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Sunday, February 6, 2011


While I was mulling over a topic for this week's blog, a friend reminded me, "Valentine's Day is coming up."

Instant emotional connection: my mother's birthday is? was? February 12th. Next Saturday night. The same day as Abraham Lincoln, for those old enough to remember when we celebrated Abraham Lincoln and George Washington's birthdays separately instead of as "Presidents Day."

Tears sprang to my eyes. I want to cry. I still do. Because this is the first year Mom is celebrating her birthday in heaven. This is the start of the season . . . God be thanked, only a month. . .of those awful anniversaries:

  • February 12th - Mom's birthday
  • February 22nd - 1st anniversary of Mom's death
  • March 13th - 3rd anniversary of Jolene's death
  • March 16th - would have been Jolene's 27th birthday.

Life, for the most part, goes on. So much has changed. I am a grandma twice over, a full time writer, and Oklahoma begins to feel like home.

And yet . . .

I am still that person, the one started this blog in the aftermath of the worst loss of my life. I still experience times like this, where even the mention of the date makes me want to sob. I suspect I always will. When I think of what I wish I had done differently. When I miss Mom and Jolene fiercely it's a physical pain.

How little I appreciated the gift we had. . .the years the three of us spent together, our little trio of three generations, the joys of times shared. I treated those times as they would last forever. Now I want to go back and savor every moment. But of course I can't.

On the first anniversary of Jolene's death, God put me with a group of writers. Last year, the Saturday after Mom died on Monday, I spoke to my local group. This year, I will on retreat with a group of writers when the anniversary of Mom's death rolls around. I guess God knows the people I most need to hold me up in times of grief--my writing family.

So I know, although at the moment my heart is heavy, joy will return. God has given me peace and will carry me through this time of remembering.


P.S. Today is Super Bowl Sunday. I remember getting a bunch of snacks and watching the game with Jolene when she was in middle school . . . I suspect I'll be inundated with memories over these next few weeks.


Julie Jarnagin said...

Darlene - I'll be praying for you throughout this entire month. I admire you, your willingness to share your story, and your faith in God as you walk through it. God bless.

Lynette Sowell said...

Thanking of you...I know this is a hard time...I hope you find some new special memories to cherish with the old. ((hugs0)

Kameko said...

Darlene, I'm praying that you will feel God's gentle, steadying presence beside you daily.

I can't begin to imagine the loss you are experiencing since I still have my parents & my daughter. The closest for me would be the loss of both my in-laws within 99 days of each other. We buried my father-in-law on Christmas Eve 2004 and my mother-in-law feel ill, was in the hospital for 3 weeks & died 99 days later. Their birthdays are in February, father-in-law on 5th and mother-in-law on 11th. So, while I loved them both dearly and feel their loss deeply, I know it can't be the same as I would feel if it were my mother or daughter.
Sorry, I didn't meant to meander, dear friend. Just know that you are on in my thoughts and prayers.


Nancy Carranza said...

I am so proud of you Darlene. You are a wonderful woman with so much talent. I will be praying for you during these difficult times. I hope you are well and blessed with lots of love.

Nancy Carranza