Last night I dreamed Mom came back. We said we were going to believe with her until her last breath, and even then we would believe God could raise her from the dead like Lazarus if He wanted. I guess that’s why last night I dreamed she was suddenly just hanging out in the house. She was wearing her white beach cover-up, blond hair, smiling, holding Pace and rallying us all to go to the pool and lay out with her. We were all looking at each other like, “Is she serious?” and I asked her if she was sure the sun wouldn’t zap her energy too much. We were talking in whispers, not wanting to freak her out because she obviously didn’t know that we’d been to her graveside a few days before. I even remember pulling Dad into the garage and asking him if it was really OK to let her lay out. He said, “If that’s what she wants, but take her by the doctor first and get her kidneys checked.” 🙂 Pretty vivid, huh.

Dreams aside, I realized yesterday that I really do think about her constantly. I woke up, made the bed, walked downstairs, and had part of a conversation before I was jolted by the realization that I hadn’t re-remembered that Mom is gone for that 10 minute span. It isn’t like I walk around heavy with memories, but everything is tinged by her or the lack thereof. How then am I not depressed? How have I lost my mom, my best friend, my #1 fan (as she proudly named herself), my confidante and not thrown myself into a dark room and locked the door as I would have imagined? The only answers I have been able to come up with are God and your prayers. We all have dark moments… I actually told my aunt at our family Christmas that I just didn’t have it in me to smile at everybody…but the moments pass. I tell myself that she’s finally WITH Jesus and no memory we could create for her here can compare with the ecstasy of where she is now.

We are all reading a book on heaven, and I think that’s helping me too. I’ve always been big on wanting to SEE where people are so that I can “see” them when I think about them. Is that crazy? I’m pretty sure Jeremiah thinks it is. I had a breakdown a couple of years ago when he told me A) It would be inappropriate for me to be-bop up to the ER so that I could accurately imagine where he was 90% of our life (and watching him do a surgery was even more out of the question) and B) He didn’t feel the need to make the hour-long drive out to my work in Wilsonville so that he could “see” what I do (he did drive out there anyway though :)). Anyway, being able to accurately imagine the surroundings of those I care about has always been big to me, and this book is helping me to do that. It’s one thing to say she’s happy, it’s another thing to imagine what she’s really DOING up there.

There is one other problem that we all seem to be having and that is being around groups of people again. We don’t sit around in the house and mope or anything like that, but there is something hard about seeing people laughing and being “normal” when nothing about our existence is normal anymore. It may not be bad, but it certainly is different…and will never be the same again. I have found myself feeling distant and alone when I am surrounded by people. However, I went to dinner at a friends house tonight and it hardly bothered me at all. I am just praying it will keep getting better.

This is hard to admit, but there is also a kind of relief in my heart. Taylor really hit it when she said that she doesn’t know what to do with herself now that there is no worry in the back of her mind. There’s been 13 years that we’ve all been unable to be completely without the fear that God may NOT chose to heal Mom. Now that what we always thought to be the worst has happened, and we’ve seen that God still more than sustains us, that fear is no more. Even though it makes me feel a little guilty, there is relief in that.

Finally, I want to say that I have been overwhelmed by the posts on this blog. Your love and prayers are so GENUINE and we feel it. OH, how we feel it! The thought that there are “Anonymous” friends out there who have been moved by Mom’s life fills my insides with overflowing hope. It helps me to see how much bigger God’s plan is than my own.

11 Responses to “Where to Now?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I also like to “see” folks when I think about them. I’m so glad you have a source to help “picture” your mom in the splendor that she is enjoying. My dad has been gone 15 years and when I hear a sermon or read a book on heaven I will visualize him there. It does get better, but never gone. I think of it like a trip. Tim and Jill and the boys left yesterday to go to NE for a week. I miss them terribly. I think about them often and try to “see” them where they are and what they are doing. But I focus on the day they will return. That’s the way it is with Dad and your Mom. We miss them terribly, visualize them where they are and what they are doing, but our hope is in the day we will join them. There is one more treasure in heaven. Our loss is temporary, and eternity’s gain. You are special. Sharon T

  2. JMM says:

    I love that you saw your mother wearing a beach coverup knowing how much she liked the beach. My family and I are at the beach now. I asked Gary at sunset if he thought Becky could see sunsets in heaven. Before he answered, I realized if that would make her happy she would she them. I think about your family so much here and so pleased you are getting close to being as happy as your mother is now.

  3. Robin says:

    I feel your emotions so much as they were so similar to mine when I lost my mom a few years ago. Even though we are ages apart I understand what you are feeling. With the loss of my dad on Laurens day of birth I can see the similarity of Mary Aplines birth and the feelings you are having. My Lauren has come to symbolize what a great legacy she is and that her birthday is a sad day but what a gift God gave us to have her to celebrate life even though he took daddy on that same day .You are so precious and I find such comfort in your words and I see your mom in you in so many ways. I am loving you and always will remeber what fun times I had with your mom. We laughed hard and we cried hard. What a gift from God she was to me. I will always miss her but I know she is rejoicing and eating and seeing sunsets and lying in the sun and having fun with JESUS, who was truly her best friend. Loving you…Mrs. Robin

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am a good friend of Dana Yance Wright’s and I knew you at Auburn. I just wanted to let you know that my husband and I are keeping you and your family in our prayers. May the Lord give you strength and peace.

  5. Dona says:

    You, the girls, your sweet sisters and your daddy are in our prayers and on our minds daily. You are all very much loved!
    Dona Stickler

  6. Anonymous says:

    Oh, thank you so much for sharing from your heart. It was after waking up from my first dream about my Mother that it really hit me that I would not see her on this earth again. But I have also had dreams where I felt her hold me in her arms again and after waking up, I felt such a peace. I also try to think what my mom is doing and seeing in Heaven. I would love to know the book you are reading if you don’t mind sharing that. It has been 9 months now and I’m just beginning to feel what is now “normal”. I believe God allows us tears to cleanse the hurt and pain of the earthly loss. But I am so thankful we do not have to mourn as one without hope in that we KNOW that we will see our Mothers again. My prayers continue for your family.

    Starla Wiggins Ingram

  7. BLG says:

    When I read your last post I just cried and called Natalie. She said she cried too. We are praying for your family! I also like to “see” where my friends are family work or live. hehe…

  8. jamisims says:

    Abby, I don’t know you, but my brother Neal and his wife Tami are your friends. That is how I came to look at and read your blog. Your words are precious and real and inspiring. I have never lost someone I was really, really close with, but a few years ago after I miscarried a friend gave me the book, Trusting God Through Tears,by Jehu Thomas Burton. I will say 100% that this is the most real and encouraging and heartfelt book about death and dying. A friend of mine lost one of her chldren a couple of years ago and she really got a lot of comfort out of reading, Heaven, by Randy Alcorn. That may be the book you are currently reading. I just wanted to share these two books with you. Read them as you are ready. May God’s peace and rest fall all over you and your family. Jami Stanford Sims

  9. AubieT says:

    Hi, sweet Abby. One of your friends directed me to your blog, and it has truly been a blessing to me—-especially seeing the picture of the prayer vigil at your house and the pictures of your mom with the baby! I wish we could have been there for that night. Incredible! I love your dream. I remember so vividly one long conversation at Auburn with your precious mama about the beach. She talked so descriptivly about how she and her friends were able to go to the beach for the day in high school (which made me so envious since I was from Huntsville and SOOOOO far from the beach!) She talked about staying for pretty sunsets, then going back home with a nice tan (with a little burn on top!) and putting on clothes to go out that night that would show off their pretty tans!!! EVERY time I am at the beach, or when I see a pretty sunset, I think of that conversation with that sweet Beck!Your dream was probably right–I bet she is at the prettiest beach we could ever imagine——EVERY day!Paul is reading the book, HEAVEN, now and loves it! I can not wait to be there and go to the beach with Becky (although my legs will NEvER be as tan as hers!) Your family is never far from our thoughts and always in our prayers. If they make it to B’ham soon, please let us borrow Kendall so she and Becca can spend some time together. I am so glad I got to finally meet you, even if it was briefly. You are so much your mama made over, and she was so very proud of you. Much love, Karen Barganier

  10. Kim says:

    Hi Abby,

    Read your blog after talking to your dad this afternoon. It does make me feel better to know that all of you are doing so well. I totally understand about not being comfortable around people yet. After Smitty died, I felt the same way and it did take a while to “renormalize”. It will get better but will be different and that is okay too. I also remember those same feelings of guilt after he died about feeling the relief of no more worry or his suffering. That is very normal. One thing I learned and would like to share with you and the rest of the family is that there is life after death not only for those who are in heaven but for those of us left behind. God wants us to be happy and joyful just as Bec Bec now is with Him. Hope this is helpful in some way. Love ya lots. Call anytime if you need me.

    Kim Spencer

  11. Nancy says:

    I am reading all of this for the first time & boy…you & your beautiful Mom could be sister's! What an amazing blog you have. God bless you!!!

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