So Much to Say: A Letter to My Mother

My dearest Mummy,

Unbelievably, today marks one year since you left. There’s so much to say, I hardly know where to begin. Maybe I’ll start by telling you I am fine.

I mean, I am fine today. I have not been fine every day since May 5, 2021. My grief has literally made me sick. The doctors ordered a bunch of tests to rule out heart trouble, but I could have told them I had heart trouble without the tests. Broken-heart trouble.

I thought I knew what it’s like to lose a parent, but my grief for you has been unlike anything I’ve experienced before. For one thing, when I lost Papa I still had you.

I’ve never felt as alone as I did in the weeks after you left. But after my Father’s Day blog post the Holy Spirit spoke clearly to me from one of Jesus’ sayings in the Gospels. You’ll be glad to know I’ve held on to that word by faith all these months.

I just realized something about the verse the Holy Spirit had given me a few hours after your funeral. I didn’t know why I was being prompted to use Psalm 139:18 for my most heartbreaking Facebook announcement, but it resonated somewhere deep inside. Today, on this first anniversary of yours, I’ve finally made the connection.

It was also about not being alone!

Last year we had a memorial service on your birthday. As I was putting together a montage of your life for a video that week, I came across a picture of your wedding ceremony. You both are standing and the veil still covers your face, so perhaps it is just before your vows.

Your head is bent and I can’t read your emotions behind that veil. Maybe you’re nervous and happy and sad all at once. But my goodness, you look beautiful! You’re wearing that white Benares silk sari I loved, holding a wispy bouquet that almost reaches to the ground.

I can’t remember the bouquet, though. Did you give it to one of your sisters, hoping they’d be next? Or maybe you threw it away? You never liked fake flowers, so that wouldn’t surprise me.

My friends sent me some gorgeous fresh flowers in the days after you left. There were pale blue hydrangea, multicolored tulips, and red and white roses, three of each. You would have loved them all. I dried the roses and tulips, and saved the ribbons around the hydrangea.

I don’t need dried flowers to remind me of you. They’re to remind me of the kindness of friends in the saddest days of my life.

As for how your heavenly Father has been looking after me, I can’t even begin to count the ways. But you already knew He would. You had an unshakeable faith in Him, thanks to your loving earthly father. Life gave me a very different dad, but that story ended well as you know.

And because of the Lord’s mercy, this story ends well too. The story of this year since you left.

I still cry.

I still call your name at night.

I still reach for my phone to talk to you.

There’s still so much to say.

I still have a ways to go, but I’m getting better. The love of our Father, the wounds of our Savior, and the presence of our Comforter are steadily healing me.

And now the story of the new year begins. As a sign, today is the National Day of Prayer.

You know how much I’ve loved prayer since childhood. But I’m sorry to tell you, in this last year I’ve often regretted spending those precious moments of our last earthly conversation praying for you instead of thanking you for the gift of life and faith and your sacrificial love.

But on this National Day of Prayer, I am putting that behind me. Today I am choosing to be thankful that in those final hours of your earthly life we were together in our Father’s presence, as we’d been so often in the past. It was His gift to us.

Someday we’ll once again be together in our Father’s presence. There’s so much to say, and we’ll have all the time to say it.

Until then, as Little Fellow used to say, I love you beyond Pluto!


PS – Last year on this day, I found this while going through your Facebook photos. Seeing the date made me weep last year. Maybe next year, if the Lord lends me life, it will make me smile.

(c)2022 Sharon Arpana Edwards. All rights reserved.

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