Monday, August 23, 2010

Like a punch in the gut

Monday afternoons I have a babysitter come during naps. I've done this for several years. It is really nice. Some days I run errands that I don't want to do with the kids around. Some days I sit and read. Some days I spend time with God. Some days I clip coupons at a coffee shop. Today? I shopped.

For some reason, today, I've been a bit sad. I've been thinking a lot about my mom. I hope you don't get tired of reading that here. But that is one of the reasons I keep this blog. To get my feelings out. To keep a journal. To feel like I'm sharing something with someone, even if there is no one around. Last night I had a dream and my mom was in it. I think that led to my sensitivity today. So I thought I would do a few errands and then run to a few stores that I knew were having some good sales. I guess I thought it would make me feel better.

While I was in Loft I found a great pair of jeans on sale AND I had a super old gift card that nearly paid for them. While I was standing in line waiting to pay, I realized I was in line behind a mom and a daughter. The daughter was a bit older (clearly out of college, but not as old as me) and the mom was a hip older mom. The mom took out her check book and bought the daughter's outfit. All of a sudden I had to choke back the tears.

I realized that I'd never go shopping with my mom again. Honestly, its been at least a year, maybe more, since I'd really been shopping with her; she just hadn't been feeling up to it for a long time. But the last time my mom and I went into a clothing store together and she whipped out her credit card, it was in a Loft and for some reason today I got smacked in the face with that memory.

I know this probably seems shallow- and spoiled- but I realized my mom would never buy me anything again. My mom's love language was gift giving. It always has been. Maybe it was a candle from QVC, a tube of lip stick from Target or a random coffee table one year from Pottery Barn; there was no gift too big or too small for my mom to give. Even in her last 3 weeks of life, she bought my boys shoes and my daughter a dress. She loved it. She lived it. And it wasn't too shabby being the recipient either!

She paid for Olivia's dance lessons last fall (the ones she protested eventually) but today I went to sign her up and realized how my mom would have INSISTED on paying for them. Don't get me wrong. It's not that we can't afford stuff. It's not that we looked for her to foot the bill. Or that I wish she was still here so I didn't have to pay my own way. Its just that she wanted to. She lived to give. Now... well, it's a hole where there used to be no hole.

As I stood in that line and waited to fork over the $13 for my new jeans, I realized that around unsuspected turns there will be grief; waiting to sucker punch me. Reality waiting to take my breath away. I think I'd better get used to tears in public, in weird places.

I also need to get used to running to Jesus rather than the store. He's a lot less expensive.


cindy q said...

Your mom was great! and she is surely missed.

jenny said...

Elizabeth....don't ever feel that you can't write about it here on your blog. I SO appreciate you sharing your heart and I am praying that Jesus gives comfort in those moments....not that the moments won't come, because they are part of remembering your mom, but that you would feel HIS nearness in those times.

Carrie said...

I read your blog and of course there are tears in my eyes. My mom was the same way, she would insist on buying something. Its not about the money, but I will miss shopping with her! A perfect day was a day out with my mom! We had a blast together! I miss her! Sometimes when I see moms and daughters I get a little bitter, I guess I am human! For now I am just taking it a day at a time. Maybe when we miss our moms we just need to get together. We might be crying in public but at least we would be together! Thanks for being so open!