As I drive on gorgeous spring mornings like this one, enjoying the vibrant light, blue skies, and colorful blossoms bursting from trees and earth, my heart remembers last spring. In fact, for moments at a time I am there at the time of my greatest heartbreak.
It was March 11 when my 2nd marriage ended abruptly and March 15, 2017, that my mother passed away. My heart shattered with the double death. Even though two of the most important things in my life were dead, the earth was alive, singing with possibilities in the months that followed.
When I am sucked back in time, the sting of the dead marriage is gone. I only feel wonder and awe that I recovered so quickly and that life is already new and a million times better than ever before. What I feel now when I enter time’s portal is the overwhelming feeling of peace and comfort that permeated that period. All I remember is being wrapped up in my mother’s eternal love.
As my dad, brother and I sat down to rest at my parents’ house after the funeral events were over, the magnitude of my mother being gone caught up with me. I had this sudden panic seize me, “What in the world am I going to do without my mother for the rest of my life? How can I survive without her?”
I mentioned the feeling to my dad and brother, Thad. Thad replied, “No, don’t think about it that way. It’s like Obi Wan ‘If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you possibly can imagine… use the force, Luke.'”
I guess I took his advice and “used the force” because she, in fact, did become more powerful than I could possibly imagine. I will never be able to put into words the way she has impacted my life since her passing. I call the string of incredible events, “Mama’s miracles.”
Even as I experienced heart-wrenching sorrow, I felt sweet enduring love. I knew my mother and God were getting me through and that my life was about to get amazing with this new angel on my side.
It struck me today that all of nature joined God and my mother in carrying me through those days. The vibrant colors of Mother Earth and the sun’s brightened rays healed my soul, bringing exquisite joy amidst anguished sorrow. Spring, my favorite season of the year, worked with heaven to heal my heart.
As I wrote on May 5, 2017:
“There must be something in divine love that allows us to suffer so we might know joy. Perhaps the crucible for joy is hollowed out by pain. If we want a greater capacity for joy, we must go through an equal portion of pain.”
I am awestruck by the poignant reality that our richest joys live in the very same moment with our deepest pain. Yet, how many times do we have eyes to see it or hearts to embrace it? I believe this truth about divine love is one that only my mother could teach me as she passed from mortality, yet never left my side.
I’m so grateful my mother left this realm in spring, when earth is new and full of life and possibilities. For the rest of my days, spring will remind me that death is not the end, that no one is ever lost to us. Love is eternal and our loved ones stand beside us as angels lifting, blessing, cheering us on, and working all things together for our good under our Heavenly Father’s direction.