I feel God is prompting me to write a book and in response to that I have begun the process of sifting through all the spiral notebooks I have written in over the years. It’s a little bit like the process of revisiting the memories and the people when you’re sorting pictures. You can’t just drop it onto the top of a pile until you’ve looked it over, fingered the edges of it, smiled at it or cried with it, and let the “all of it” wash over your heart one more time. I realize as I am reading over that description that I am very much dating myself chatting about the mounds of unsorted pictures I have tucked away in totes, so for the younger sisters that I pray are reading and will be spurred toward love and good deeds as a result of being here—replace the words that chat about physically touching, feeling, and piling photographs with words like clicking, dragging, editing, and creating folders. I have no doubt that no matter how you preserve your memories, rather an old school Polaroid or Cloud storage, the sentiment and the desire to linger over the moments is the same.
I recently came upon a letter I wrote to my Mom a couple years ago but never mailed. I contemplated rewriting and sending it to her and then wondered to myself about the possibilities of encouraging another daughter to tell her Mom exactly how she sees her if I were to share it. Might someone take an extra moment to really look at the woman she is and see her. . . her strength, her sweetness, her beauty, her vulnerability, her sacrifice, her scars.
God has put me in a very unique place of appreciating the days with my Mom right now, even if our only contact is a quick text during the day. He’s opened my eyes through the grief of others and the place I have gone in life with my own Sweet Girl and began to show me who my Mom is not just as my Mom but as the woman, friend, daughter, sister, wife, grandmother, and so many more things that she is. All the roles she has had in her life, all the comfort she has given friends, all the love poured out – all the things that she does day in and day out to speak love into her world—to be beauty in motion.
So my hope in sharing this right now, as this year draws to a close and another lays before us, is that you might be prompted to use some of those dwindling moments to really look at the women who have invested in your life, see the high cost they paid to love you so well and then let them know how precious they are to you. And if I may be so bold as to suggest – write it down for them. Give them a piece of their love story and their legacy etched out. Let it be something they can pull out and read on days they aren’t feeling really precious to anyone, to run their fingers over on a down day, and let the “all of how you see them” wash over their hearts one more time.
We’re just on the other side of celebrating the birth of love and the gift of life so what say you and I give one more gift to the women we love. . . the ones who have influenced, guided, and shaped us? I’ll lead the way and put a big red bow on this just for my Mom. I’ve left all the errors in punctuation, the grit of emotion, and all the other imperfections of the original handwritten letter because Momma’s don’t require editing or censoring. They love the all of you and . . . they love you more.
SHE LOVES ME MORE: An Open Letter to my Mom
I wish I had some fancy paper to write on but I don’t so this notebook paper will have to do. Britt found this card the other day when we were out shopping and said, “Hey Mommy, this is in the romance section but it reminds me of you and Grammy.”
I read it, thought it was cute and picked it up thinking I would drop it in the mail to you to cheer you up this winter. Obviously I didn’t get it done and I’m glad about that because this card has taken on a whole new meaning as it has sat here in my house with life going on all around it.
I hope I can explain this right Mom and find the perfect words to say it all. If I can, you’ll feel very loved and noticed and seen. And that’s what I want, for you to know that I see you and you matter.
You know that the last few months have, for whatever reason, been some of the most difficult I’ve ever experienced. I started crying when Baby Dog died and I haven’t stopped. It seems like an avalanche has fallen and I’m trying to live my life crawling through the rubble.
You’ve been through so much coping with all that has gone on in life and in your effort to protect me from your hurt you’ve been keeping pieces of your heart locked up for a long time and that’s made it seem like I’ve lost a bit of you sometimes. Then Lori was diagnosed with cancer and the roller coaster of emotions that came at the thought of losing her was almost too much. Britt graduated and left. We packed you up and you guys left too. And Brett’s had one health issue after another pummel him throughout it all.
The next August came and Britt left again, Angie died, and then the Baby Dog. Brett’s still fighting and on some days it seems we are losing. Mikey has passed away and the ruins seem to keep piling up around me. Life is just difficult right now. I’m hanging on to the words of Isaiah and knowing that God is the Restorer of the ruins and the Repairer of broken walls, but it’s still difficult.
So I was taking down the Christmas stuff and thinking to myself “Why did I even put this up? Nothing matters to anyone. You work hard to love people, make them feel special, and nothing matters.” And right there, in the middle of my less-than-attractive pity party, it hit me like a lightning bolt.
I started wondering how many times you were going through difficult things but still worked hard to love all of us in tangible ways and make us feel special, cared for, and loved. I wondered how many times you did things, all by yourself feeling like you were the one no one wanted to be with or even saw. Doing it all with the weight of the world on your shoulders and feeling like nothing mattered.
I WISH I WOULD HAVE NOTICED all the things you did and appreciated it then instead of looking back and realizing it now. The truth is Mom, IT ALL MATTERED.
Even though I’ll never know all the million little details and the big sacrifices you’ve made, IT ALL MATTERED. You poured yourself into making me, me and my brother, my brother and into being by Dad’s side through everything. We are who we are because everything you are and everything you did, IT ALL MATTERED.
Another truth is, you really do love me more because I haven’t fully learned how much I love you yet. God keeps showing me all these ways that you have loved me and continue to love me that I just didn’t know. Until you experience some things for yourself you just can’t wrap your mind around it.
I do love you so much but I’m certain it isn’t as much as I will love you. I’m getting older and we have more shared experiences than before and sometimes when I’m in the middle of something and I think, “this thing’s about to kill me,” your face pops into my mind and I think to myself, I know she felt this way too and she got through.
So never think that the thing you did didn’t matter. Every single one did, the ones I’ve noticed and the ones I’ve yet to see and I appreciate them all, especially the ones I’m yet to discover. I love you Mom, but yeah, you’re right, you love me more. Thanks for always being the winner of that argument.
I love you – Bunny
The closest I can figure from the things I am chatting about in the letter I wrote this at the beginning of 2013. Why didn’t I send it? Why did I wait? I don’t know but I don’t want another day to pass without her knowing and I want to be the one who shows her beauty to the world.
Proverbs 27:2 says to let another praise you and not let it come from your own mouth so Sweet Sister please do not remain silent where she is concerned. Walk your Momma into 2015 with the full knowledge of the love you have for her. Send her into a fresh year knowing that all the ones behind her counted. Put a big red bow on your love for her and be certain she understands who she is to you. Let her know that your heart sees behind you and in front of you and it ALL MATTERS, that she matters. And even though our Moms and our situations, our ages and our locations may be different this is one thing we all have in common—no matter how much I love my Mom, no matter how much you love your Mom . . . .SHE LOVES YOU MORE.
*Written with a grateful heart and much love for my Sisters walking through such loss right now and allowing me to learn from all you are going through. I love you so dear friends.
*If you’d like to put your letter to your Mom in the comments section here feel free to do that. If you’d like me to put it on Glimpsed Glory’s facebook page I’d be happy to post it for you just e-mail me at email@example.com. If you’d like a public place to share it, I’ll provide it.