Thursday, February 20, 2014

The color of the day

Last Friday was Valentine's Day, and at the very end of the day one of my emeritus colleagues appeared in my office to show off his festively red jacket and matching socks.  Work has been fraught between snow days (will we finally have a "normal" week next week, will we have one before spring break?) and various issues and I had utterly forgotten down to the candy I had bought for my students two weeks before about the holiday.  I was charmed and cheered by the visit, but it was also bittersweet.

I suddenly missed my mother and the ways in which she celebrated even the little holidays.  Not with parties or big events, but with the little things.  Mashed potatoes tinted green for St. Patrick's day, a heart shaped cake for dessert (on a weekday!).   A special goodnight wish on the eve of birthdays - she once called me from London (in the days when that was not so easy) to say goodnight to me before I turned 36.

I have ached for my mother's loss these few days, though she died some years ago — the non-linearity of grief continues to surprise me.  My mother trained my eyes to see the little sparks of joy, she first taught me to seek God in all things.


  1. Oh Michelle. I am sitting here, eyes filled with tears. You have articulated something about the "non-linearity" of grief that speaks to my soul also. I miss may own mom so, sometimes far more sharply than others. As for you, she taught me so much about God.

    Thank you for sharing this!

  2. Oh Michelle, what a beautiful picture. What a smile and a grace. Thank you for that.

  3. This is a post that we can so easily relate to. I was 32 when my mom died at age 65 and I can still so easily weep 36 years later. We who had loving parents were truly blessed and I thank God for my parents. It is wonderful that your mom led you to the Lord. In my case, the Lord gave me the privilege of bringing my parents along to church when I was a teenager and it was there that their faith developed. Yet I learned so very much from them as a child for I believe that they loved God in their own way although they didn't come to church with me for many years. Thank you for this post.