The day I dreaded since the day she arrived is today. After a rich, 6-week long visit with us that encompassed Quinley’s 4th birthday, a garage sale, Thanksgiving, Christmas decorating and the first day of Advent, my mom had to leave. My initial reaction was sorrow over all the things we still didn’t find time to do or all the moments when we weren’t chatting or at least in the same room together. I’m just wired to focus on what I haven’t accomplished or could have done better and that means regret is usually my first emotion felt after a positive experience.
But then I prompted myself to review my favorite memories through all of my senses. I realized that even if we weren’t always talking or spending time together, I was still absorbing the fact that she was in our home. I came up with quite a list in just a few short minutes:
- I cherished seeing her all snuggly on my couch or tidying up the kitchen.
- I liked seeing her special things spread throughout the guest room, proving she felt at home.
- I feel comfort in wearing the clothes she folded.
- I hugged her tightly, feeling how fragile and strong she is at the same time.
- I savored feeling her hand touching my arm and watching her embrace the children.
- I enjoyed hearing her singing or chatting with the children, her door opening and closing, the radio on in her room, and her visiting with the pets.
- I savored the taste of her omelette and sandwiches and the tea she would brew for me.
- And there is nothing like the sweet Mom smell- many comforting scents all mingled together.
I’m human and had my share of bad days while she here, but I did my best to not take the gift of her presence for granted. Gregory-Hans recently declared that God is bigger than everything, even bad guys. Sometimes those bad guys are feelings of fear, regret, anxiety or despair. It’s necessary to look for a reason to rejoice in all things because in doing so we remember how great and good our God is. I want to practice choosing to rejoice.