Last night while I was reading another chapter in Robin McGraw’s book Inside My Heart, I was hit smack in the face with a moment of grief. This chapter deals with the death of Robin’s mother. It was a sudden death; a heart attack caused the death of this mid-fifties lady. Her mother was at home in her own bed. Robin was a young mother of one child. She felt compelled to immediately take care of her Daddy and her siblings.
In 1993, I suddenly lost my mother to a heart attack caused by sleep apnea. She was in her mid-fifties. My mother was at home in her own bed. I was a young mother of one child. I immediately felt compelled to take care of my Dad and my sister.
You can imagine the tears that came to my eyes when I read the scene at the hospital when the nursing staff had to break the news of their loss. It was as if I was reading my own story of that tragic morning.
Robin’s words touched my heart because she expressed what I’ve never really been able to express. She said that her mother had made her a pie and was bringing it over to her house to help her unpack from moving into their new house just the night before. Although her mother was having chest pains, she continued to bake that pie and get it ready to bring over as a love gift to her daughter. Robin said that she couldn’t eat that pie the next day. She made Phillip throw it away. She said that she couldn’t eat it because, even though it was a gift of love from her mother, it was also a symbol of the martyr her mother had allowed herself to become. She had neglected herself, her health, her wants and needs for everyone in the family. She had forgotten to take care of herself.
My own mother did the same thing. Because of medical expenses and my father’s complaints about healthcare costs, mom kept a lot of her pain to herself. Even the doctors did not know what all she was going through. That was the story of her life. And we all allowed it to happen. Then, in a flash, she was gone. After the fact, I felt like I had to step in and be a superhero and save the day and pay the bills and clean the house and do whatever else I had to do to postpone the grieving process. Robin said she was in a daze for days. I’ve been in that daze. It’s not a fun place to be because everyone expects you to deal with everything they can’t deal with.
That chapter taught me the importance of being real. Letting people see your weaknesses. Not worrying about whether or not they respect you for them. So, do I still miss my mom? After reading that chapter, yes, I do. And I’m not afraid to admit it. But, I am able to press on because the Lord is by my side and mom is by His.