I buy cards for my daughters and my daughter in law. I do not buy a card for my mother, she who resides in the beautiful blue yonder, gone these 26 years. Gone to Jesus for whom she gave her best love. Gone to an unknown place I grapple with, ponder, long to understand even more now that Bob has joined her.

I am a widow, like my mother was for three decades and then some. She lost the love of her life at age 47. I hover over cards that pierce my heart, the Mother cards and the Wife cards, that I will not buy, that I will not receive. I turn away to peruse the daughter cards, the daughter-in-law cards, that almost, but not quite say what best expresses the deep love I have for these women whom I admire, whom I have birthed, whom my son has married.

So much so say about my mother on this Mother’s Day 2019. What I will say now is that she taught me about Creation, about beauty, about the intricacies of the way a columbine flower or a rose hold their heads to the sky. She taught me to breathe in the scent of lilacs on the air, to sense the scent of coming rain. I wonder if I would have learned without her.

In the years we lived in Lake Geneva Wisconsin we tread woodsy trails, trekked creek beds, swam like fish off piers, ate blue gills and sunfish she learned to filet perfectly from a lakeside fisherman, their delicate bodies tossed in flour and fried in butter. Treading, trekking, swimming, consuming she taught me sometimes intentionally. “This is a Jack in the Pulpit plant. See how there is a kind of hood under which the jack resides”? Or “listen! Can you hear the owls answering each other’s calls?” Or “aha, there are violets and lily of the valley just there, in a clump, lean close and smell their fragrance”. She sometimes relished Nature’s glories aloud, and often simply stood still,  head thrown back, breathing the air in a kind of communion.

In my grief over these years I have, time and again, been met by the loveliness of God’s good creation. A knowledge that this world will someday be restored to its original grandeur and that we will meet again those we loved so dearly. This Mother’s Day I pick just one gift my mother gave to me and I say thank you.

Revelation 21:1, 4,5

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth…

Behold the dwelling place of God is with his people.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes,

and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning,

nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.

April D. Carlson, LCSW