A child was born ten years ago on February 26. Their world was filled with light and happiness and a new beginning. Ten years ago on MY February 26 life engulfed me with darkness and pain and a new beginning. It is the cycle of life. It never stops... even when we ask God to make the world stop spinning.
Ten years without my mother symbolizes much more than just a day. I look back on the journey in awe. A decade is a long time, yet it is a vapor. Dad said he wonders at time what life would be like if February 26 had not happened. I dream about it and I yearn for my mother. I have many substitute mothers, but sometimes I wonder about HER. Through wondering about her somehow I realize her health had never been stellar and she might have had a long and painful journey. Instead God took her away with a heart attack. It had to be God's way because none of us in our right minds would EVER think she would go that way. Heart attack? Women at 48 in fine condition don't just fall over one day. She had gone to the doctor that morning for strep throat. Women don't pass away that way. Dad says he went over those weeks in his mind over and over again. What didn't we catch? Nothing we can remember. Why? Probably because that was God's plan. Not ours. For years I blamed myself trying to think I could have saved her by calling earlier or acting earlier and making them go find her earlier. No... That was my plan, not His. If I would have been a better daughter and not a bratty teenager maybe she wouldn't have been stressed out ever and she would've lived. But, then I have to remember... At age nineteen aren't we all acting that way? I have to make myself understand it wasn't me that killed her.
Ten years holds a lot of road. In ten years I have graduated college, lived in Abilene, lived in Tyler, jumped off the bus of the world of television into the unknown and landed in Dallas. I've gained a stepmother, a stepfamily, a new home to visit. And those are the big things... if I was to list the small feats I could publish a book. I've traveled by myself. I've walked down the aisle as a bridesmaid eight times. I've been broadcast to thousands of home as a television reporter. Somehow I did it all without her. For a few years I felt like I was keeping Dad alive. He was so sad and trying to find his footing. We went through some very difficult times. With my pride and both of our stubborn attitudes it was hard to show those emotions. I was sure because his other half passed away that his heart would break in half literally... I didn't know how to keep him alive. Somehow... he lived. He found Brenda and he got married. Years ago I cried out to the Lord to just help my Dad find someone special. How "God" is it that after 29 years of the same person beside you... you can allow yourself to open again? That's God. Dating is scary and an interview time and time again. Yet, Dad found Brenda. To see him smile again and to hear his laughter is something I cannot explain. He began to live on his own. She helped him live again. She brought that smile to his face.
Looking back to ten years ago as I got the phone call that changed everything I look at that young girl. I had wisdom that I didn't understand and found strength that some never knew. That doesn't change in ten years. Everyone is going to lose loved ones and have to walk that new journey. Walking that journey is easier than going through life alone so it's inevitable. It's a choice to make whether we walk along with our loved ones knowing the road will fork and we will have to go down the dusty path or we walk alone in the darkness feeling nothing in our world. Looking back on this journey I would rather have her here, but since that is not an option I would rather enjoy it and take in the light God gives me.
Along this journey I am no superhero. Many times I stop and look up with my hiking boots resting on a large rock. What are you doing now, God? Come on, man... He beams sunshine upon me and commands me to keep walking because I may be lost, but He knows exactly where I'm headed... So with that command I grab ahold of those walking beside me and around me and trudge forward. My boots make imprints in the mud and the sunlight warms my shoulders as I know from experience lightness and darkness can be all on the same path.