I can’t believe it’s been five months since your Meemaw left this world. We’re still clearing out her condo where the stored memories linger.
And among those are pictures … loads of them.
My Letter to You
Pictures of friends, relatives, weddings, birthdays, Thanksgivings and Christmases past.
A trip back in time to days forgotten. The good, the bad, and oh so ugly …
Pop-Pop loved to catch us in the worst possible moments and Meemaw kept them all to savor or perhaps for torture.
But the photos that burned my eyes and stirred my heart were the screenshots of my little men.
Toe-headed scoundrels playing in the mud with bare bodies and Sunday shoes.
Practicing future Olympians on a backyard swing set.
Little boys cuddled sweetly in Meemaw’s lap after a nap.
I miss you.
And to be honest, when the normal busy of the day gets tucked away and I’m ready for sleep … sometimes my heart will ache with the miss.
It aches for tiny arms that stretched around my neck squeezing the ever-lovin’ life out of me.
It aches for the chipmunk-like voices saying, “Mommy, I love you more than anything in the world.”
It aches for the heart to heart talks about problems only a mama can solve.
It aches for the excitement of new toys on a Christmas morning and a first-time visit to Disney World.
Yes, it even aches for the T-ball all the way to middle school baseball games — hearing you recount the home run, the awesome catch, how you won or should have won when you didn’t.
I miss you.
The pickup trucks lined in the driveway and up and down the street. The endless, sleepovers and sleepless nights waiting up for you. The sneakiness. The mischief that came with those teenage years.
I miss you.
I miss your smell. I miss your presence. But most of all I missed how you loved me.
It’s not that you love me less. I know you don’t. It’s just different. It has to be. You’re all grown up and married and I love who you’ve chosen for your forever.
I’m caught here in a strange place.
I can’t be your buddy like your Dad. I can’t be on your frontline like I once was. That place is for your lovely wife — my new daughter.
So now I take my place on the sidelines. From here I will not lose a chance to cheer you both on.
But it doesn’t stop the ache. The missing.
Motherhood is a bit of a conundrum in that way — a position where joy and heartache mingle together on a daily basis.
But the blessing far outweighs the pain.
Even though I miss you, please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not asking to have you back. I’ve always known you were a gift from God and were not mine to keep. But I didn’t realize our time would pass this swiftly.
I love who you’ve become but my job is now done. I pray that you’ve learned some good from me, but more so I pray for God to give you discernment to throw out the bad.
I Want to Be Her Champion
However, I don’t want to be intrusive in your life or rob you of the joy you share with your wife. You belong to her in every way. And I don’t want to mess that up.
You’ve blessed me with a daughter I didn’t have. I want her to know I’m not competing for you or with her and I’m not judging her every move. Oh, quite the opposite.
I want to be her champion.
Her safe place.
But I didn’t raise her and I know only time and experience can grow the tender seed of trust. Such a relationship takes seasons to build.
So I will build. I will love. I will wait.
And even then,
I know there will always be those days when the busy gets tucked away and I’m ready for bed, screenshots of little boys at play will flash through my head.
And I’ll find myself missing you.
“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life, he will be given over to the Lord.” 1 Samuel 1:27-28