Three years ago, and almost 2 months ago, my life changed. It was dinner time. We were getting ready to eat so that we could go to see Weird Al Yankovic.
My phone rang and I saw that it was my mom. I didn’t always answer the phone when she called. I would usually wait until later. We weren’t that close and spoke maybe every couple of weeks. I hadn’t seen her in 2 months at that point.
When she called back, I knew I needed to answer the phone. That’s when she told me that my sister had died. However, she didn’t want me to come out to Brookville until the next day.
It was not until the Brookville Police called me and said you need to come out right now. I took the longest time getting there. Meanwhile one of my co-workers kept talking with me to make sure I knew I was not alone.
Once I picked my mom up that night, I had two choices. Either I could let anger take over my life or I could grant her mercy. God told me the path I needed to take was mercy.
I first called my mother-in-law and told her that we needed to make sure she had the essentials, so she was comfortable.
Then she moved in with us for the next almost 2 months. My grieving for my sister was done in secret – at night when everyone was asleep or on the way to work. I didn’t want to fall apart for her sake.
After she moved into her apartment, we would get together for shopping trips, family Sunday dinners, and church on Sundays. We became closer but never truly close. She was never one I could truly confide my deepest secrets or dreams. That was never the foundation of our relationship.
I’m so glad to have those 3 years together. We went on many adventures from seeing the fall leaves last year to going on one last mother-daughter trip down to Berea, KY in 2017. She discovered hummus, caramel macchiatos, and sparkling water. I showed her that life is an adventure. You don’t just float down a river until you die. Sometimes you just have to go out and discover what life has for you.
I also required her to go back to church. I told her that she was not going to live at my house without attending church. Within 3 months of my sister’s death, she was once again a member of a church which was something that she enjoyed attending every week.
Her face lit up with our many adventures. It’s not going to be the same when I go on some of these adventures alone. But I know she’ll be looking down from Heaven smiling at her fiercely independent and stubborn daughter who has endured so much in her life. So much that people don’t realize I have had to find the strength within to survive.
I got those 3 years of cherished memories all because I granted her one thing, she needed in her life which was mercy. I had to put aside my hurt feelings to make sure she lived her best life.
I’m sure God is saying, well done Traci. You have done well and followed the Commandment – Honor your mother and father.
Good-bye mom, I hope you appreciated the love I gave you these last 3 years. All of your imaginary boyfriends are mourning your loss.