If you look close ... you can see that there is an Oak Tree growing. It wasn't here this morning, but this evening when I checked it, it had sprouted and I can already see the beginning of it's branches where the bud is splitting.
Last week, it was only an acorn that I planted. I love this little tree and it means so much to me. My friends at work bought it in memory of my Mother who passed away almost two weeks ago. It's as if I have something more than just her memory to hang onto.
They didn't know my Mom, but it was very special to me that they chose an Oak tree because my Mother was a very strong person. She never bent, nor broke, and she endured so much when we were kids. She gave so much, and took so little, and I never realized that until I lost her. She gave to us when she was hungry, and she did without so that we would have. She loved us more than life, and that too I didn't realize until she was gone.
As I've sat here and looked at her picture above me, I've realized so much that I wish I could go back and change. I would have visited more often, and I would have called her more than once a day. I would have spent more time with her ... but as her child, it never occurred to me that my Mom would die. I loved her, and she loved me ... and for fifty-three years we both knew that.
On Mother's Day this year, I knew that it would be the last one I would spend with her here on Earth. She was ready to go ... so willingly, but I wasn't so willing to let her go. She told us that she was at the gate in Heaven, and she told us that Jesus was there and so was her Mother ... and she wanted to go, and my heart just broke. When you truly love someone maturely, you love them enough to let them go. I know that my Mom is in Heaven, and I know that she is in a better place, but I can't get past this pain I feel.
Her visitation was on my Birthday, and I waited all day for her to call me. Most years she called before the sun came up and wished me Happy Birthday, and every year that I can remember she told me the exact time that I was born, and how I changed her life. I was her first child, and I was the one that gave her the name Mother. She had just turned eighteen when I was born. She told me over and over how she washed my diapers and they were snow white, and about the little apartment she and my Dad lived in while he was in the Army, and how when they came back home she was so happy. I can still hear her voice telling me the story from many years of hearing it ... but what I would give if I could only hear her say it one more time.
For all of us that have lost our Mother's ... my heart aches for us. I can't imagine that this hole in my heart will ever heal or that a day will go by that I won't feel so empty or so broken. I can't imagine that the heaviness I feel will go away, or my need for my Mother becomes less. Even though I'm grown, she was the one that I turned to to answer my questions or to help me, or for advice. She taught me so much from the time I was little to now. She healed my hurts right up until she left us. I never knew how much I needed her until I lost her.
All the memories of the things Mom taught me suddenly became so much more ... it's all the little things that mattered the most. My Mother was all about the little things in life, and my promise to her memory is to make sure that the little things in life are the things I'll build in my kids. When my kids tell my story, I hope they tell it with the same love for me that I have for my Mom.
This little sprout of a tree will be here long after I'm already with her again, but in the meantime I'm going to water it and give it all the love it needs ... just like my Mom did for me.
I Love You Mom.