I leaned my arms against the side of the shower, pressed my forehead on my arms and stood there weeping while the steaming hot water beat down on me. Why was I crying? Why, now, a year and a half since Mom had died? The tears flowed freely in the shower, no worries of my daughters becoming distressed by my sobbing. It was a week before Thanksgiving, Mom’s favorite holiday. Maybe that was it? It was late and I was extremely tired. Maybe that was it? I was stressed trying to plan our first Thanksgiving meal with family members, and feared I would not do her justice. Maybe that was it. I knew one thing was sure, I missed my Mom everyday! I was going through each day, doing my best to mother my three daughters, but one thought ran through my mind constantly, “I wish Mom was here for me to talk to….”
I felt the water from the shower beginning to cool. I turned my face toward the flow of water and allowed it to rinse the tears away, hoping it would also rinse away my thoughts so I could go to bed and rest peacefully.
I dressed for bed and towel dried my hair, taking note that I really could use a haircut. I would love to be able to sit in my Mom’s chair at the beauty shop and have her snip away, chatting and watchng her laugh as she joked with those around the shop. For a moment I was lost in the scene that had played out so many times in my life as the daughter of a hairdresser. My Mom was a people person and she had a unique way of making each person feel special, whether they were getting a haircut or were one of the many young woman that she taught to sew or smock. I was not as gifted as she was at connecting with people and I needed her here to mother me for awhile longer.
The house was very quiet. My husband was out of town on business and my three daughters slept peacefully in their beds. I put on my favorite praise and worship music and slipped between the covers, hoping to quickly fall asleep. My mind kept reviewing memory after memory. I faught the urge to resume my tyriad of tears again. So I prayed. “Lord, why am I so melancholy? I’m a grown up! I know she is gone, but its been 18 months and it feels like yesterday! Lord, right now I could use one of Mom’s hugs. I could use her way of encouraging me. I could use her shoulder to cry on. I need her, Lord. I don’t understand why she had to go home to you now? I need her so much, I need to still feel like the daughter. ” I wiped the tears away and tried to fall asleep.
After awhile, out of frustration I got up and walked around the house picking up toys and clothes and putting things away. I smiled thinking of my Mom’s wise words about leaving the house clean before you go to bed, so you can wake up in a good mood and to an uncluttered home. It was 12:30am and I dragged a blanket to the couch, hoping a new venue would allow me to fall asleep. Weariness overtook me and I drifted off to sleep on the comfy couch.
I slowly became conscious of myself facing the back of the couch and tears once again flowed down my face. I was whispering over and over “I miss you so much Mom, I miss you so much.” As I lay there, I felt the pressure of arms wrapped around my waist and I realized that my own arms were lifted and clasped together as if around someones neck. I didn’t move. I could feel the familiar cool softness of my mother’s skin against my cheek, I could smell the comforting aroma of her favorite lotion. My eyes were closed tightly, but I was awake, the visions of my dreamworld mixing with consciousness, I was being hugged. My face was pressed against Mom’s neck and she was holding me tightly, rubbing my back with her gentle hands. I am not sure how long I lay there relishing in the moment. But I know that during that surreal embrace, my troubled spirit ceased to struggle. Peace surrounded me. I was comforted. I had been given a precious gift from the Lord, a hug from Mom.