09 August 2013

Day 09. Someone you didn’t want to let go of.

In June of 2007, my family and I moved from Arlington, Tennessee to Salem, Oregon. Ostensibly, it was going to be a fresh start for our family after a few very rocky years.

My mom was 84 when we moved. He mind was failing, and almost every night on the phone, we’d have the same conversation:

“No, we’re in Oregon, Mom.

“No, not Arkansas, Oregon.

“Yes, it’s pretty far away.

“No, it’s more than you could drive in one day (a good 4, 12-hour days of driving).”

Thanksgiving Day of the following year, Mom’s husband called me. She was in the hospital with a bad respiratory infection. I got to talk to her on the phone a handful of times over the next few weeks, but she deteriorated from unintelligible to non-responsive quickly. She died 15 December 2008. The last time I saw her was during a Christmas trip home, 2007. She never figured out where Oregon was.

Losing my mom was hard. But the truth was, I had to let her go a year before she died. I moved out here knowing it meant I would not be there when she passed. But we make choices, and we do the things we think are best for everyone at the time. I tried to do what was best for my marriage and my kids. Some of those decisions don’t work out, at least not for everyone. When I went back for Mom’s funeral, I wouldn’t have recognized her. She had aged 30 years in those 18 months, a frail little old elf rather than the relatively tall, strong woman she had been.

Yet here, four and a half years later, even though I’m a lot farther away from my kids than I’d like, I have a good, stable job at a great employer, and I’m engaged to the most wonderful woman I’ve ever known. She has two great kids I’m looking forward to being step-dad to…, no, wait, I’m looking forward to being dad to all five of my kids!

“Now we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning those who have fallen asleep, so that you will not grieve as also the rest, who have no hope.” - I Thess 4:13
Everybody has to let go, sometimes. Letting go can be an ending or a beginning, or both. And I’ll see Mom again. I thank God for my life today.

No comments: