Sunday, May 8, 2016

Making it Different

No one warned me. No one gave me the slightest hint. When you lose your mother, the glue of the family, you dont just lose her. You lose everything that ever used to be normal.

All our traditions.

All our celebrations.

All our previous joys.


Right now it is all about doing things differently. Trying not to remember. Trying not to be brought to a place of absolute despair.

Today, while everyone remembered their mothers, I could only remember the loss of mine.

While people had memories to share, I tried to close all mine away.

Too precious.

Too hard.

In years past, Mothers Day was stressful. We wanted to make it perfect for a woman who deserved the world and could only really have a BBQ! What I wouldn't give to have a stressful Mothers Day again, in honor of Her.

Maybe one day planning events wont be about how different we can make them in hopes of healing our hearts. For now, its how we survive one day to the next.

A mother is a great blessing. I pray I can be one just like mine!

Friday, March 25, 2016

This One is for Him

Although this is Good Friday, this post is not about Jesus. "Him" from my title is my Dad.

As I started to hang my laundry this morning, I started to cry. This time it wasn't because I was sad for who I had lost. My eyes and heart finally moved from myself and landed on my Dad.

I lost a mother, he lost his wife.

I can't imagine. I never want to be the one left behind.

Dave and I have an ongoing, silly little fight about who is allowed to die first. Neither of us wants to be the first to go. Its too hard being the one left to pick up the pieces. That is what my Dad is living right now. Being left behind.

He has lost his wife, his best friend, his constant companion, his filter, his love, his confidant and partner... the list goes on. In the relationship of a spouse are found all other relationships.

How do we help? How do I , as his mourning daughter, help ease his pain and bring him comfort? Everyday must be so hard and so lonely. And yet he stands so strong in our presence. He dams up his tears and stops his mouth from speaking sadness.

My tears flow today for my fathers pain. For his present loneliness that we can't take away. So many holes that we just cannot fill. In ourselves and in those we love.

I am thankful that today is a day we remember our Heavenly Father and the sacrifice He sent for us. Jesus is the only way we can find comfort and fill the hole of this loneliness. On earth there is a sting of death, but with Christ we have eternity. Loneliness will pass away along with sorrow and sin. Until then, we cling to His promise. He is our comfort. He gives us what we need to comfort others.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Icy Indifference

There have been very few tears this week. As I sat down to try and assess why that was so, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I'm hardened!

I feel as though I have grown a metal skin that is used to cover away all my sorrow and keep it from coming out lest it should rust. I didn't do it on purpose. I only just came to this realization an hour ago.

Some people get angry as part of the grief. I have no reason for anger. Instead, I've simply become a statue. A semblance of Katie walks and talks and eats but doesn't seem to allow feeling very far. My visits with people feel selfish because I am just thankful for their distractions. My brain is a fog and can't seem to offer any clear advice or conversation.

I know it wont last. I feel the ebbing pain surfacing as I type. I just thought it odd as I reflected that this was what I found. An icy surface "protecting" the soft and tender, hurting heart inside.

As the ice outside melts in my backyard and floods the yard, so this hardness will melt away and bring more tears to release the ache inside. New life will bud and grow and warmth will once  again reign. Until then, I admit I have enjoyed the tear free week. Just not the ache that seems to build instead.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Dark Hours

No one can love like a mother.

I'm still awake at 3:30 am; eyes swollen half shut due to crying because it finally sank in. All the things that I will never have again.

I went to bed in utter exhaustion and the moment I tried to sleep I started to cry. I can't make the tears stop.

I want to call her up. I want to hear her talk to me. I want her to hug me. I want to hear that one day it will all be okay. That it will get better.

It wont. The pain will cease to be as sharp. The tears will dry. But I still wont have my mom. There is no replacement. No one else will fill her role. I can't expect someone to. Who can love me the way I love my children? That one relationship is gone. Lost to me for the rest of this life.

Where I am right now, there is no comfort. I'm not talking eternally. I'm talking about right now. During the rest of my life on this earth. No one can be my mother. And no matter what anyone says, a girl will always wish to have her mom. No matter how old she gets.

The other day I was walking down the street and passed one of my moms favourite stores. I wanted to cry just seeing it. I walked by and managed to stay strong. The way back was a different story. I stopped and had a real dilemma right in front of the store. Part of me couldn't gather the courage to go in the front door. The other part wanted to rush in and buy the prettiest thing I could find. For what? Her honor? A memory? None of it makes any sense. One lone tear escaped my right eye as I forced myself to keep walking by.

Up until tonight I have kept myself grounded. Collecting my emotions for private release, having a quick cry and moving on. Tonight I just can't keep it controlled. My sorrow has won tonight. In so many ways it is welcomed. In a few short hours my grief will have to be gathered up and stored away so I can be the mom my boys need to be.

Right now I need to cry over the fact that my mom isn't nestled into her bed, getting ready to wake with the sun and be the mom I need her to be. She has done her job and is at rest.

I have my memories. But for now they are too painful. Just a reminder of the amazing lady we've all lost.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Sorrow Upon Sorrow

My Mom died.

(She's the little one in the middle)

There was no warning. There were no goodbyes. She just left. To a better place and surrounded by glory, but away from us.

When I got the call to come to the hospital, the morning of February 11th, I knew I was going to lose my mother. I rushed into my snow covered truck, braved high speeds on terrible roads and prayed the whole time.

"Lord, let us get there first. We will sing to her and pray with her. We will read her psalms and her favourite verses. Just let us get there first. Let us say goodbye."

I walked into the "special" room with Meghan and Connor. My Dad and sister, Aunty Peggy and Aunty Anne were already there.

"She's gone", he said. "She died".

We wept. We sobbed out our grief in loud wails and gut wrenching moans. Daniel and Amanda joined us. Everyone but us red heads already knew the  truth. We weren't going to get to say goodbye. My prayer was answered with a "No, daughter. Not this time."

I already heard that answer a few months ago. Not again! I know all too well now how our prayers are answered but not always how we desire them to be.

These are the words I spoke at the funeral:

The Millar family has forever been changed. Not only have we lost a mother, a wife and a grandmother, be we have lost our best friend, our conscience, our counseller, guide and strength.
 She had a gift at taking one look at you and knowing there was something wrong. The one who could help put words to all the jumbled up emotions reeling around inside. She was a sign post always pointing up to God who is the source of all wisdom, joy and comfort. Each person here has been touched by my amazing mother and can attest for what I say. It astounds me that God could create a woman who was all things at once to everyone who needed her… and that I have the privilege of being her daughter. How one human being could be everything to so many people is hard to believe; but that is who God made her to be. She made a home where everyone was welcome. She taught her children to love all who were around. She instilled in us a passion to see those in need and love them with Christ’s love. She was never too busy for anyone and so her home was the warmest place to be. She was where people wanted to be.
 I have always said that my mom was the person I’d most like to be. Her strength was unmatched, her wisdom unparalleled, and her love incomprehensible. I will never be just like my mom. I was created to be me, but God has graciously given me some of her attributes. And when you take myself, along with Johannah, Daniel and Connor, you get a pretty good picture of who she was. It took 4 children to encapsulate one woman and it is still not enough. She was a second mom to so many, and they too hold some of her. My mom went home as a daughter of the King. She was welcomed home with a “Well done, Good and Faithful servant!” and she is now in the presence of God with 4 of her own children and two of her grandbabies. She leaves behind a hole that can never be filled but we rejoice that she has been brought home where there is no pain or tears and where she basks in the light of God.
 “My sheep listen to my voice, I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater that all; no one can snatch them out of my Fathers hands. I and the Father are one.” John 10: 27-30 My mom followed Jesus and she is in his hands forever. Praise be to God!  
Life goes on now. One painful day at a time. She was our glue. She kept us grounded and alert. A daughter often asks: "What would I do without my mother?" And now I know. Cry! And then continue to live. Picking up pieces, comforting myself and others who need it, remembering her voice in all the little things. Just never forgetting.

Life without Liz Millar is not an easy one. Its darker, it hurts and it feels aimless. Thankfully, we don't serve her, we serve our great Lord and Saviour and he gives us our direction.  He reminds me of his promises so that I can mourn now but there will be joy in the morning. He will take this tragedy and turn it into healing and numerous other wonderful things.

                                                  Here she is with that expression of glee.
                                            It was the books she loved on her 50th birthday.
                                 Some may think its unflattering but I see exactly who she is here.

I don't know how to end this post. Words have been hard to find and say. I guess I can finish with what I say when i can barely speak and when the tears are just streaming down my face.

I miss my mom.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

A Future Lost

I started writing to my baby the moment I found out. I began a list of names (all boys because we all know the chances are slim for any other sex) and began to think of sleeping arrangements. I looked into buying a new bassinet and the cost of renting newborn cloth diapers. My heart was racing with joy and excitement for the day 9 months in the future when I would meet my newest little one.

I never thought that day would disappear. That the Lord would choose to take that precious life to himself before I had a chance to even feel that life within me. A hole was ripped into my life by the loss of a life that I never met. Leaving in its wake a dark pit of fear and uncertainty.

No one can really prepare you for the sorrow a miscarriage brings. A friend of mine described the need for support being like a woman who has just had a newborn baby but also lost a family member. In one fell swoop, you are mourning the loss of a life you were planning for while still having to pass that life from within you.

I prayed against the loss of life but it was taken. I prayed for a safe passing of the baby but was hospitalized and required surgery. My prayers were not answered the way I had desired but I know it was all His good and perfect will. I may never understand exactly why these things happened but I do know that God knows.

I look around and see all the blessings God has bestowed on us. 4 healthy and happy boys, a warm home, a loving husband and a supportive family (both blood and church). He has been so good and will continue to be good to us. Even in the terror of the loss, he got me to the hospital before it was too late. He spared my life instead of taking it as well.

I am left confused and scared. The terror of what I went through leaves me wondering if it is safe for me to have another child. Will my life be taken from me instead of spared like it was this time? Will it happen all over again? Was this Gods way of showing me I should be pleased with my family of 6?

I know all of these thoughts are from me wanting to be in control of what happens. I need to relinquish it to God. He is the one who holds all things together and breathes life into us. The worries just keep coming back. I don't know when the sorrow will fade. I know it will never be gone. My child was lost and will never be forgotten but God will also bring joy. He heals and brings comfort.

I have hope that one day I will be able to meet this little one in heaven. Until then I have 4 beautiful lives to care for here on earth. I have taken the letters to this baby and put them away. I have collected the sorry cards and tucked them away to help heal my heart but the memory will haunt me for some time.

I praise God that I have very little time to sit and think of my loss and instead and surrounded by many joyful noises.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sing and Make Music

I want to be as the Psalmist was:

My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn
I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaching to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over the earth. Psalm 57:7-11