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Mother’s Day

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How do I make the day special for my mom, for whom I sacrifice so much? My own daughter is miles away, being pampered by her children, under her husband’s guidance. It feels like every day is Mother’s Day for my mom. She has meals delivered almost every day, by the two people closest to her, physically and emotionally. Her mail is brought in from the box, set in front of her at the table. Trash is emptied, recycle taken out, batteries replaced, bills paid, surveys answered.

What would it take to make the day different than every other day? Candy? Flowers? Does a beautiful card make the day special?

Is it necessary to make a big deal out of a day that makes florist’s do the happy dance? What would make it special for me is to spend a few hours with my daughter. No candy, flowers, silly balloons. Just time to walk, chat, grab a coffee. With no demands from her kids. Yes, I love my grandchildren to pieces, but I loved my daughter first.

My first born, my miracle, my pride and joy. The ‘good child.’

I don’t need a fake holiday to feel valued as a mother. I already am. I’m loved, valued, and I love and value in return. From my grandmother down to my youngest granddaughter, we have a legacy of caring, loving, and strong women. I don’t need Hallmark to tell me so.

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A Simple Hello

A touching story of how a simple hello can change everything.

Storyshucker

The evening commute home was a scramble as people rushed and crushed onto the train fighting for a place to sit or stand.  A last-minute couple pushed through the door dropping tourist maps in their haste. Forced by the crowd to split up, the man went one way and the woman another.

The woman sat down in the last vacant seat next to where I stood and began to refold maps. Beside her sat a well-dressed business woman who appeared to read something work-related even after a day at the office. The two glanced briefly at each other, said nothing, and went back to their tasks of reading and map folding.

Things calmed as the train doors shut and people settled into seats or places to stand. As we waited for the train to depart, only the rustling of newspapers or the occasional ring of a cell phone could be heard…

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Never Say These 2 Things to a Grieving Mom

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A few months after my son Bobby died, I had lunch with a few friends. I still wasn’t up to socializing, but I agreed to go anyway. One of the women said something that made me want to jump across the table and grab her by the throat. I know she meant her words as comfort, but at that time it was like rubbing salt in an already gaping wound. It’s now been five years and I can remember my visceral reaction that day.

Here are two things NEVER to say to a grieving mother:

He/she is in a better place. No he’s not! He should be here with his family. With me. How could any place be better?

If you just do X, you’ll find closure. Really? What does closure mean, exactly? Do you think one simple act will help relieve the unrelenting aching of my empty arms?

As any mom will tell you, after 5 years, 10 years, or even longer, there is no such thing as closure. Writing my book, BECAUSE OF GRACE, didn’t bring closure. Putting a brass plaque with Bobby’s name on the Children’s Memorial Tree in South Lake Tahoe didn’t bring me closure. Closure is like trying to grab smoke.

Has anyone ever said anything to you like this? How did you respond?

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Because of Grace available on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Because-Grace-Mothers-Journey-Grief-ebook/dp/B00U0GY1D6/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-3&qid=1425144332

Because of Grace

Cancer, suicide, drowning, car accident, murder. Every mother fears losing her child. We’re supposed to protect our children from the sharp edges of life. Don’t run in the street. Look both ways. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t hang out with that crowd. We hear about other families who face the pain of loss, and we silently give thanks it isn’t us, all the while hugging our kids a little tighter.

A mother is unprepared for the pain of her child’s death. I know. I’ve been there. It’s the worst loss.

But God. Those two words took me through the valley of the shadow of death, to the peace that passes all understanding.

Come with me on a journey from grief to grace.BecauseofGrace_FlatforeBooks

Now available on Amazon

Grace Defined

The dictionary defines grace as ‘favor or good will.’ A ‘manifestation of favor, especially by a superior.’ When I think about the death of my son, and how it changed my entire world, I wonder at God’s grace. As His child, I have His favor and good will, as described by dictionary.com.

In Jerry Sittser’s best-selling book, he talks about how God’s grace is often disguised in tragedy.

Loss may call the existence of God into question. Pain seems to conceal Him from us, making it hard for us to believe there could be a God in the midst of our suffering. 1

How can Bobby’s death be God’s grace? My comfort is there is a greater plan at work than I can see or imagine. I know that through the excruciating pain following Bobby’s passing, God was there, keeping me from falling into the abyss.

My prayer for those women who have lost a son or daughter, is they’ll find the strength to go on. To get up every day, get dressed, and move through the pain. Grief will either destroy you or make you stronger.

I choose strength.

BecauseofGrace_FlatforeBooks

  1. A Grace Disguised. Sittser, Zondervan 1995, 2004