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
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.
Keep me as the apple of your eye; Hide me in the shadow of your wings Psalm 17:8 NIV
When someone says you are the apple of their eye it means they love you very much and may even dote on you a little. I like the image of being the apple of God’s eyes, but I love being in the shadow of his wings even more. The past few days I have felt a renewed sense of peace and knowing that God is watching over me. Writing about my grief and sharing memories of Mom has helped me see things from a better perspective. God has been faithful in this process and my desire is for my words to honor him.
This is harvest time and that means apples. I can’t think of a better image for this time of year than sitting under the shadow of an apple tree eating a crisp, juicy apple knowing that God sees me as the apple of his eye and hides me under his wings.
I was talking with a friend yesterday who was on her way to the Apple Orchard. It brought back memories of Mom. I remember when she would go to the Orchard and bring home a bag of Apples. More often than not it was a bag of Courtland Apples, which was one of our favorites. I can taste one now a perfect blend of sweet and tart. Deep red skin and pristine white flesh.
Mom loved apples. She kept them around and they were a go-to snack. In recent years Dad made sure he kept apples for her. Sometimes knowing what she’d eat or could eat was a challenge, but we could pretty much count on apples. When she no longer seemed to enjoy eating them we switched to Apple juice which she loved.
One of the challenges with Alzheimer’s is knowing if they are eating enough. Some foods become more difficult and at some point feeding themselves is more of a challenge. So we tried to keep finger foods that we thought Mom would enjoy and when necessary we fed her. Towards the last of her journey, she needed more help with eating. She had a wonderful caregiver who came in a couple days a week. She would feed Mom and spoil her a little bit. But we didn’t mind. One of the last things I did for my mom was to feed her a meal I had cooked. She mmmm’d appreciatively, which is how we knew she really liked something. I was happy to feed her and she was happy to eat.
I remember seeing Mom walk down my back sidewalk many times, on her way to my house, apple in hand, munching contentedly, or standing on her back porch eating an apple staring into the yard thinking her own thoughts.
She won’t be going to the orchard this year, but I imagine God has plenty of Apple trees in his backyard. My Dad remarked that he figured one of the first things she did when she got to Heaven was pick an apple to eat. I’m sure she did right after she ran into Jesus’s arms.
Maybe I’ll find an orchard this weekend, buy a bag of apples, and eat one in memory of my sweet Ladybug. I’ll rejoice that she is indeed The apple of God’s eye and that she has found healing under his wings.
Grace for the journey,
Come back tomorrow for more of the journey? Just a reminder that I usually post later in the day. Clicking on the ladybug graphic will take you to the first page in this series with links to the daily posts. Thanks for reading!