I have spent the last 24 hours remembering.
Remembering a 24 hour period exactly a year ago where my mom suffered a massive heart attack and then a triple by-pass surgery.
Remembering a dream I had the night after, of Sean holding our newborn son, on a July 21st somewhere in the future, and knowing mom was going to see him. I took it as a sign that would indeed happen.
Remembering a worship leader, Pam, who just happened to lead us in hymns that following Friday, hymns that I could recall so vividly from childhood, it was like my mom’s alto voice was singing right beside me.
Remembering a Friday night almost exactly six months later, with Pam explaining that as their family planned that week’s set, they felt the Holy Spirit leading them to sing a more somber song selection….although they weren’t entirely sure why. Sean and I were sure why. It was like a funeral service for the child we had just lost.
Remembering that even though Pam, and her husband Paul, were going through their own struggles, a daughter suffering from chronic, severe, and debilitating back pain, they made time to ask us how we were coping.
Remembering that while Pam and her family were flying to Toronto for major corrective surgery for her daughter on the morning of March 2nd, she remembered to email us that morning, wishing us a happy anniversary and well wishes for our vow renewal that day.
Remembering about 2 months later, Pam and Paul courageously sticking to their serving commitment to lead worship on a Friday the day after Paul’s dad suddenly passed away, knowing the power of music in their lives was helping them heal and that being there might spread that healing power to the participants.
Remembering how devastated we all were to hear Pam had an aneurysm 2 weeks ago, despite what a young, healthy, and active woman she was. Known as tenacious and up to any challenge, we all prayed she would beat this too.
Remembering the hopeful email from Paul read last Friday, that the latest complication and coma Pam was in, and the last battle for her life, was dependent on her body and mind’s ability to fight for her life, and she was a fighter.
Remembering Pam and Paul’s obvious love for one another, they had made it to 26 years of marriage on Friday, her last words to him before the coma, ‘Happy Anniversary, I love you.’
Remembering the songs that played minutes later, talking about the glory and holiness of God, and how I couldn’t shake the thought Pam would get to experience that first hand soon, even though I prayed against that.
Remembering the urgent need for an update Sunday morning, no one had heard anything concrete, no update in the family health news section of the bulletin. Then, seconds before the sermon began, with the first words of our pastor I knew this was the terrible news we had been waiting for. Not remembering much about anything in the sermon afterward.
Remembering with a heavy heart all the ‘could haves, would haves, should haves’ that are spiraling into the growing void we immediately felt the instant we knew she had passed. With each new thought of what might have been, the void grows bigger.
Remembering, how my mom was spared her life yet a spiritual mother was taken away, exactly a year apart. A mother of her own two daughters who still needed her very much.
Remembering she left behind not only a void, but a legacy of love and light that stretched far and wide, and the people who can’t believe she is gone are already lining up to support the family she left behind.