The Club

I’m not one that believes in coincidences.  When things happen, like they did today, I don’t doubt that there is purpose and intention beyond what I see and know.  Just today I ran into three different people in three different locations who had lost a parent.  Three people.

When my mom died, a dear friend sent me an email sadly welcoming me to the loss-of-a-parent-club.  Just last week, my father-in-law joined the club.  Sadly, it’s a club that most of us will, someday, join.  Today, there were few words exchanged with these club members, only a slight nod of the head and a gentle, knowing smile.  Yeah, it hurts. 

This journey is a fickle one. . . kind of like the weather where I live.  In a days time you might witness the transition from warmth and sun to rain to wind and snow.  So, too, I’ve found the flight from joy to sadness can occur in a moment.  The assumption is innocently made that I must be healing, because I’m moving forward.  I find myself wondering, though, what it means to heal from loss.  I’ve gotten over it?  It doesn’t hurt anymore?  That it’s all okay?  I don’t think any of these things will happen.  I recently read that C.S. Lewis described that losing his wife was like having a leg amputated.  You don’t get over your amputated leg.  The wound may heal, but the leg will never grow back.  You’ll always have that absence in your life, and you’ll always walk with a limp. 

That probably sounds so dark.  In a way, though, it sets me free.  It frees me to get comfortable with the wound. . .

Getting through Thanksgiving was a big deal.  There was a plan, an expectation, a readiness to rally our way through it.  And we did.  I was reminded this week, however, that its not so much those “big” days as it is the everyday.  I used to tell my mom everything.  She was number 3 on my speed dial, after Chad, and that 3 got an abundance of pushes.  “Guess what Charlie just said?”  “Oh you wouldn’t believe the pigtails in Chanelle’s hair.”  “Mom, I’m overwhelmed”.  So, whatcha up to?”  Yep, she heard it all.  There was something about who she was that made life’s curve balls seem less harsh.  I needed that this week. 

Oh, and Chanelle.  She’s the tough one.  When Chanelle was born my Mom was in the room.  After the birth of three grandsons in three years my Mom’s excitement at having a girl equaled, if not surpassed, my own.  I watch my beautiful kids growing and the heartache of what she’s missing is so real.  I wish she could know them.  I wish she could delight in the stories of their lives.  I wish she could see me being a Mom.  I miss the comfort of her voice.  I miss the “awws” and the “I wish I lived closer” when I would tell about the un-exciting moments of our days. . .

But I do continue to move forward.  It probably doesn’t sound like it, but I do.  Minute by minute, day by day.  The effort to drink in the simple moments is more intentional.  The beauty of the right now is enough to fill me up.  The preciousness of this season is worth more than all the money in the world.  By no means does loss steal an ounce of joy from the joyful moments. . . it actually produces joy from the deeper recesses of my soul. 

It’s when I meet others who are in the really crappy club that I am comforted to know that this is all normal.  All these feelings. . . we’ve all got ’em, in one form or another. . . and it’s okay.  I also know that it wouldn’t hurt so much if the love that we shared wasn’t so real. And for that. . . I am so very thankful.

  • Sassytimes - December 3, 2010 - 1:58 pm
  • Written Permission - December 3, 2010 - 3:57 pm

    Oh, friend. I think this is so, so true. When you have a loss like this, there's nothing that will ever repair the wound, or make it all better. You are so supported and so loved. And I think you're doing a phenomenal job. 🙂

    Big hug to you, S.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - December 3, 2010 - 4:39 pm

    Chad set me up proper like now. 🙂
    You are so right, 30 years since I lost my dad, 3 years since my sister and now my mom, it is a pain then an ache that will not ever go away. I am glad of that. I never want to be "over it" as some people like to say. I want to cry when I see an empty swing that reminds me of our last time with dad. Or every time I hear How Beautiful or All is Well.
    Thanks….we are all on this road and in this club together. A friend came over last night and is in the process of joining the cancer club. It was good to talk of doctors and hope and especially the hope we have in Christ. Thanks Summer….love you!ReplyCancel

  • Adopted Aunt - December 4, 2010 - 3:37 am

    Sweet Summer. You said it just right. Though I am not part of your club but know I will someday. I have a really close friend who lost her mom last Easter. And when I think of losing my mom WOW its like NO WAY!!! She would be so proud of the mom and wife you are.You have two beautiful children that are so precious. They even leave "stinky brownies" in my car!:) Boy did I laugh. I am so glad that you are so willing to share. You touch lots of hearts and I am going to be sure my friend reads this one. Hope to see you Sunday eve. at kids performance. Charlie was telling me about it. At least you still have a great mom in law.:) Be glad!!!!:) and know that your friends love you and are praying for you.ReplyCancel

  • Ky • - December 4, 2010 - 10:54 pm

    Oh, this is definitely not a club I like to welcome members in to.

    This line resonated with me today: "Today, there were few words exchanged with these club members, only a slight nod of the head and a gentle, knowing smile."


    For what it's worth, I think it sounds like you're moving forward. But it's totally ok if you decide not to move forward, but back and to the side, too. This whole journey… oh boy, it's hard. Just keep moving.

    Big hug to you.ReplyCancel

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