When I look at my life as a whole, I like to highlight moments in time that remind me that my life has truly been Beautifully Unbroken (BU); this is one of those stories.
Last July, my daughter, who is a missionary at an orphanage, returned home for what should have been two months. For different reasons, she has now been home for eight months and is about to fly back to continue her work abroad. Last August, I flew my daughter and grandson home for what should have been two or three months. They have now been home for seven months and are preparing to fly back to their home, which is also abroad. This unexpected time together has been deeply meaningful for all of us. When they left a few years ago, our family was intact; sadly, during their absence it was dissolved. I cannot even try to comprehend what it was like for them to have such a life-altering change happen while they were away. All I could do was pray that we would figure out what our new normal would look like when they came back for a visit. Things have turned out for the best and this writing is one I pen with great pleasure.
In Fast Forward to Now and Nini, I wrote about the personal mountains I have climbed and how much I have overcome. Sadly, the process of change took a very long time and I was raising my children all the while. One of the toughest facts I have had to face as a mother, was that my upbringing cast its ugly consequences onto my own family. I wrote about my struggle in The Dark Side of the Moon and how I had to come to terms with my mistakes. Many of those mistakes impacted my children in such a way that we have had to have deep conversations about their growing up years. These past several months have seen more of those hard and tear-filled conversations than ever before. But every conversation, every heartfelt apology (from me) and every tear has brought all of us so much closer than I ever dreamed. Even as I write these words my heart swells with emotion because of how grateful I am that God has given us this precious window of time together. My children (and my grandchild) are my world and make up the whole of my heart.
This last Christmas season was, hands down, the best holidays I have had in my entire life. My four children were with me; my grandson was here; and unexpectedly two of my nieces and one nephew were here! It was my second Christmas being single again, however, even that fact didn’t overshadow any of the joy we experienced! The people, the food, the music, the games, were all completely enjoyable! I really did not expect my children to get me any gifts, but they pulled their money and did so anyway. I had no idea that my heart could feel any more joy than it did when I opened the main gift!
Many years ago, I remember a friend of mine returning from a vacation and was showing off the Mother’s Ring that her children had presented her with. I love wearing rings, but that one was kind of gaudy looking to me. Of course, I didn’t say that out loud to her! She was beaming with excitement and I wouldn’t ruin her moment. As the years passed, a few other friends received rings like hers as well. None of them ever impressed me but that was my own issue. My OCD could not reconcile how any outfits would match completely with all the different colors in the ring! Again…totally my issue! However, now that I am in the part of my life where I can actually say I am somewhat emotionally aware, I can finally grasp the value of a Mother’s Ring. Once I even looked through Amazon and tried to find some I liked to add to my list, but it was hard! I eventually gave up and forgot about it.
On Christmas afternoon, the kids were curiously protective over one little gift. When I reached under the tree to hand out some of the gifts, they immediately said, “Not that one! That one is last!” I obediently put it back with my curious meter running super high! After all the gifts were done, they pulled their cameras out and said it was time for me to open the gift. Honestly, I had never seen any of my children this excited about seeing me open a gift! I slowly unwrapped the ribbon and took the wrapping paper off to reveal a small jewelry gift box. I opened it and every emotion I had flooded into my whole being! It was the most beautiful silver snake necklace with each of my children’s names etched on it! My kids know me so well that they found the most unique and beautiful way to honor me as their Momma! As a bonus, I didn’t have to face wearing a ring with three different colors on it! I don’t cry often (Never Cry Again), but the tears let loose in this moment!
I have not always been the Mom I wanted to be, but I was always the best Mom I knew how to be. The grace, understanding, and forgiveness that I have received from my children is a beautiful example of genuine Love. They see me and they Love me and I am eternally grateful that I have each one of them in my life. They have made every moment I have fought to get to where I am today worth it! I don’t know when the next time is that we will all be in the same area geographically, but every time I put this necklace on, which will be often, I will have all of them close to my heart. The Love of God and the Love of my children truly make my life complete!
Until next time, Love genuinely and stay safe!