The Ouch Factor

Time heals all wounds, well not really, but human touch does help the ouch factor not feel so intense.

Her hands grabbed me from behind, holding and hugging my shoulders.  I was his wife and she his mother.  We were preparing to celebrate my husband’s birthday.  Together my mother in law and I in the kitchen, visiting and preparing.

Little did I realize how much I missed the touch of my own mother until my mother in-law gently touched me, similar to the way my own mother would when we worked together in the kitchen.

My mom passed away almost three years ago.  Found memories of the last year of her life are tucked into my heart.  Many mornings and evenings, you could find her sitting at the counter while I stood in front of the sink, cooking, cleaning, and connecting with one another.

One of the very last memories I had of her in my home was one of her shuffling along in the kitchen, grabbing my cheeks, bending my head down and kissing me on the forehead.  As she released me face, she softly said, “I am proud of you Cristina.”  I can still feel her fingers on my skin and hear her voice in my head.

Yesterday it was as if God used my mother- in- law to remind me that I am not alone.  Something about transitions that make me miss my mom even more.  The move has done just that.

The packing, painting, fixing and selling all brought back a flood of memories of my mother and the last twelve months of her life we had together.   Yesterday as I shared a moment in my kitchen with my mother in law, I found myself overwhelmed with gratitude for the family I married into. 

Twenty years this summer I celebrate being a Nole and yesterday as we gathered around as a family, celebrating the life of my husband as much as I missed my mama, the sadness was cradled by the love of those I am living life with now.

The mystery of life and death is just that.  I can never replace my mother or father nor would I try but this I know to be true.  God knew exactly where I would be and what I would need yesterday as I stood in the kitchen missing my mama. 

When my heart was hurting and my memories were alive, my mother-in-law reached out and touched me, without even realizing what she was giving.  A gentle reminder that I am not alone.  Even though time might not heal the wounds, it does give me a new perspective and a greater opportunity to live in a place of gratitude for those I call family.

Thank you God for giving me the most amazing family.  Those who share the same bloodline and those who share the same name.  I know if my mother and father were alive today, they too would be grateful for those whom I share my life with now.


Jill Beran said...

Great post Cris! Love seeing your heart on paper! I too am so thankful for the families He's blessed me with! Thanks for reminding me of that blessing today!! So you know, thankful for my sisters in Him as well!! Blessings to you!!

Chaplain Cris Nole said...

Thanks my friend for your words of encouragement. I feel the same way. Hope all is well on the farm. Hope to catch up with you soon.