I look across at your house and see shadows of the trees dancing in the sunlight and I’m reminded of our porch dances.
You’d sway to the rhythm of your own music and smile impishly. Even though I was across the yard looking through my window I knew there was a twinkle in your eye.
As you twirled under the porch light, I waved and danced along with you wishing we could stay like this forever; a happy moment suspended in time.
I loved when you danced because that meant you were happy. You were so full of life and even when the Alzheimer’s was robbing you of so much you still had a passion for living.
I’ll never forget the time you told me about your dancing skirt. It was denim with several gores; it came down almost to your ankles and it had a nice twirl. I came over one day and you had it on. You told me that when you put it on it made you dance. That skirt is long gone but I hope it is making someone else dance.
Today is a day to remember. You’ve been gone two years and I miss you so much, but when I think of you dancing in heaven it brings me peace because I know how happy you are in the arms of Jesus.
I hope there is a porch in heaven so that someday soon we can dance again.
Let them praise His name with dancing….Psalm 149:3
As I walked in from the laundry, I caught a glimpse of the picture of the old bearded gentlemen praying over his bowl of soup. And for a fleeting moment I wanted to call you to tell you that after several months of not having a home he finally has a place on the wall in my kitchen. Right above the bench I purchased when I worked for a garden furniture company.
You remember how he always hung above Grandma’s little kitchen table as if he were watching over and praying for all of us. I never thought about that picture much as a child. I just knew it was there. It was a constant just like Grandma and You. I don’t remember exactly when you gave it to me but I’ve always cherished it. Now that it has a home again in my kitchen it feels right.
I look at it and memories are suspended in time, memories that connect the three of us. The bitter sweetness of it all washes over me. I sigh wishing for just a spot of time for the three of us to sit around that little table sharing doughnuts smothered with grape jelly and laughing at something nonsensical that no one else would understand.
I’m hoping that God has a little table reserved for us in heaven with doughnuts and grape jelly.
Well, it has been a while hasn’t it? This is my first post in over a year. Today is the first in a long time that I have wanted to sit down and write. You never know what will cause the spark. I had just put a load in the dryer and was returning to the kitchen to finish the dishes I had started when I caught a glimpse of the picture. It gave me an odd sense of joy and melancholoy at the same time and for a brief moment I thought I should talk to Mom. But of course in such moments I immediately remember that I can’t. So, sometimes I talk to her in written form. I also did this a few weeks ago when I was sitting at my work table and happend to look out the window and across the yard at her home. I was prompted to write a note then on some scrap paper so I wouldn’t forget the thought. Someday soon I’ll share that with you too.
My family is important to me and I was very close to both my mom and my grandmother. The picture was my grandmother’s given to me by my mom when grandma passed away. I remember sitting at that table many times when I stayed with grandma. She loved to put jelly on her doughnuts.
I don’t know what sharing this with you today means, but maybe it means I’m ready to write again. For so long I have felt blocked and couldn’t find the joy in sharing words with you. I would think of things and even “write” them in my head but didn’t put pen to paper or pursue them. I just wasn’t ready for some reason. I think I felt lost and couldn’t find my sense of place. I know I’ve needed to grieve and heal. Life, of course, has it’s ups and downs for all of us and we have different seasons that shape us. Sometimes a hard season or two can cause us to retreat. But, eventually if we hold on we see the light again and healing begins.
Thank you for reading,
Grace be with you, mercy and peace, from God the Father, in truth and love. 2 John 3
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes, we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5 NKJV)
As many of you know my mother wrote poetry. She was never formally published but I wish we had pursued that while she was alive. She was in a poetry writing group for a while and had a few published in a couple of newspapers. She also generously shared poems with others when she felt a poem had a message that could encourage the person in whatever circumstance they found themselves. If you have a handwritten copy of one of her poems I hope you keep it as a treasure.
I promised her when she was in hospice that I was going to see that her poetry was published for the whole world to read. I have published a few on my blog, but I have plans, God willing to do a book of her poetry. Most of her poems were written in the mid-seventies through the mid-eighties. They were actually quite good; some, a little rough around the edges, needing some final editing.
In 1975 during Holy Week, on Good Friday, she wrote an Easter Poem and titled it Hallelujah. Because of the repeating refrain of This is Easter Morn I thought about changing the title of the poem but decided that the whole concept of Easter is definitely one big Hallelujah and that must be how she felt about it, so I left her title. I’d like to share it with you:
Happy Easter! I hope you find a church and attend on Easter Sunday to Worship our Risen Savior!
Celebrating in Grace,
If you haven’t read it yet, I shared a whole series about losing my Mom to Alzheimer’s. I shared a few of her poems throughout the series. You can click here to check it out.
As Christmas draws near I am realizing just how much not having my Mom with me this year hurts. I know I am not alone in missing someone. Several of you who read have also lost loved ones and you know that tug and pull of celebrating while grieving.
We will make new memories this year but the air will be palpable with longing for those who are not present. One of the new memories for our family will be taking Roses to my mom’s grave in honor of what would have been her and Dad’s 59th wedding anniversary. He had been giving her roses for the past several years.
I think that is what hurts the most – knowing that my Dad has lost his bride. He married her on Christmas Day in 1959 and he loved her well through all the years they had. I remember the week she was in Hospice he held her hand and told her that he had loved her for 58 years and would never stop loving her. I know she heard him because she tried to tell him that she loved him. We heard the word love. It was one of the last moments that we knew she was still somewhat aware of us. A moment we will treasure.
Two hearts entwined; inseparable LBT
Christmas is Love. The greatest love ever given to us was the birth of Jesus. It is because of his love that we are capable of loving. It is because of his love that my parents were able to celebrate so many years together and raise their children to know Jesus. I know my mom loved Jesus. She would tell me that she wanted to see Jesus. In the midst of the Alzheimer’s she still knew who Jesus was and she would talk about him.
This year she is celebrating Christmas with Jesus. She is having the ultimate Christmas and so even though I miss her terribly and know that Christmas will be bittersweet this year I am rejoicing with her that she is experiencing the greatest love of all this Christmas.
She has received the gift that was anticipated for so long. Her long-expected Saviour has arrived. As we are celebrating the Advent of Christmas, we too can wait expectantly for the Christ-child. We can open our hearts to receive him. He will be our comfort and help us navigate the missing, the longing, the memories and the hope of one day being reunited.
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 1 John 5:11
For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Hebrews 13:14 ESV
My heart is overwhelmed with sadness and grief
My soul cannot bear it alone
Lifes storms are too great for my steadfast feet
My spirit is sinking – I’m almost gone
But someone is reaching to take my burden away
He has a spirit of kindness and love
His touch has vanished the night into day
I’m light and free as the dove
He draws me nearer and nearer to his heavenly throne
and let’s me see visions of that city fair
I fancy I see loved ones perfectly at home
Basking in the sunshine of his presence – God’s son!
Letha Bernice Tackett
April 3, 1982
I wrote on Day 3 That Heaven’s Sounding Sweeter All the Time. I remember the night I first had those thoughts. I was cocooned in the upstairs room that my Mom had wallpapered so beautifully. I was waiting for sleep to come and thoughts flooded my mind and I spoke them into my phone app so I wouldn’t forget them.
In those moments if Jesus had said come I would have gone gladly. Honestly, I think in those moments the reality of heaven spread over me in a way it never had before.
It is beginning to dawn on me that we have to live in the reality of heaven’s sweetness in order to truly be at peace in this life. We don’t really belong to this world if we are in Christ; We are just pilgrims passing through.
Clicking on the ladybug graphic will take you to the first page in this series with links to the daily posts. Thanks for reading!
Thank you so much for reading along with me on this grief journey. I have many more stories to share when the time is right, but for now, if you will grant me grace, I am going to stop shy of the 31 days. I will be spending the day Saturday with a dear friend and then going home to spend a few days with my Dad.
I will probably take next week off, then when I’m back home I want to do a recap of what the past few weeks have taught me about my grief journey. I am not naive enough to think that I can write for a few days and be over the grief. Grief is an ongoing journey and once you have had a great loss it will always be with you, so I’m sure there will be many things to discover going forward.
I will be back to share more stories of my Mom, family, and other things. I hope that you will stick around and continue reading. I hope you have found hope and encouragement during this series. I know you have been a tremendous encouragement to me. Many of you have been gracious to tell me and that has been a blessing.
I hope you have enjoyed the poems of my mother’s that I have shared with you. If they bring you comfort you are free to share but please make sure you credit them to her. I’m hoping to find a way to publish all her poems in a collection. I think that would please her very much. She was a wonderful, creative, caring person and I want to pass her legacy on to her family and friends.