Search This Blog

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Moment of Saying Goodbye

In July, mom and dad were called to serve as temple workers in the London Temple.  

My mom dreams of England and considering there are another couple of months of Arizona heat to deal with, I think England is a great option.

They left last week and my heart has been a flurry of emotions.

I’ve been married for almost 18 years, and for 16 of those years, I’ve lived on the same street as my parents. 

Here is the view, standing from my home looking down at her home.  There is only one house that separates us. 

Living close to my parents, well, there are too many blessings to count, but one of the most meaningful is the most obvious – our close proximity.  In a moment’s notice, I can run down to borrow the white sweater I saw my mom wearing last week or she can run up to borrow my crock pot (which she gave me for Christmas).  I see her every day walking her dog Winne and I see my dad riding his bike through the neighborhood.  When my mom pulls out of her driveway to run up to the store, she might stop and ask if I need anything.  I see my dad pull weeds and keep up with the lawn.  Every day, I am privileged to watch a day in their lives – moments as they love, serve and grow.  It’s an interesting perspective and is something that can easily be taken for granted.  There’s a comfort in the daily witness of their lives – the waves and smiles, the offerings of food and borrowing of tools. 

Eden at Grandma's with her cousins.

A few weeks ago, on a Sunday morning, one thing after another piled up on my list of motherhood tasks and I became overwhelmed.  I took the baby and walked down to my parents.  I wasn’t sure what I needed, but I knew if I told them how I felt they would know what do to.  Sure enough, my mom offered words of wisdom and my dad offered a Father’s blessing.  I came home an hour later with a new determination and a fresh perspective on what I had to offer.  My kids smiled as I walked in the door and the contention that had been their earlier had dissolved. 

The night before my parents left for England, my mom came over with some food items that she thought I might enjoy.  We talked for a few minutes and hugged, celebrating this wonderful opportunity for her.  My kids said goodbye to Grandma and then it was time for her to leave.  I walked out the front door with her, my baby Canyon in my arms.  Canyon looked up into the sky and said “Star,” his new favorite word.  My mom and I giggled over his tiny little vocabulary, encouraging him to say “Bye Bye.”  We hugged again.  I watched for what would be the last time in a while, as she walked the stretch of lawn from my house to hers.  I started crying, and had the sensation that my heart my split in half.  Canyon got out of my arms and followed her.  My mom stopped and spent another precious moment or two with him, pointing to the stars and the leaves in the trees. 

I walked over to my mom, trying to hold back the tears.  “I’m not sure if I’ll ever understand how much you love me,” I said and we hugged.   

I took Canyon in my arms and my mom turned back, walking towards her house.  This night sky was dark and I watched as her silhouette started to fade.  She was leaving.  The symbolism was almost too much.  She was there, but she wasn’t there.  I watched her go and prayed with all my heart I would see her again someday.  In a sort of desperate moment, I shouted out, “I love you, Mom.”  She turned and I could see her face again in the moonlight.  “I love you, sweet Laura.”  After that, she was gone.

I tried not to get carried away, but I had to let the moment teach me.  Here I was, so happy for my parents to have this opportunity, but knowing they would be gone for birthdays, Thanksgiving, even Christmas.  But, it was more than that.  It was the moments I would miss the most like seeing my mom at the mail box or watching my dad take out the trash.  They would be missed in the every day moments of blowing kisses and evening prayers, of homemade cookies and compliments of love. 

My mom, my best friend, one of the few people on this planet who would do anything for me was leaving and I wanted to do everything in my power to let her know I loved her.  There are not many moments in our lives when we know they will be our last.  Had I used the moments wisely?  Was there anything else I could do in the moment to express my love?  The idea this might be the last time I might see her was painful, but reminded me families can be together forever.  My mom will always be my mom, whether she is here, in England or in heaven.  The only thing I have control over is how I treat her, how I show affection or appreciation, how I express my love and gratitude. 

They arrived safely in London and start on their adventure.  

I will miss them, but even more, I will love them with all my heart. 

My mom sent this photo, assuring us they would not go hungry.

In this photo, I can feel the love my mom has for my dad.  He is her prince.

No comments:

Post a Comment