It’s been two years since Lisa left her broken body to make her journey home. Not a day goes by that I don’t wish for one more hug, one more giggle, one more “Oh, Mom!” But I know I would never be satisfied with just one more.
Grief still follows me, but it does not fill me.
I join countless others caught unprepared for this journey. Acceptance is not as word I use. Perhaps adapting tinged with bursts of discovery is a better fit.
I have learned that motherhood was more a part of my identity than I thought. I have lost more than Lisa. I have lost that persevering purpose that drives you through the days when energy and motivation takes a vacation and you can’t call in sick. I have lost my Kleenex companion for sentimental movies. I have lost my read-aloud audience. I have lost a thousand reasons to save something or buy something or share something.
Two years later I’m living where most people have never met Lisa. They only imagine the hole she left. Though I look for ways to share her unique essence, I can’t recapture her bold and courageous spirit as I wish.
Two years later I still can’t watch “Dancing with Stars.” It was her favorite. I watched it only to stay in the know when she talked about it.
But I have also received much in return. Live the gain, I said in my Mother’s Day piece. And I’m trying. But I admit that on some days it is very hard. Here are some of my two-year lessons:
That no one is truly gone who lives in your heart.
That whatever motherhood grew in me, still grows.
That I am still a mother.
That Lisa is still the gift God uses to shape me.
That my love for Lisa is now love without frustration or challenge. It is deeper and purer.
And I’ve checked off my most important goal as a mother: to make sure Lisa gets home to Jesus. She’s there. Safe. Home. Waiting for me. And while it is difficult to realize how long I may have to wait for that reunion, knowing she is home brings a special relief.
Two years later, I am more wistful than teary on this day. Little by little I am letting go of the last difficult days and retrieving more of the good days. And there were so many more of them that sometimes got lost in the juggling and complications.
Two years later and I still see her smile. Whatever this life took away from Lisa, it NEVER took away her smile. Two years later, it warms me in ways that move me forward. She lived her life as fully as anyone I have ever known. To be faithful to her memory, I must do the same.
Two years later, I am trying to.