Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Cokes, Candy Bars, and Covered Bridges
This is the covered bridge that was painted by my mom in the story below.
Today is a special celebration day at our house. We call it Coke and Candy Bar Day. It’s almost too personal of a celebration to share, but I know when I’ve shared it in the past it has helped others. So, I thought I would go ahead and share it with you today.
August 9th, was the day my mom stopped fighting breast cancer and went to live with Jesus. I was very close to my mom and part of me left that day, nevermore to return.
When the first anniversary of that day arrived, I was so sad. I missed her terribly and was overwhelmed with grief. How was I going to get through this? Then a thought came to my mind: Celebrate!!! My mom loved life and she would have wanted us to remember her, not her cancer. She also loved her daily
Coke Diet Coke and Candy Bar - somehow they balanced out. So I put the kids in the car, let them each pick out their favorite soda and candy bar, and went to the park.
As we sat enjoying our sugar, I told them stories about their grandma and how she would have bought cokes and candy bars for them. I told them how she would have taken them to the Dollar Store, and made decorations for their rooms, and taught them to paint animals on rocks. Mostly, though, I told them how very much she loved them. How precious for me that after fourteen years, my kids still cheer when it is Coke and Candy Bar Day. I think mom would have liked this very much.
One of my most precious memories with mom happened while she and I were in Tulsa. We were staying in special apartments for cancer patients, so she could receive her daily treatments without having to stay in the hospital. Now you must understand, in my mother’s mind, her body might have cancer - which was an inconvenience - but she still had projects to do. She came to that apartment loaded with all kinds of materials, books, and supplies. And lucky for us, Hobby Lobby was just down the street should we run out!
After lunch one day, mom pulled out a scrap of wood she’d picked up from a woodworker. Using her acrylic paints and a postcard of a covered bridge in Winterset, Iowa for inspiration, she began to paint. In an instant - the world around us stopped - and there she was. I literally could not breathe for fear that I would disturb the magic that surrounded her. As she nonchalantly talked, I watched her brush become one with her hand and dance across that castaway piece of wood, transforming it into something beautiful beyond its wildest dreams.
Never was I more in love with my mother than in that moment.
To her it was just a practice piece. To me, a moment forever frozen in time and treasured in my heart.
Thanks for stopping by,