Monday, July 28, 2008

A letter to heaven

This blog entry is a tribute to my mom. I have been missing her very, very much lately. Grief comes in waves, even after 20 years. I usually cover up my emotions, but I have tried to be more truthful and transparent in the past few years. I am hoping that by "putting myself out there" that I will not only heal a little more, but maybe help someone else in the process.
Dear Mom,

I've never done this, written a letter to you. Will it reach you in heaven? I have so many questions for you. Do you know that I have a wonderful husband who is also an excellent father? Do you know that I have three children, your grandchildren? And that two of them are BOYS! I know that is one area you wouldn't have been able to help me out with, the raising of boys since you raised three girls, but would you have doted on them?

Is there a window in heaven that you can peer through to see how we're doing? Were you there through the births of all my children? Would you have been there if you could? We were so far away from family, it was always only Darrell and I, but were you also there with us?I remember how loud you used to cheer for Dad when he played softball. Do you cheer for us from heaven? Do you let a tear slide down when we're going through trouble? Do you sigh when we make the mistakes that you wanted to warn us about?Do you know that I see glimpses of you......through Evan's sense of humor......

and Ann-Marie's sense of determination in everything she does.....
and Alec's free-spirited, exuberant ways? I see you in my children and through Carla and Sheila's children, evidences of you being lived out in your grandchildren.

You see, I took you seriously when you said you always wanted to travel, so I did it for you. I took you seriously when you said finish college and see the world. But doing those things didn't bring you back, but I like to think that you were somehow with me, bringing closure to a life cut short.

So, no, the grieving never ends, it just changes and the edges become less sharp with time. But sometimes, I don't want to be the mom, be the strong one, and I want to go running back into your arms. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like, to be friends with you as an adult, to have you as a Grandma to my children. Would we have a good relationship? Would you come to visit us often? Would you send letters and little gifts to my children and offer to babysit?

And finally, do you know that I am sorry. For being the bratty teenager when you died, for not saying "I love you" enough when you were alive. I know now, how much you did, how much you sacrificed, how much you loved us. Because I have a family now and I understand the intensity and complexity of a mother's feelings for a child. And I miss you so very much. So, maybe you received this letter through the window of heaven. If not, I believe that I will see you again, and maybe you'll be able to answer all my questions. And maybe, by then, they just won't matter because I will understand the fullness of the love and the plans fulfilled, even if I don't understand them now.

I love you, Mommy,


Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."


April Emery said...

this was so touching to read ... to see your heart ... i cannot imagine how much you miss your mom. she would be so very proud of the woman you have become ... and the precious family you have. thank you for being so transparent

Anita said...

Thank you, Paula... again for being you... a real person. I admire the way you 'put yourself out there' and allow others in. I have faith that yes your mom is always with you and that she is proud of you. I am so glad to know you.

Stephanie said...

Paula...that is a beautiful tribute to your mother. I am so very proud of you for doing that!!! You minister to others in all you do and I am proud of you for that also. I am so glad I have had the chance to get to know you.

Helena said...

Oh, Paula, that was incredible. I was crying by the third sentence and can't stop now. You were such an inspiration to me as a new mom, and you have continued to be even from afar now. Your Mom taught you well in the much too short time that she was with you here on earth. I know that you have made her very proud and will continue to do so. If I lived closer I might have to drive right out to give you a hug! Thanks for sharing your heart! I miss you!!

sandrajo said...

This entry has moved me so much. I know that I have told my daughters many times that I am tired of living with a chronic illness and that I just long for heaven. They always let me know that it hurts them when I talk like this -- you helped me understand why...
Thank you for your honesty and your care. You are a great mother yourself and I know that I can see your mother in you.
I am so glad that you have come into my life, especially since you are from Iowa!

Much love,

Kasey said...

your mother is, without a doubt, proud of the women you've become. Your momma and God have "done good" with you, dear friend.

Allyson Gulish said...

Well, Paula, once again you have made me cry! You are such a wonderful woman of God and we are all so blessed to know you and have you in our lives! I was glad to read the letter to your mom, and from what you've told me, I'm sure that wasn't the easiest thing to do-to let yourself feel those feelings. I'm glad you did. It made me think of my moms (bio, in-law, and step) and appreciate them even more. Moms can get taken advantage of, as we all know, and that was a wonderful wake up call for me as a daughter. And as for you, I have learned so much about being a Godly mother from you, just in the short time I've known you. You are beautiful! God has truly blessed you as a wife and as a mother. Thank you for being you, Paula!