understanding my mom’s tears

It was a bright sunny day a year and a half ago, and I can still picture us alone in the car on the way to my grandma’s funeral.  Sorrow filled our eyes as my mom’s perfume mixed in the air with the smell of leather seating. She put on a Celtic praise cd and put on a song entitled, “Garments of praise”.  I looked over and saw how, at age 65, my mom was still the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen.

I want this song played at my funeral.” She said.

Mom, stop it. Don’t say things like that.” I immediately replied.

She answered, “Well, I just thought you’d want to know.”

Her comment scared me, which made the grief for my grandma more complicated. Who knew how quickly her request would be called in.

Then she turned up the volume higher than I thought she ever would, a signal for me to stop talking, and I watched the familiar tears began to fall as she sang along.

I often remember my mom crying while she worshipped. I never did understand why.

It’s been almost three weeks since my mom died, and as I hide under the sheets in bed listening to that same song with the haunting and yearning bagpipes, I immediately go back to that warm ride in the car. Then quickly my mind takes me back to my mom’s hospital bedside when I held her hand firmly in mine as we stared at each other listening to our song again.

Remember this song, Mom?” I said as I leaned in closely. She nodded slightly with the little strength the brain cancer hadn’t yet taken. Those 30 minutes of worship alone with my mom at her bedside were the most sacred minutes of my life. They are as precious to me as the day my children were born. After decades of being in church together, I knew this would be our last worship time with each other. This would be our last moments of anything together. And I knew if she had one last request, she would have asked to worship the Lord.

And then I flash to when she lost consciousness for the last time and I worshipped alone, singing the words as she did, with tears streaming down my face with the deepest longing I’ve ever known. Oh, how I wished she’d open her eyes just one more time. I never had a beautiful singing voice like she did, but I sang with unguarded sorrow, knowing she was truly on her way to the One she longed for her entire life. Her tears were being wiped away forever. Never again would she sing praises with an aching heart. As her longing was being fulfilled, mine was growing deeper.

Being on this side of her life, where I have to play old phone messages to hear her voice, I think I understand what all her worship tears were about. It’s beyond desire; it’s a homesickness that earth can never satisfy. It’s an impossible need that, try as I might, can’t be fulfilled this side of Heaven. But, I know one day it will be.

I miss you, Mom. I can just imagine your joy now…

Here’s a link to the song, “Garments of Praise.”

This entry was posted in blog, brain cancer, christianity, Glioblastoma Multiforme, grace, grief work, healing, hope, mother daughter relationships, spiritual healing, trauma. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to understanding my mom’s tears

  1. Michelle Jordan says:

    Hi Lori….I love this story….really touched my heart. Love and miss you dearly! Hope to see you this week 🙂

  2. Such a special post…hugs to you! xo

  3. optimisticgladness says:

    What a beautiful, hopeful song along with a beautiful post. Interesting, as your mom was being birthed into heaven and when your children were being birthed on earth….those were your two most precious moments. 🙂 Glad to hear from you. Praying for you.

    • What a great connection, Lisa. I hadn’t thought of it like that. I think that’s the second time you’ve reminded me about my mom being ‘birthed’ into heaven. The other time was when I described the pain of losing her as similar to the pain of childbirth. Thanks for reminding me…Yes, I think it’s an interesting connection. There’s something to it, for sure.

  4. Judy says:

    I feel both your grief and your hope, and I pray that the Lord will fill you with his perfect presence and comfort. Judy

  5. What a lovely post, such a touching story of love. Thank you for continuing to share of yourself with us, Lori.

  6. Denise Hisey says:

    Celtic music is so emotional… I can see why you both like this song.
    Thank you, Lori, for sharing such a special link between you and your mom.

  7. It’s a beautiful song…and one you will always have memories when you listen to it …memories that bring sadness now will turn to memories of happiness in time…Diane

  8. As I read your story and the comments I can feel you sorrow. God has blessed with you many reminders and happy memories of your mother to comfort you. May you not only remember your mother but feel the presence of God in all of your memories.

  9. Gospel Restoration says:

    This brought tears to my eyes. I’m so blessed to read these stories of your Mom’s faith and the love that you had for her. I am saying a prayer for you now, that you’ll continue to experience your grief with honesty and courage, as you clearly have been. Thank you for sharing your courage with us. ❤

    • Wow. I hadn’t thought of any of this as courage. I’m broken up most of the time. So, if there’s anything redeeming in sharing it, I’m glad. I know it helps me when others process honestly. I suppose that’s most of the reason I write. It pains me to think of others feeling alone in their pain. Thanks for all your kind messages. You’ve been so supportive…

  10. Gospel Restoration says:

    I just realized that I typed “the love that you had for her,” but it’s clearly a present-tense love, so I shouldn’t have written “had.” My apologies. That is not the type of love that can slip into the past — I’m sure your love will go on into eternity when you will see her again. Hugs.

    • No worries, I don’t know how to say it half the time either. It’s awkward, I know. Is/was, it’s tricky. What I know for sure is the love we ‘had’ will continue. That’s all that matters. 🙂 Thanks for your sensitivity, though.

  11. What a wonderful post. You are so blessed to have a Mother that you have so much love for. I also save all my fathers messages on my cell phone he leaves for me so when he is gone I will be able to hear his voice. Thank you for sharing.

    • Hi Becki,

      Thank you for stopping by my blog and for your kind words. I’m glad you have phone messages from your dad – hearing my mom’s voice is very sade, but extremely comforting. Is your dad sick?

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