I can still hear her laughter. Her complimenting the potato salad and asking for a piece of cake. I can see her smile.
But with life comes the sting of death as well, and the 4th of July fireworks that were heard from her hospital room on the night she left this world will always echo in my mind and will be a reminder to me that our lives are simply a dash in time.
Our birth - Our death.
Hidden beneath that tiny dash is the gift of life that God gave to us. We can use that dash complaining and whining about our lives and the state of things or we can see every day as a new opportunity to move forward in a positive way.
Life can be tough.
I think if we take "life" too seriously we can easily become depressed and withdrawn. Yet... If we don't take "life" seriously enough we can become stagnant in our growth as human beings.
Somewhere there's a happy medium.
Mom was fun. She always had a smile and to my knowledge she didn't pay too much mind to current events or the state of the world. She loved everyone and treated everyone equally. She loved God and she loved Jesus. What I admired most about her was that she would never say or do anything to hurt another person, not intentionally anyway.
I'm thinking it has been twenty-one years now.
I believe that when someone you love dies, a piece of your heart goes with them.
Tonight as I hear the sound of booms and bangs from the 4th of July fireworks in a distance, I will be swept back in time... standing in that quiet, hopeless hospital room, holding her hand and thinking about a hot summer's picnic beneath the willow tree in our yard as she asks me to pass the potato salad, please.