What a difference a year can make. Last Mother's Day was difficult...actually torturous...for me. We spent the day last year in Mountain Home, visiting my parents, and watching my two precious nieces, Julia and Katie, be dedicated in church. It was all very nice, and we enjoyed spending time with them, but the constant reverberation of "Happy Mother's Day" in the air was extraordinarily painful. As much as I tried, I just couldn't find anything "happy" about that day. I felt so incomplete without Hannah beside me. The church service felt interminably long, and dinner at the restaurant afterward was excruciating. It was during that dinner that my brother told me about finding Hannah's post on Facebook (written about a month before her diagnosis): "This world has nothing for me...I will live for Him." That pretty much did me in completely. I couldn't wait to get in the car headed back home and finally release all of those pent-up emotions.
Today, my overwhelming emotion has been gratitude. Gratitude for my wonderful husband, who is always so supportive and loving, no matter what kind of day I'm having. Gratitude for my precious daughter, Bethany, who gives the best hugs in the world, and is never embarrassed to tell me she loves me. Gratitude for the 17 1/2 years I had with Hannah, and the wonderful memories of the time we had together. Gratitude for my godly mother and mother-in-law, and the legacy of godly mothers before them. My heart has been at peace today, and I've welcomed the "Happy Mother's Day" greetings. It's been a difficult day for many friends, though...I know several moms who are going through their first Mother's Day without one of their children (one who lost her only child), and several friends who are going through their first Mother's Day without their moms. I have one friend who is going through her first Mother's Day without her husband. And I really feel for them, because it is so, so hard. But I guess my message today is that, over time, it does get better. There is hope and comfort in the Lord.
"Sing for joy, Oh heavens, and exult, Oh earth; break forth, Oh mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted His people and will have compassion on his afflicted." Isaiah 49:13