. I'm even more convinced now than ever that our souls knew from the minute we met that we would not have an entire life span together, and that is what helped create our unusual bond. It's not that our relationship was perfect... I drove you crazy, and you got on my nerves, and we had the normal ups and downs any parent/child relationship has. But we didn't have the big issues, the screaming and fighting and other things like that which bring about deep regret. I don't have any regrets, and I am confident to say you didn't either. And that's a gift. I think it eases my plight with grief a little, and then it adds in something that not many others can understand. My hole is larger than most in daughters that have lost their mothers because our relationship was so much broader and deeper than the typical mother and daughter relationship. It's something to be grateful for, and yet it is what makes me ache ever more.
I'm getting this. I'm recognizing that I can't look to anyone else to take your place. I can't put that pressure on anyone because it is an impossible task. But to think about it and realize makes me so angry. So very angry. I've got to stop expecting people around me to nurture me like my Mama once did and get back in the Word. That's all there is to it. And it makes me mad to admit that, because inside I feel like a five year old little girl that wants to crawl into her mother's lap and read a book.
I remember sitting in your lap one Saturday morning. You had your coffee cup beside you. I don't think anyone else was awake yet, and you sang your original musical masterpiece, The Saturday Song. It's just a little snippet of a memory, like a clip of a movie immortalized in one of my brain cells. That's where I would like to be. In a Saturday, a safe Saturday, in a world where you still exist. But that is not to be, is it? So, here I am. Learning to live without you is more painful than I ever dreamed it would be. Learning to let my assuredness bubble up from the inside. Learning to love myself. Learning to stand on my own two feet without you beside me or behind me or wherever I need you to be. But I am learning, Mama. I am trying. And that's the best I can do.
I love you dearly. Always will.