If someone were
to ask me how I felt on mothers day and the days leading up
to Bennetts birthday, I I would have to say incredibly blessed.
The last few weeks a series of events has allowed me to feel Bennetts
presence in some very special ways and to very consciously feel
God working in my life. I hesitate to write about it, because to
anyone just reading these words and not experiencing it themselves
this will be easily dismissed as a coincidence or just wishful thinking
on the part of a grieving mother. But I know in my heart in a way
that simply cannot be shared in words, at least not with the language
we use on an everyday basis.
My mother was
visiting us over mothers day weekend. One thing I thought
a lot about was that I was incredibly blessed to have a mom who
truly loves me unconditionally. No matter how many times I am ungrateful,
unloving, or royally screw up, my mom continues to love me beyond
words. I really feel that there is absolutely nothing I could do
that would change that.
before Mothers day I woke up to the sound of the phone ringing.
I dashed out of bed to get the phone. Hello, I said
in a groggily voice. Hello, I am calling on behalf of the
Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope. I am happy to say that you have
been selected for the National Tour of Hope Team. Needless
to say, I thought I was dreaming for a minute or two. In fact later
that day, I was glad that I had taken notes from the conversation
as proof that it actually happened. I was really surprised. By Friday
night, I figured that since I had not received a call that I was
not selected. The first thing my mom said when she heard the news
was what a wonderful Mothers Day present. Not for me, but
for her, because she was so proud that I was selected. And I had
to think; yes this is a great mothers day present. And it
probably helped make my first mothers day without Bennett
All my skills,
interests, and life experiences, really seem to have shaped me perfectly
for being on the Tour of Hope team. It seems like a perfect synthesis
of all my divergent parts. So really I should not be surprised that
God is using me this way. While I feel honored to have been chosen,
I am mostly excited about how God might use me in this leg of the
journey! I feel incredibly blessed.
My first earnest
training for the Tour of Hope started Thursday. I planned to do
a long ride west of my house over the mountains and through a really
beautiful valley towards State College, Pennsylvania. It really
started early in the ride. Swallowtail butterflies kept popping
up, and I thought how pleasant this is. Then as I climbed over the
mountain, clusters of more than a dozen swallowtails would swirl
up around me on the bike. They were everywhere, and each one was
like a special gift reminding me of my love for Bennett. The feelings
I had are very difficult to explain. I was elated. I was amazed.
I felt incredibly blessed.
The Swallowtails visit John behind his workshop
Along with all
these happy blissful moments, I also feel like I am at the edge
of what I can handle personally with all my obligations and responsibilities.
The monster called stress has been trying to creep back into my
life. On several occasions, I have found myself simply praying,
God please surround me with your love because I dont
know how I can do all this. And amazingly, I get a sign that
Bennett is with me. The Canada geese started honking like crazy
in the middle of the night while I was having a dream in which I
was really stressed out. I woke up and knew that Bennett was with
me and everything was okay. A few days later, I was racing to Bible
Study on my bike because we lost the keys to one of our cars. I
think I had a momentary stress attack, and I started crying. I turned
the corner, and there in the middle of a pond was a Canada goose
swimming alone. Every time, I start to feel sad or upset about something,
either a butterfly or a Canada goose comes into my life. For those
of you that do not understand the Canada goose connection, when
Bennett died I predicted that Bennett would return to me often flying
on the wings of a Canada goose. As he took his very last breath,
a Canada goose honked overhead. I have this very vivid image of
Bennett riding on the back of a Canada goose waving good-bye. And
now when I see or hear a Canada goose, I stop what I am doing, smile,
and say (sometimes yell), I love you Bennett!
The timing is
working out suspiciously in tune with the rhythms of Bennetts
life and death. On Tuesday, May 18th (six months after Bennetts
death), Bennett would have turned 2 years old. I remember last year
being so happy that we got out of the hospital after being in for
a month, in time to celebrate and have a real 1st birthday party.
Even then, I knew that there was a chance that it might be his only
one, and I am so grateful now that we did have a birthday party.
Mostly, I am
so happy that God loves me so much. I realized on Mothers
Day, as I considered how much my mother loves me. No matter how
many times I am ungrateful, unloving, or royally screw up, God continues
to love me beyond words too. I dont think that it is a coincidence
that some of us learn about unconditional love through our parents
or our children. This is Gods gift to us so that we will have
a glimpse of the love He has for us. He will always pick us up and
kiss us when we have fallen. He will always give us what we need
to get through anything we face. Through Him we can always have
HOPE in a brighter tomorrow. This amazes me. I am living it. I am
so absolutely aware of Gods love for me. And I feel so incredibly
goes out weeping,
seed to sow,
with songs of joy,
sheaves with him. Psalm 126:6
exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes
everything visible. This is why it is said: Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. Ephesians
started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.
thank you for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for picking me
up over and over again. Thank you for making your presence known.
Thank you for giving me a loving mother. Thank you for giving me
the chance to be a loving mother. Thank you for continuing to shine
your light even in the darkest moments of my life so that I might
always find my way into your loving arms! Amen