Last Friday was my Mom’s 4 year death anniversary. You guys, I am totally that creepy person about death now. I like talking about death, I celebrate it, make strange death jokes and do weird things to remember her and then tell people about it, so imagine sticking me in my first show with hundreds of strangers. Oh my. I brought my weird, awkward persona hard. We also took our little one home for good that night so honestly that was the big emotion of the day.
I think a lot of people still tread lightly around these kinds of days. I think others know how far just a text or card goes. My friend Courtney showed up at the market and simply said “I thought you could use a hug.” She stayed the rest of the night with me and even walked me out when the market closed. She knew what our family was about to do and she just wanted to hang close because that is her heart and I totally love it!!!
Mom’s death doesn’t rouse up tears much anymore. I was talking recently with a friend who just got to the one year mark of her dad’s death. We talked about the difference in 1 year and 4…so drastically different points between us. I still remember driving to Florida in the middle of the night on the 1 year of Mom passing and thinking “Shouldn’t I be father along than I am in this?” The grief was still crazy fresh and hard and still suffocating at times. And then time continued to pass. I got to a point eventually when I had this moment with God and myself.
Basically, I could continue to grip my sadness and grief tight in my fists…I could continue to hold on for dear life…I could continue to tell myself it wasn’t fair and the world now owed me something for my pain…I could continue to be pretty miserable or I could start to open my hands…I could start to accept death as just a part of life and that no one was out to get me…I could start to release the loss and sadness and grief to Jesus…I could start choosing joy over misery…I could start to let Him really heal me. And so my grip became less and less of a choke hold and more of hands wide open and palms up. It’s different now. I still miss my mom and the sadness sometimes sneaks back in different forms…it’s all so different now, but I know God has done a great healing in my heart. I know He’s shown me grace and mercy and redemption.
Each year I like to do something to celebrate Mom. Sometimes it’s baked goods or letter writing or giving out flowers, but this year I was going to be at the Made South Market so I needed a different avenue. I was pretty late to the prep game because our week had been crazy town and I spent all Thursday washing our littlest clothes, gathering all her belongs from the past 10 months and getting her packed to go. But finally I sat down late in the night with 9 small canvases…I could have sworn there were 10, but alas…I made a list of the really great things which remind me of Mom and I set to work painting and hand lettering.
Over the course of Friday & Saturday I surprised random people at the market with these canvases and offered my creepy, death celebrating self up by telling them a piece of my story. The only thing I asked in return was for a picture. Can I just say I love how each person held their canvas so differently?!?!?
I saved one last canvas for the Timbali Party coming up December 3 to giveaway to one of our sweet guests. I just had to because everything about Timbali party’s are dang fun.
So that is how I celebrated not only the crazy goodness which was my Mom, but also the crazy goodness of God’s love and healing in my life. I want her memory to live on of course…I want people to remember her, but more than anything I want to share God’s love and the immeasurable power He has in our lives with others.