Mornings around our house were always somewhat predictable, at least when I was in high school.
You were always up first, on the couch in your flannel nightgown with your big brown bible in your lap and a cup of coffee at hand. I always respected you for this, it’s a practice I still struggle with.
It may be because Noelle and Caedmon get up so crazy early that I’d have to get up in the 5AM hour to beat them awake. PS I really need to write you about him since you were gone before his arrival.
Anyhow, I always thought that your diligence to morning quiet time was something that made you a good Christian woman, that it was some sort of badge you could show off at church.
Then I grew up and realized that you weren’t starting your day like this to be impressive. You were doing what you needed to do to survive. You met with God to gain the courage and strength to fuel another day.
Another day of 3 kids, another day with depression, another day at a job that made you so anxious.
I remember a few years back, after dad died, you told me that you didn’t believe in the phrase “God won’t give you more than you could handle.” You felt that God had given you more than you could handle and you were drowning in it. It was one of the rare moments that I saw you cry.
I remember being appalled at the time, worrying about your soul and those blasphemous words.
Then I got older still and realized that that phrase isn’t in the bible, anywhere. You were right and I now see those cliche words as dangerous to our faith, I’d like to erase them from global vocabulary and memory.
If only, right?
I will never be able to fully suss out the jumbled mess of what led you to do what you did, to take your life. The cords of mind, body and soul are tangled with more knots than any of us can unravel.
We were all a little glad for you when you left and in case you were wondering, no one harbors a single doubt that God welcomed you home tenderly.
I wish you were still here though. I wish we could have slain the monsters inside you. I may always live with these “what if’s” rattling around inside me.
But I will never forget or cease to draw strength from the memory of you in those flowery, flannel nighties, brown bible in lap and coffee at hand.
I inherited that bible you know, it’s on the top shelf of my closet, unopened. Waiting for the day when I’m ready to unzip the cover and know you deeper through the highlighted words and scribbled notes.