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!