Dear Kids: You Would Have Loved Her

memories

 

Over the last month or so, my 10 year old son has been asking a lot of questions about my mom.

Beyond wondering what color hair she had and what types of things she liked to do, he’s also asking questions about the different kinds of cancer she had, who drove her to the hospital when she was too sick, and why the doctors couldn’t save her.

He sits and listens to everything I share, taking it all in, processing it.

He asks about little details, the small stuff, things I don’t often share – and at times it almost feels like ripping off a Band-Aid to a 16 year old wound.

It’s not that I don’t want to answer his questions, and I absolutely want all three of my kids to know who their grandma was.

But I’m learning there is something entirely different about it when it’s your children asking.

I want them to know how much she loved to go shopping and would have absolutely spoiled them rotten, how she always kept the pantry stocked with the best snacks and all the neighborhood kids knew it, how she loved to work outside in her garden, and how she made the best Swedish cookies.


 

I just wish I didn’t have to TELL them

I wish they could EXPERIENCE it for themselves.

 


 

I’m finding there’s something so much more personal about sharing with my kids what she was like, than I ever have with sharing about her from this blog or even from a platform.

It’s like I’m letting them in to all the private little details that I’ve kept to myself for so long.

I was sharing recently with Carter why I don’t cook like most the other moms he knows.

Besides the fact that I could never make anything half as decent as what DJ could whip together even when he’s in a rush – I shared with Carter how I actually did at one time cook…

After my mom’s second surgery, the one that removed her bladder, she had to spend a lot of time recuperating at home. The radiation treatments she underwent throughout the week left her feeling incredibly weak and nauseous.

My dad’s accident had already occurred at this point and he was still in the hospital which meant at 16 years old I was “head chef” around the house.

People from church and throughout the neighborhood were great; sending over meals that needed only a small bit of prep work or a reheat in the oven – but sometimes you just want a fresh home cooked meal.

My mom would sit on the couch and walk me through making spaghetti sauce, she let me know how much bread crumbs to add for meatloaf or what to put to the crock-pot for my favorite meal: meat and rice (fancy, I know).

Then her and I would sit down on the couch together, TV trays pulled in close, and eat.

And nearly every single night shortly after dinner, my mom would get sick.

It got to the point where I would keep a brown paper grocery bag right next to her TV tray because inevitably it was going to happen. I’d take it out when she was finished and bring her a clean one for later.

I know it wasn’t my fault. I can’t blame my poor cooking skills for her nausea (at least not every time).

But all these years later I absolutely hate being in the kitchen.

And I’m super thankful God had a plan even for that when I married DJ.

Its little stories like these that I’ll share with my kids.

Stories that very few others have heard.

Because although I wish they could know her, I’ll do my best to give them at least a glimpse.

If anything they’ll know about the strength she had, and the faith she held on to.

They’ll know that as their mom, I have put all of my hope and all of my trust in Him and His plan because of what she modeled for me.

And they’ll know they will always have the best guardian angel watching over them.