I used to want a different story for you. I wanted your pages to read of health and wholeness and longevity. I did not want you defined by your clinical diagnoses, but instead defined by your grand baby shopping skills, your homemade piecrust, and your barrel racing times. I wanted you to have the blissful freedom to be you, a wife, a mom, a nana, and a friend, unhindered by the confines of sickness.
I think, maybe, that what I wanted was wrong.
I was wrong to want that for you, Momma. I was wrong to wish for different chapters. I was wrong to want a different book.
Stories about you poured out of our community when we had to say goodbye. I heard you touted as a champion, a fighter, a believer, an encourager, and a dear friend. Your unwavering faith and matchless devotion to the King were proclaimed from every corner. There was no question of who you lived your life for and that you prayed that all you knew and loved would choose the same. You were undoubtedly a beloved woman in all aspects of your life.
And through it all, I couldn’t help but wonder if all the things that made you you were rooted in the pages that I had so many times wished away.
If you would have loved as well, as deeply, or as completely, if you hadn’t been challenged in the way that you had.
If the King would have been your everything if your pages had read wellness and wholeness instead.
If you would have been as strong as your were if you didn’t have to fight the way that you did.
I might have wanted a different story for you, but I absolutely didn’t want a different Momma.
And now? I’m not so sure that one could have existed without the other.
Today, on this first Mother’s Day without you, I did not wake up grateful for the road you had to walk. I’m not strong enough to claim that. But I am grateful for who you were because of that road. I am grateful for your story. And I am grateful for the legacy that you have left behind because of those pages.
You showed me how to love greatly, wholly, and loyally.
You showed me that motherhood doesn’t demand perfection, but instead just asks that you show up.
You showed me that family meals around the kitchen table are always worth the time.
You showed me that strength has nothing to do with size and everything to do with faith.
You showed me that there are always joys to be found, even in our most challenging days.
You showed me that the King has ordained our pages and we must always trust Him with our stories.
You showed me a million different things, all of which have led me to this.
Your story was perfect, Momma, because it made you, YOU.
And today, I wouldn’t be who I am without that YOU written into all of my chapters.
I can hear Emme girl babbling in her crib. She’s awake from her nap, joyfully chattering away. I go to her, she grins at me, and I thank our King for your birthday buddy.
Tonight, when I put her to sleep, I will pray that she is good and kind. I will pray that she is faithful and strong. I will pray that she loves the King in the way that you did.
I will pray, today and everyday, that I see your legacy on each of her pages.
And as the years slip and I see you show up in my girl, in her character, in her joy, in her strength, I know it will be a beautiful story.
– – – – –
My sweet Momma, Tammy Jean Mackey, went home to her King on Saturday, April 29th, 2017. Today, she IS living a new chapter, one that reads of health and wholeness. While I will miss her desperately for the rest of my days, I look forward to the day I see her again.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
Revelation 21:4 (NLT)