Dear Mom | Missing You

by Elouise

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~~~Do you recognize this shrub? I don’t.

Dear Mom,
I’m sitting here trying to put together a really nice letter for Mother’s Day. So far I’m getting nowhere. It isn’t because I don’t have ideas. It’s because I’m feeling a little lost today, and my ideas seem to be falling flat on their faces.

Last week was sad. Sister #2’s husband died, leaving us all gaping at the huge hole this left in our family. Sort of like the huge hole left when you died. Like yours, his death was relatively peaceful. Though he was in pain, his caregivers found a way to manage it so that his children and his nine grandchildren could be with him and Sister #2 when he died.

Some deaths are difficult. I’ve been reading a small book by Henri Nouwen called In Memoriam. It’s about his mother’s death. He talks about how many deaths he witnessed as a priest. Most were peaceful; some were difficult.

His mother’s death turned out to be difficult. This surprised him, though not totally. She often told him she feared death because she didn’t believe she’d been a very upstanding person. Maybe she didn’t feel ready.

I wonder how it will be for me? There have been times in my life when I know I didn’t feel ready. My worst nightmare was that my own fears would be proven true. That is, that I’ve lived a life unworthy of anything but judgment. Which is, of course, true.

Nonetheless, I don’t have this nightmare anymore. I know that whatever happens, I’m in the hands of a gracious God. Yet I do wonder what will be the manner and spirit of my death. And who will be with me.

Last week, the day after D and I heard the news about Sister #2’s husband, we spent the day at Longwood Gardens. It was a gorgeous day, with spring leaves and flowers bursting their seams. Lots of reminders about the way life and death are distinct and closely related. Here are more photos. This time we focused on the Meadow and the Flower Walk.

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Tree Swallow in Longwood Meadow Garden

The Meadow Garden had been trimmed for spring and summer, leaving some ground cover for birds and small animals. This is only a fraction of the meadow. Great for hiking.

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Longwood Meadow Garden ready for Spring

Near the pond we saw several varieties of fern just beginning to unfurl. To me, this is more beautiful than their adult incarnations. Sort of like children–sweet and fresh. Newly minted!

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New Ferns uncoiling near the Longwood Pond

Finally, the flower walk. Here are some beauties, beginning with a look at one end of the walk. Colors are arranged with warm colors at one end, cool colors at the other.

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Tulips at Longwood Gardens, April 2015

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Lilies of the Valley, Longwood Flower Walk

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Lily Tulips, Longwood Flower Walk

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Coreopsis, Longwood Flower Walk

Thanks for listening to my sadness about last week. It’s exactly what I needed right now. Have a happy day!

Love and hugs,
Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 10 May 2015
Photo credit: DAFraser, 29 April 2015