Thursday, April 17, 2008

E.T. phone home, please

For as long as I can remember, my Mamaw has called me on my birthday to sing the Birthday Song. Maybe it's the surge of pregnancy hormones, maybe it's that this is the first year that I haven't gotten that call, more than likely both, but I was a mess yesterday because of it. I still have her number in my cell phone and her email address in my contacts list online. I just can't seem to delete her. I don't want to. Not ever. I realize that deleting her contact info from my phone and computer wouldn't belittle her importance to me or how often I think about her. I realize that keeping those little reminders won't bring her back. More often than not, it's painful to be reminded that I'm here on earth without her. But there are those times when I see her name and get absolutely flooded with warmth and love. In my mind last night, I could see her handwritting on the numerous birthday cards and little 'hello, i love you' cards she used to send me. I had started keeping them a year or so before she died, because I knew that this day would someday come, and I would want everything I could get my hands on. I am grateful that I did that.

I know I can't communicate with the dead. Or rather, that I shouldn't. After my Papaw died, I sort of locked myself in my mom's bathroom and just cried and cried. I had found it more important to smoke out rather than visit while I still could, and I started feeling the weight of that decision one day while visiting my mom. I wasn't a believer then, but I asked my Papaw's 'God' to help me feel connected to my Papaw again. And for some reason, I got the idea that he was asking God to bring me butterflies to remind me of him. After that moment, when I would see a butterfly, I would say a silent thank you to 'God,' and hello to my Papaw. I see now how completely egotistical this line of thinking was. Admittedly, there was really nothing about my life back then that wasn't self-centered. But I did find comfort believing that Papaw had convinced his God to send me butterflies.

Strange the things we allow to give us comfort when we have such a void in our lives.

I am sad for my loss. But when I consider that my sweet Mamaw may be dancing with her husband of 51 years again in the full glory of God, I am very excited for her. She isn't struggling anymore. She is complete. She is with her beloved Savior and Lord, celebrating a life well lived. I am so grateful for the happy ending my faith promises me, for I can believe that I will someday see her again, and we can sing our praises to our Lord together. Until then, I just have to remember her beautiful voice, calling me on the phone, reminding me of her love.

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