Five months ago, I almost lost my mother but Heavenly Father had other plans. At the time, people said that it was a miracle she had survived and I agreed. I wondered why God had blessed us with this precious miracle but I was grateful.
I have spent the last five months enjoying that miracle and beginning to understand some of the reasons that I believe it happened. I gained an even greater understanding of its purpose last Sunday as my mother peacefully left this world the way that she wanted to–in her own home surrounded by her family.
Much of this past week has been a blur. I have rocketed back and forth from numbness and disbelief to the heartache and sorrow of this new reality. For the past few days, I have reflected on something the minister said at the funeral. He said that a person’s entire life is contained in the dash between the birth and death dates on their headstone.
I have heard this before, but it seemed to comfort me this week as I thought of all the things that the dash on my mother’s headstone would contain. I thought about all of the hugs she had given, all of the tears she had wiped away and all of the things that she had taught through her words and example. I thought about how she was always willing to drop whatever she was doing to help when someone needed her. She always thought of others before herself.
As I thought about these things this week, it occurred to me that the dash on my mother’s headstone could be replaced with a heart. My mother’s life was filled with love and service to others. My mother’s life was love.
My heart aches and I miss my mother terribly, but I know that I will see her again one day. I know that she will be waiting for me to join her in Heaven. Until that time, I will do my best to remember and follow the example that she set for me.
I will try to fill my dash with as much love as she did hers….