Musings of My Mind

"To a great mind, nothing is little." Sherlock Holmes

Month: June, 2014

The Nashvengers Initiative

One of the most difficult things about losing Mama is the idea of all the things that she will not be around for. We had the kind of relationship where I talked to her 6 days out of 7. I could ask her the most mundane things. “Mama, what’s the best way to cook this?” “Mama, how do I get this stain out of my shirt?” “Mama, how mad would you be if I got a tattoo?” 

She always had an answer. She was better than Google. (Though she would often call me and ask me to Google things.)

So, with my mother gone, I’ve worried about that void in my life. But God has reminded me that I have, at my disposal, everything I could need. 

I have Lauren, Kristin, Erica, and Jessamyn, who are all amazing mothers. If/When the time comes for me, I know that any one of them would answer my panicked, middle-of-the-night phone call. “The baby is breathing weird and it sounds like this and oh my oh my what do I do?!” They’ll know. 

I have Courtney, who is one of the most practical people I’ve ever met. She’ll know how to adjust a cake recipe, how to hang a shelf, and how to get a stain out of my favorite white button-up. Also, she brings with her Anabel and Ron, who surely wouldn’t mind an extra kid now and then. 

I have Sarah, who can remind me that all the best superheroes have a tragedy in their past. And Victoria, who will say that all the best villains have a tragedy in their past; and really, aren’t villains more interesting? 

I have Jeff, David, and Carla, who can somehow find the perfect song to reflect the mood of the situation. They understand the power of music in all times of life. 

I have R, who is watching her mother live with the same disease and who can understand all too well what it’s been like. 

All of these amazing people can fall into several different categories, but I list them like this because I really am flabbergasted by the love and wisdom and talent that I am surrounded by. Amazing people who will remind me that I am loved. That I am not alone. That Time Lords and their Companions; Consulting Detectives and their Doctors; Demon Hunting Brothers and their Angel have all suffered tragedy and been stronger for it. They remind me of the power of stories. This is a plot twist that will impact the rest of my story. As well it should. And that is okay. But it will not break me. 

These people hold me together when I can’t do it myself. Each one of them has come to me this week with a jagged piece of my soul and put it back where it belonged, using duct tape or glue or nails to help it stay. 

And, when there’s nothing left to say, they send me pictures of Benedict Cumberbatch to make me smile. 

That, dear readers, is love. 

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A Note On How Christians Suck At Death

It has been 36 hours since my Mama died and I have come to the conclusion that the way Christians do death is stupid. 

Let me elaborate. 

No one wants to say that she died. She’s gone, or passed away, or gone to be in glory. All of these things are true. But also, she died. It’s crass and ugly and so is death. This is really just a symptom of the bigger problem. 

It seems that Christians focus so much on what happens after death that we forget life. People from her church that offer their condolences are offering platitudes about how she’s free from pain and rejoicing with Jesus. “Don’t be sad,” they all tell me, “she’s in a better place.” Again, this is true. I am beyond thankful for my faith–and hers–in Christ and that her eternity is sealed. But really, this is not about her. It is about me. It is about us. Those of us that are left. As Hazel Grace Lancaster said, “Funerals, I had decided, are for the living.”

Her happiness and freedom from trouble does not erase the life she lived or the memories she left behind. It does not change the fact that I had to call my Grandpa and tell him his daughter was gone. It does not change the fact that my mother will not be at my wedding or meet any children I may have. 

She left a hole in the lives of many and dammit, we are allowed to be sad. So while the peace of God is keeping me from having a mental breakdown; please don’t remind me she is in a better place. Acknowledge my grief. Let it be okay with you. If you want to say something, tell me that you love me. Tell me that the situation sucks. If you knew Mama, tell me your favorite story about her. Just please don’t tell me to be happy.