Dear Mom,

Dear Mom,

Your heart must be so heavy today. For as long as your lungs have known oxygen, Grandma’s been near, never more than one mile away ready with a glass of iced tea and a cheese sandwich. Her voice never more distant than a few seconds of time; I know you can still hear her in your mind. Sweet, bossing, giggling. For such a tiny lady, her departure ripped a big hole in the canvas of your life and there just aren’t any patches to fix it.

In the Book of John, Jesus talks about how God “cuts off every branch in him that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” He goes on to say this: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends…This is my command: Love each other.” (John 15:13, 17) I know that the gardener must cut away some good parts of the vine so that the vine will bear its best fruits, which the gardener can be well pleased with. And while he means no harm, pruning is for a greater eternal purpose that, without sacrifice, cannot be fulfilled.

Pruning is painful. One moment, you’re basking in the summer sunshine under a peaceful breeze and in a flash, you’ve been mowed down by a fast moving John Deere with a razor sharp blade. Blossoms gone, bare and bleeding stems mourn. Like any plant under the sun, the only option is to turn energy toward renewal, strengthening roots upon which stronger, brighter blossoms will perch.

My greatest fear is losing you. I tremble at the idea of being left here alone with nothing more than memories of these moments under a peaceful sun. I’m afraid God will find me just fruitful enough with you that I should be more fruitful without you. I’m afraid because just as he gives, he takes away.

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
   and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
   may the name of the LORD be praised.” (Job 1:21)

I don’t know how one has any voice left to praise God when she loses her mom.

I know, without a doubt, that you would lay down your life for me, the greatest of all loves. Mother’s Day means no more to me than any other; every day is another precious few moments to celebrate the incomprehensibly generous gift of you as my mom.

As much as you miss Grandma, it’s likely only a fraction of the terrific fear that rages in me at the mere idea of losing you. I bow low in gratitude for you today, as always. And, tomorrow my gratitude will have grown deeper and stronger as all good things do under each risen sun.

Thank you for giving so deeply of yourself so that I could know the greatest love of all. Thank you for being my biggest fan, most trusted confidant, greatest teacher, most reliable helper, unrelenting protector, fearless steward of my wellbeing, and my best friend. You are my most desperate prayer, answered.

I love you.

This was written on Mother’s Day 2011. I thought it too painful to publish then, and now, too painful not to.

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