The Little Things that Get Us Through
The tragedy of losing someone happens to everyone at some point in their life. One thing that I’ve learned is that everyone handles loss differently, and healing comes in many different shapes and colors, and by no means is there a one size fits all design.
I’ve had people get upset at me because I haven’t just bounced back from losing my Mom this passed January. I’ve kept to myself a lot over the passed five and a half months, but that’s how I’ve been able to deal with the loss. Someone else might love being surrounded by people during their time of grief, and that’s how they deal with their loss. We’re all different; there’s no right way, or wrong way, there’s only our own individual way to handle what we’re going through, and people need to be allowed that freedom.
Healing isn’t something that happens all at one time, it’s a process, and the littlest things can make a big difference in a day.
Around the same time that our apricot tree began to fruit, a mamma cat had her kittens in our back yard. She lost one pretty early on, but the other survived and is getting big, and he is coming in to his own. I can’t get near mamma with out her hissing at me, but the baby, (We’ve named him Timon) has gotten very curious about me.
I feed them on our shed so that our dogs can’t get to them. When I go out to give them water and food I’ve noticed that Timon watches me. At first he would watch me through the space between the slats of the fence, and then he started looking over the fence at me; all I could see were two little ears and two little eyes peeping over the fence. This week Timon has started hanging over the fence to see me. It makes me feel good that this little kitten looks forward to seeing me, as much as I look forward to seeing him.
Watching Timon grow has been a little thing that I’ve enjoyed doing every day for a few months now. He has been a part of the healing process. Timon is a little thing that has made a big difference in my day. God knows what He’s doing, and He knows what little things to send to help us through, one day at a time. But we have to be willing to accept the little things in our individual process, because if someone is expecting a knight on a white horse to come riding in and rescue them from their pain, then they might miss the little something or other that God tailor-made just for them, to help through another day in their healing process.
These passed five and a half months have been the hardest months of my life, but I know that God has brought me through them one day at a time, and He’ll see me through how ever long it takes. Whether it’s a kitten or me needing to be to myself, or whatever God decides to bring during this time of healing.
My Mom would have Loved Timon
I can visualize my mom sweeping in front of the shed where I feed the cats. It was like a ritual for her to sweep up those pesky tree leaves each day. She would have loved to have gotten to look up on the shed and watch Timon grow with each new day, as I have. It’s not by chance that he were born, and lives there by the shed where mom swept each day until she got too sick to do so. It is such a vivid memory for me, and now there is a new little life living in the corner of the yard where she spent so much of her time keeping neat and tidy. Timon would have made a big difference in her day as he has mine; I know this because, it was my mom who taught me the importance of the little things. She would have loved Timon.
The Tabernacle Garden 2010
In 2010, I planted a garden in the area where we used to have an above-ground pool. I called it the Tabernacle Garden, because I was planting very close to the time of Tabernacles (Sukkoth). I built a little structure to harbor peas; I called it the sweet pea sukkah. It was a nice little garden and it had a great deal of meaning because of the time of year. I tended the garden and my mom did all the sweeping, and she kept things immaculate. This is a photo of the garden. You’ll notice that the sweet pea sukkah has greenery on the top of it, which means the photo was taken during the week of “Tabernacles.”
The first garden was a real success. We got a lot of vegetation for quite some time. Mom swept everyday and then she would walk throughout the garden to see what was growing. She really enjoyed having a garden, and I enjoyed having one there for her, I regret that I didn't plant one long ago for her. I re-structured the garden in 2011, we decided to do a Three-Sisters theme; my sweet pea sukkah was the only thing that didn’t change. We got a lot of squash that year, but the other two sisters didn’t do too well; the beans and the corn.
I began to notice in 2012 that mom didn’t go out to sweep everyday like she did before. Her body was feeling the effects of being terminally ill, but she didn’t know at that point that she was sick; she just thought that she was a little tired. I told her not to worry about going out and sweeping, I could just use my leaf blower when I do the yard work, but she didn’t want me to take her job from her.
For a few years mom got to enjoy having a garden in the backyard. She loved watching all the little veggies grow, and keeping the area neat and tidy. But then she was diagnosed with cancer in September 2012 and in January 2013 she was gone. I could hardly stand walking out in the backyard, because I could visualize my seemingly healthy mom sweeping or rummaging through the garden like a wide-eyed little kid; I had no idea that she was sick. She probably didn’t even feel like being outside doing all that sweeping, but she didn’t want to miss out on doing her part in the garden area.
This year’s garden theme is called the Face of Sadness Weed Garden. This photo truly captures the reality of how I have felt inside since my mom passed away. I will have this area cleaned up before Tabernacles comes in September. It will never be a vegetable garden again, but it will be something to honor a lovely memory of what used to be there.
Mom and I working the garden area together has come to an end, but God brought another momma and her baby to that same area to take our place. Even though my mom died and I obviously no longer tend the garden, that area, nonetheless, birthed new life that is growing each and every day regardless of my circumstance.
This is the kind of little thing that may not seem like much to most people, but to someone who has suffered a loss, and they don’t quite know how to move on because so much of their daily life revolved around that person, this is the kind of little thing that can be the difference between standing still or taking a step forward.
If you’re reading this and you’ve suffered a loss in your life, I want you to know that things do get better. Healing comes one day at a time, and God really does send little things in to your life that will make a big difference during the process. I’m five and a half months in to my healing, and I can look back at many little things that have happened to show me that God has been right there walking me through. He’s walking you through as well, so embrace the little things that He gives, for they are like Hands for you to hold on to.
God Bless You!
Mom's Winter Passing
- Mom's Winter Passing
When a loved one is terminally ill, time is precious, and when they pass away, their memories are an irreplaceable gift.