This was a weekend, for me, of two extremes.
On one hand, I had the pleasure of meeting and witnessing roughly 200 people being baptized. Their stories range from quiet to exuberant; customary to tragic; faithless to faithful. I am so inspired by a 10 year old who takes the microphone to thank her parents and friends for leading her to Jesus. I am equally inspired by the senior couple who are baptized together, the husband taking a moment to tell the onlookers that he was baptized as an infant but this time he has a choice. The stories go on and on… but watching the sheer joy on their faces is always so amazing to me. I love baptism weekends.
In the midst of the separate baptism services spread out over the weekend, I read on Facebook all of the condolences being sent to my friend Debbie. Quite unexpectedly last Thursday, her mom’s colon had ruptured and emergency surgery was unable to save her life. Deb and her mom enjoyed a very close mother/daughter relationship and the magnitude of this loss will take some time to be absorbed, I’m sure.
This loss for Debbie and the many supportive remarks to her on Facebook that I read reminded me of my own relationship with my mother. In fact, it did that for many people. So many wrote of their experience losing a parent in the last several years while others wrote of parents in assisted living, etc. There was shared heartache and understanding.
My parents are in reasonably good health living about 1000 miles away. Though I don’t share the intimate details of my relationship with them generally, I feel led to do so this morning. I have a mixed bag of emotions.. they probably do, too. Naturally, I am thankful for them so there is that gratitude. But there is also mourning of a different kind; I mourn what could have been with us and what will not likely happen. Those words aren’t spoken lightly, either. Those words come from years of my trying to understand who they are and coming up with no real or tangible idea.
You know how it is when you order carpet..or wood? The sales rep will tell you to order more than you’ll really need because if you need to reorder later, it will be from a different lot or allotment. In other words, it will be the same but not really ~ there will be differences and things ultimately won’t match. That’s kind of how I feel; like maybe I came from a different lot.
There are worse things, I know. Like having your mom as a best friend and losing her suddenly.
I am so sorry for your loss, Debbie. Take comfort in knowing you were blessed with 46 years of wonderful. Take comfort in knowing your friends care deeply about you, too. Take comfort in knowing that God has placed her in your heart forever and that her love for you hasn’t stopped. That will never change.