Love

On the anniversary of my sweet mom’s passing, I remember her with these words that I wrote last yearIMG_0944 a few days after we said goodbye. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

Before we could even pray or ask, God gave us the greatest gift in our mom. We could not have chosen the womb that bore us, but Gods love for us is shown in the fact that we were loved all our lives by an angel. She showed us what it meant to be a believer in Jesus, not through clever words and heavy rules but through a heart of love. She leant money to the poor knowing she would not be repaid, she loved to be generous out of the little she had. Her words were always good about other people, even those it was easy to judge. She was humble in asking for advice even from her children, she always thought of the person who was overlooked or misunderstood. Eternally optimistic and full of hope she refused to see the bad in people or circumstances. She was our number one champion cheering us on, our encourager and the one who believed more than anything that we could change the world. She was a lifelong learner, a hard worker, quick to get tasks done and diligent in everything she did. She has made us who we are. She was a true friend to me, showing me the way to love, faith and patience. The truth is I wanted to be more like her, I wanted to absorb her character, I admired her so much. Mom lives on in each of us, every time we follow her voice and her example. She lives on in us through every act of compassion, every moment we choose faith over fear, every time we laugh and dance and sing, every time we drink a glass of baileys. In the moments when we are lighthearted and joking, when we are hopeful and courageous and determined – our mom remains with us and we live to make her proud.

Survival

When did simple questions become so complex.

Someone asks me ‘how are you?’ and I freeze for a moment. I know what they expect, because they asked me with a smile and some excitement. They want ‘things are good thanks’ or ‘yeah I’m fine how are you?’ The problem of course is that I don’t have enough words to explain how I am, but all I know is I am definitely not fine.

Although on one level I may be a little bit ok. I woke up this morning, I may have even had some moment of prayer and reflection today, I had a shower, dressed well and took out my moisturised hair twists from the night before. I arrived at work calm and on time despite my commute and enjoyed my colleagues and students. I went to the gym and had a good dinner.

But then.

I sat down in my lounge about to watch the next episode of Good Girls and my heart filled with an overwhelming feeling of loss and sadness. It has been building all day really, and it all floods in although I’ve been keeping it at a distance. The triggers were all there: the Fred Hammond song that reminded me of mom’s constant singing, the mom and daughter on the train, the song at morning worship that we sang at the funeral. The grief, like a fire, then sets aflame any other material it can find. Feelings of isolation that force me to right down all the names of people who love me, the fear of being alone which almost makes me call that guy I let go for good reason, the anger that I thought I had conquered but now again forces me into silence before God.

I heard someone say depression grows in isolation. So I pick up the phone, scroll and call, and she answers and says ‘Sel, how are you?’

To her, I can tell it all.