I was so sick Wednesday I didn't even think about it, but April 20 was our four-year anniversary. Feel free to quit reading if you're sick of hearing about it. It was a pivotal moment in this family's life, leaving its mark in ways that were terrible at the time but that have turned out in the long run to be so good. For that reason I don't know if we will ever quit marking it, at least among ourselves.
In a way it's hard to believe it's already been four years. On the other hand, so much has happened that I find myself asking, "Really? Only four years?"
As the date rolled around this year, my prevailing thought has been of sadness that the events of early 2012 did such a profound number on me and took so much out of me that there was even less of me to give to my mom in her last years. I don't lay it all at the feet of that event. That would be stupid. My mom was a sinner. I am a sinner. She was difficult. I was pre-menopausal. We both struggled with depression. But toss into that the blowing up of my husband's job and the primary focus of our days--our church--and I was struggling so to keep my own head above water that I had very little to give anyone. My husband and children came first, Mom after. I wish I had had more to give her emotionally her last years. I cared for her physically. I tried to love her. But it was really hard. I hope I made up for it a little the last couple of years after we moved to Oklahoma and started feeling normal again.
I recently stumbled on this picture. It was taken on August 12, 2012, the last day we were ever in my husband's former office. The print had been purchased for my husband by a member of the family as sort of a joke. We all have those kinds of days, right? But for a good portion of 2012 every day was that kind of day. We decided to leave the print behind, and in retrospect I am so very glad we did. We left so much behind that needed to be left behind, including that print, and we are so much the better and healthier for it.
Again I give thanks to an amazing God who knows so much better what we need than we do. May I always, always remember that.