(Disclaimer: Grab the Kleenex if you haven’t already. What follows is just a little bit about my late mother and the bond we share.)
We were six months without Mom now. Mother’s Day, to be exact. I was a mess. We had just been notified that my mom’s headstone was placed. The “proof” from the cemetery was staring back at me from my email. I felt my heart break yet again. I didn’t think there was anything left to break. There was a terrible restlessness in my soul. I had to do something. So I headed outside for a walk. Steely wind- whipped rain pelted my face. The fierce, freezing cold air bit like my new awful reality. I bawled with each step. I didn’t care if anyone saw. Pain, I’ve learned, has a way of obliterating some inhibitions.
A Sign From Above
Until that moment there hadn’t been a creature in sight. It was if everything was hiding on that dreadful day. Suddenly, a bright red cardinal landed on the chain link fence, at the exact spot I was passing by.
Cardinals are very shy. They don’t come close and they certainly don’t stay within arms reach. This one stayed– staring at me until I reached for my phone to take a photo then he flew away. I had just read days before this that cardinals are a sign of a loved one that has passed. I had forgotten till after the cardinal flew away. Was it my Mom or a sign from my Mom? I don’t know. All I know is it brought me such comfort that it came when and where it did.
I return to that same spot by the fence often. That’s where I “talk” to my Mom. I also painted the spot last Fall. (below)
When I started my business, I knew I needed to include something that would visually remind me of my Mom’s presence in my life. We once had a business together and it was shut down just at the time she became very ill. I know she’d be happy I’ve started again. So in case you’re wondering about the logo and why there’s a cardinal in it, now you know. It’s representative of my Mom and her loving, supportive place in my heart. There’s something else you should know about her. She had a trademark saying.
“You are loved.” Those 3 words were her simple and sincere way of sharing God’s love and her faith with everyone she ever came in contact with. Even in the last few moments of her life, she said those words to everyone that came to her bedside.
Just after she died, I heard this song for the first time. It wasn’t one she knew, but the first time I heard it I felt it was straight from her. For months it had a way of tearing me to pieces and comforting me all at the same time. Grief is bizarre like that. I know this is a message she would want you to know and believe today.
Please enjoy the official “You Are Loved” music video from Stars Go Dim.
My mom and dad dedicated their lives to ministering to people for over 3 decades. Together they planted churches, visited prisons, created a radio broadcast and all while raising the five of us in their 56 years together.
My dad continues to carry on the work of ministry now, with my Mom in his heart and cherished memories of their life together. I am so grateful my dad is well and strong, supportive of me in my business ventures and while I know he has a broken heart and misses his partner immensely, he continues to be there for us. I love you, Dad!
Mom is Home
Another song I only discovered after my mom died was one by Chris Tomlin. It is simply called “Home.” As a family we take comfort in our deep loss, knowing that my mom is Home, reunited with siblings and other family members, enjoying her “new body” and living in the Light of His Perfect Love.
I imagine the first thing she heard when she was welcomed with open arms was the very thing she’s known to say. “(Ellen), you are loved.”
Are you grieving? Have you lost someone you love? If you feel like sharing, I will keep you in my prayers. I would never have made it if not for Living Hope and the supportive people in my life. If I can be there for you please let me know.