2 Years (& 2 weeks)
My mom was just enough taller than me that we didn't stand eye to eye. She'd lean back and make her eyes level with mine, push my bangs out of my face, and wipe away my tears when I was upset. It was her meeting me where I was at, both emotionally and physically. It was nurturing and would steady my heart.
The last time I remember her standing with me like that we were at the Salt Lake City airport. We had such a great Christmas, we skied and took a road trip to San Fransisco. I was leaving to return back to school full and rested, ready to take the semester in full force. My dad pulled my suitcase out of his trunk, and I went to say my goodbyes. I had grown accustomed to goodbyes attending college 2,500 miles away. I kissed my dads cheek and hugged my mom. Then, for no reason at all I started to cry. Without hesitation she leaned back to meet me where I was. She brushed my bangs and wiped my tears. She gave me a hug, and told me she loved me.
Sounds silly, but it gave me the confidence to get on the airplane and start my semester.
It's been 2 years (and 2 weeks) since she went to be with Jesus.
I wish I had something profound to say about loss today, something that could encourage someone. That 2 years removed from it I don't still feel the aftershocks of death. That losing a core component of my family isn't felt in every conversation with my dad, every family gathering, or every problem I ache for her advice on.
Reflecting back on these 2 years, all I can think about is what kind of wisdom she would have had. She would have reassured me that life isn't hard because I'm not good at living, life's nature is just to be hard. She'd remind me that God is good, faithful, and kind. That my peace is only found in him, and He is the only one that can heal my broken heart. She would have said my reaction to choose joy or relish in self pity would be up to me. Then, she would've leaned far back, looked me dead in the eye, brushed back my bangs and said, "This too shall pass, Madi Kay" and instantly my heart would've steadied.
I find myself coming back to this, "So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." (2 Cor. 4: 16-18)
There is so much peace and hope offered to me in these words. When life feels hard, daily I'm being renewed. My affliction is light and momentary, preparing me for greater glory. What may feel finite to me here, just isn't because eternity is a very very very long time.
And those words weren't written just for me, they were written for you. They offer the same renewal, the same promise of glory. They offer you peace and hope in whatever your pain is.
This is me honoring her the best way I can think. I'm leaning far back to meet you where you're at, and I'm telling you as loudly as I can, this too shall pass, my dear friend. .