Thursday, November 13, 2014

Never the same again

This year as I celebrate my birthday it doesn't have the feel like it has in the past.  If you know me at all you know birthdays are my thing.  But, I know that the reason behind this is that tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of Mimi (Annie's mom) going to spend eternity with Jesus.  But the reality of those of us who are still here is simple, you are never the same again.

It's not always tough, but its always different.  Family events, holidays, simple special occasions like grandparents day or the first soccer game.  All of these events that are and were one time joyful, have a glimmer of grief around every corner.  The "I wonder what she'd think" or the "she would have loved this!" never goes away and I think it never will.  No you are never the same again.  

The hardest part for me has been watching the person I love the most suffer.  She's quiet and gentle and always caring for others, but her hurt runs so deep and her ache is more than I can imagine, understand, or bear.  Most of the time, I am the jerk of a husband who just wants her to "feel better."  But the reality is that nothing I do, or say can ever accomplish that.  I catch her faces as she reads a text from her sister or hear her voice change when her and her dad are not he phone and Mimi is the topic of conversation.  My bride grieves deep for her amazing mother, and nothing I can do will ever change that, or should it.  No, she also is never going to be the same again.

The second most difficult struggle is for my children.  They loved their Mimi more than anything and longed to be with her all the time.  She could convince them (and us) to drive over for a brief visits just so she could squeeze their faces, be excited about their triumphs, and tell them over and over that they were, "The cutest and the smartest."  Its hard watching Paige talk about her as what she did for each of them and to hear Annalee say ho much she misses her as she breaks into tears at the most random times.  When Davis talks about going to just Papa's house since Mimi is in heaven and to see Shepard still expect her to come out of her room at times and even this past month ask about her.  But what I think is hardest on me most is holding our sweet baby Judah and know that she will always be a story to her.  Mimi loved a baby better than most and was always willing to starve herself at any holiday so she could hold them while you ate and you better not argue cause she'd always win, call you son, and then tell you it was going to be her way anyway.  I learned to relent after losing a lot with our first two children, but I do miss those arguments.  They were always in fun, but we loved messing with each other.  And they all miss her.  More than I can imagine.  And They will never be the same.

Third, I hurt for our sweet Papa.  I have never grown to love someone as much as I have for him.  His gentle kindness and playful spirit with all of my family is clearly marked with such sorrow of hurt.  We've cried on my front porch, on the phone, and I have grown to say I'd lay down my life for that man.  He has loved me with respect and been willing to listen and not always agree.  He has my best interest in mind even if it hurts, but I know more than anything.  He will never be the same.

I know Christi and Jeff, Dana and Scott, Hayden and Larson, Dane and Jill, Aunt Jan and Uncle Billy, Kelly, Sam and Hannah, Kyle, and Ethan as well all feel the lose in such  great way and that this week and even past month has been a slow reminder of last year and  am sure that each of them will also never be the same.

But if that was the end of the story, then I think this world would have no point.  If that was the end of the story, then who would want to go one after that.  But the reality is that out of everyone the person who will never be the same again is simple


Mimi will never be the same again.  No cancer, no pain, no loss, no hurt, no tears, and more than all of that combined, she has the joy of sitting with Jesus.  We can think that she missed us, but she has her savior.  We can wonder if she can see whats going on, but we know that she is in the arms of the one who is above all things, hold all things together, and is the one who created all things.  There is no darkness for her as Jesus is her constant light.  There is no sadness in her at all, because the joy of the Father is constant in her thoughts.  Sickness.  GONE!  And as much as we miss her and remember how that woman came to a little league tee ball game and sat on a pillow in lawn chair in major pain to watch her sweet Davis take his turn at bat, we would never want to see her suffer like she did that last year.  So my prayer for my wife, my children, my Papa, and the rest of our family today is that though the pain may never truly subside, our Joy in Christ can come in the truth.  Mimi will never be the same again!

And like everyone else, I still miss her as well.  She made my life so much better and probably was my biggest cheerleader in all that I strived to do.  I wish I could tell her what has happened and what the Lord was doing but I know that like everyone else, because of her life and who she was, I too will never be the same again.  And for that I am truly grateful.  She was a difference maker in so many peoples live and helped make me see my potential.

I miss you singing to me today more than you can imagine!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Judah Asher Parks is finally here!  He was born on April 7, 2014 at 4:10 pm and weighed 6 lbs 12 oz.  We were all instantly in love.  Well, except Shepard :)  He had some warming up to do ;)  Shep is a great big brother, just a little rough around the edges if you know what I mean!  Judah has been oh so sweet.  I hold him. A lot.  He has been exactly what the Lord intended him to be so far.  A welcomed joy that is filled with hope.  He is special.

The joy of his birth comes mixed with emotions of grief as well.  I miss my mom.  Its been almost 6 months since she passed.  6 months without my mom.  I want it to be easier.  Sometimes it is.  Other times it's just not.  I could not imagine her not being here for the birth of this precious boy, and even the day of delivery, with all the family and friends that surrounded us, it felt like there was a gaping hole in the room where she should've been.  It was all so very bittersweet.

Mother's Day is this weekend.  I find myself wanting to skip it altogether. This particular holiday is harder than others because it was a day marked out to honor her!   I don't want life to keep moving on without her.  I have voicemails on my phone that I listen to, just to hear her voice.  I let Judah listen too, so he can know what she sounded like.    I just can't believe this is reality sometimes!

So, in light of remembering her on this upcoming Mother's Day, I wanted to jot down a few things, out of pages that I could fill,  that made her so special:

-She loved the Lord.
-She was a faithful wife.
-She worked so hard.
-She loved fiercely.
-She chose to see the best in people.
-She sacrificed herself for the good of others.  ALOT.
-She was tough.
-She was a fighter.
-She was a loyal friend to many.
-She was a servant.
-She was so hospitable.
-She was forgiving.
-She was strong.
-She was thoughtful.
-She was the BEST Mimi.
-She was my mama.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Missing her...

For several weeks now, I have felt the Lord urging me to blog about my mom.  There are so many thoughts and emotions, I have trouble making sense of it all.  As a whole, I don't write too many things down.  I've always wanted to be an avid journaler, putting on paper my deepest thoughts and feelings.  But….nope.  I tend to just keep that at arm's length ;)  When it comes to my mama though, something certainly just needs to be written.

On November 13, 2013, just 10 days from my previous blog post, I got a call from my middle sister that mama was having some trouble breathing.  An ambulance was called and I met them at the hospital.  She was doing better when I got there after a little oxygen and some fluids.  They were just gonna keep her overnight and the plan was to send her home the following morning on some oxygen.  I stayed with her until about 1 am, and she had been sleeping soundly.  She had been doing well and was adamant that she was fine and I needed to go home and rest.  My sister was coming back in a couple hours and the nurse said she would be right outside the room, so I went home.  As soon as I walked in the door I got a phone call to come back up to the hospital quickly, because she was having trouble breathing again.  When, I got back to the hospital, she had been sedated.  She never really woke up again after that.  We spent the next 7-8 hours holding her hands, kissing her face, and telling her just how loved she was.  Around 10 a.m. on November 14, 2013, while we surrounded her bedside, she took her last breath here on earth, and her faith became sight.  She was finally Home.

That day.  I thought I would be more ready, but the truth is, I don't think I would've ever been ready.  She could've lived to be 120 years old, and I still don't think I would've been ready.  I miss her.  She is my mom!  I had not lived a day on this earth without her!  I didn't get to tell her we were gonna have a baby boy and that his name is Judah!  She won't be here to hold him and kiss and snug him up the way Mimi always did.  Sometimes my chest physically hurts because I miss her so bad.

I find myself picking up my phone, on a daily basis, to call her.  Most of the time I don't even have anything important to tell her.  I just want to check in, or tell her something funny one of the kids did, or tell her Shepard had a fever, or Paige has a choir performance, or Annalee said something hilarious, or Davis wants to show her how good he's reading!   She always wanted to know about the little details of life.  She worried with me like only a mother does.  She would call several times a day if I had a sick child.  She worried about me especially when I was pregnant and wanted to make sure I was taken care of.  Oh, if I could just talk to her.

We made it through Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it was really hard.  So many things remind me of her.  She was always the life of the party!  She loved to host us and wanted to be right in the middle of all the action.  There was an obvious missing link.  Scott and I and the kids spent the night with daddy at his house and had Christmas morning there.  It was great to be able to share that time with him.  The kids thought it was the absolute best.  She would've loved that.  

This grief is deep.  I don't know what to do with it much of the time.  It seemingly comes out of nowhere sometimes, and just washes right over me uncontrollably.  The Lord has been near to me.  I am able to grieve with hope, knowing that her salvation and mine, will reunite us with the Father for an eternity.  He has held me up with His righteous right hand, and I can honestly say, that apart from Him I would literally be in pieces.  I am thankful that she is made whole.  I am grateful that she is free from pain and will never suffer again.  She wins!  She left a beautiful legacy.    I just desperately miss her on this side.