Wind Chimes and Daffodils

     Today marks three years since my mom quietly slipped away in the early morning hours.  I know it doesn't sound like an uplifting subject, but her life and love was inspiring.  I couldn't let this day pass by without writing a few words in tribute to her. With each year that passes, we are more and more aware of the gifts that she gave us and the void that was created with her death.

     It's funny what reminds us of her.  My mom loved the color pink and she loved flowers. Two to three times a month I take flowers to the cemetery… almost always pink of one shade or another.  For all of us girls though, we are reminded of mom when we see bright yellow daffodils.  Upon returning to her house after leaving the Hospice facility where she had spent her last few weeks, in the midst of a chilly early Spring morning, one lone daffodil had sprung up along the side of her house. We all walked over to it and smiled through our tears. To us, it was a sign… that we would somehow be alright… that new life could spring forward in the midst of death… and that mom's ever positive attitude and energy had prevailed!

7-10-08 027 

     If you have ever divided up a life's belongings you know what a difficult process it can be. In some respects none of the four of us wanted any of her things. It's not that they weren't lovely or didn't hold memories. We just wanted her.  No "thing" could substitute.  Three years down the road, however, we are so glad that we have what we have of hers. It's not the furniture necessarily; it's the pride that she took in making her house a home and the memories we made surrounded by those things. Some of the "little things" best reflect what made her who she was or that reflect the joy she took in life. The windchimes that were hanging outside her front door, now hang outside my front door. Whenever we are sitting on our front porch or in our living room and gentle breezes pass across our front porch, the chimes play their beautiful, delicate melodies. We often smile and say, "Hi, mom."  My older sister has some of her journals. In her own words and in her own writing, she continues to impart wisdom to us through those journals.  My younger sister talks of the significance she finds in "walking in mom's shoes."  Quite literally, the shoes that my mom used to use to take walks, Jenny will occasionally wear on her walks.

     We are thankful for those things that we have to remind us of her.  In the last couple weeks of her life she began a letter to the four of us.  It read, "Dear Diney, Debbie, Jenny and Rich,  The best way to honor my memory is to continue to lead full, happy lives"  There was no period at the end of the sentence. I know she intended to write more but was not physically able. It is one of our treasures, penned in her own writing.  I made copies of it for each of my siblings and framed it with a picture of each one of them individually with mom. I just recently gave my brother, his. He texted me when he got home and told me he was immediately hanging his up. It is a gentle but powerful reminder to endeavor to live a life that will honor her and all that she taught us.

     As you look around your life and your home, what is it that people would associate most with you? Does your life reflect your loves? Have you left handwritten or handmade evidence of your faith, your hopes, your struggles and your dreams?  As you look around your home and your life, are there people that love you through it all… the good and the bad, the mess and the yuck, the blessings and the fun? Have you told them recently how much you appreciate them and how happy you are to have them in your life? I know I told my mom often but now that she's gone, I feel like it was never enough.

     Today, as our family remembers {and listens to Van Morrison in her honor!}, we are more mindful than ever that "we live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths; in feelings, not in figures on the dial."

Thanks for letting me reminisce. 

Rivers Misc. 2008 004 




About debbierivers

I love to share what I can whenever I can. My goal is to live simply and love lavishly. I enjoy inspiring others with my writing. I am married to Steve and am the mother to two beautiful daughters, Hannah and Jenna, and grandmother to Kinsley. My desire is to encourage and to bless others through my life and my words.
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