A year ago today, my mother died. It was a sad and horrible day, and I will never forget the last moments I shared with her. As she lay dying, she was unable to speak. I sat with her, and I talked with her, and tried desperately to seek closure through a one-sided conversation. Her death came all too quickly, all too soon, and no words felt sufficient for saying goodbye. My heart ached, and I can only imagine what she was thinking or wanted to tell me.
In the end, she was very feeble and very sick. She could not hug or kiss us, but as I cried over her crumbling body, she made one small gesture that I will always hold in my heart. She reached up to wipe a tear off my cheek. She did not have the strength to lift her hand the entire way to my cheek, but she tried. In doing so, she let me know that though she may no longer be with us physically, she will always be my mother. She will always be the one who at least tries to wipe away my tears and temper the pain of this earth.
My own daughter is a drama queen. She can cry and work up sizable crocodile tears spilling down her cheeks in a matter of seconds. Usually the source of her anguish is something quite serious like not being able to find her sippy cup or her brother not sharing a toy. These are things I can fix. As she ages, the problems she faces will become more complicated and I won’t be able to quickly make everything better.
But God willing, I will be there to wipe her tears. Because that’s what mommies do. Even when we are unable to do anything else to fix our children’s heartache, when life hurts, we are there to wipe their tears. My mom is gone now, but I promise to my children, that as long as I am on this earth, “I will always dry your tears”.
*Daffodils were very important to my mother, as she sold them every year as part of the Daffodil Days for the American Cancer Society, long before she herself was ever diagnosed. They are a beautiful reminder this time of year of the legacy she left.