Wednesday, May 26, 2010

She Always Loved Pink

She always loved pink. It was her favorite color. I still remember a pink t-shirt she used to wear with kittens on it and pussy willows. It's silly, isn't it? The things one remembers 19 years after their mother dies. I remember her hands and how the tips were yellowed from smoking and how her nails were always chewed down. A nervous habit, perhaps? I remember her hair and how even though she was only 38 years old it was thinning.

Then there are the things I don't remember. I don't remember her laugh. I don't remember her telling me she was proud of me or what a wonderful kid I was. I don't remember feeling loved all those times she walked away- the need for a fix greater than the needs of her daughter. I don't remember her apologizing for the every school event, parent teacher conference, or big moment in my life that she missed.

19 years later as a grown woman, I still miss having a mommy. And it hits me at the oddest moments. I'm fine. Going about my daily routine and then it hits me. It can be seeing a mother and daughter checking out together at JoAnn Fabrics sharing a coupon or watching a show on tv where a mother and daughter "have a moment" and I'm back there. I'm ten again and she is gone and the ache in my heart that should have healed after 19 years aches again. It can be something like getting a promotion or a new job or as deep and important as shopping for a wedding dress when I am reminded, or rather, slapped in the face, by the fact that I don't have a mom.

I realized something the other day and it may seem odd. But bare with me for a moment. Growing up, for as long as I can remember, I just wanted to be loved. I wanted to live in a fairy tale and be swept off my feet. I wanted to fall in love and leave town and be someone new. New life, new love, new heart. But that wasn't what happened. I was never "that girl". You know the one I am talking about- the beauty who wins the prince. The head cheerleader who dates the captain of the football team. There was no prince charming to take me to the prom or ask me out. No sweet high school love moments. There was no winning over any boys, really. I was broken. Emotionally high maintenance and if there is something that guys can sense, it's that. And they stayed away.

Every now and then I'll be watching a chick flick or an episode of glee and I feel a twinge in my heart. Like there is part of me that is still 16 and still longing for that swept off your feet moment. It's funny because I fell in love. I got married. I love my husband and I am grateful for him every day. But do you know what it comes down to? He's not enough. I don't mean that to sound harsh. It is the truth. But the truth is also this- a swept away moment isn't what I'm truly longing for. The root of that twinge in my heart is the hole where a fathers love should have filled. It's the place where a Dad pours love and truth and confidence into his daughter. It's the place where a Dad teaches a daughter to throw a ball and the rules of a football game and it's the place where when her car breaks down He comes to help her and to teach her how to change a tire. It's a place that was never filled for me.

Here is also the truth, while Ryan will never be enough, and he shouldn't be, God is enough. My Heavenly Father, who formed me in His image is enough. And while I still don't know how to change a tire and I'm not very good at sports, He loves me just the same. And He is also the only one who can heal these wounded parts of me. I remember the night I met Him. I sat on the rocks in the Adirondacks and I sobbed. I was so mad and hurt. All of my emotional baggage pouring out before me. And He met me. It didn't scare Him away. The God of the universe met me and He wrapped His arms of love around me. And right then and there He gave me a new heart. I was a new creation. My longing was met then. There is still work to be done in my heart. There are still the aches that I need to continue to lay down before Him and ask Him to heal. But I am grateful that in the midst of the aches He is still God. In the midst of the hurt He knows my heart better than I ever will. And He is the only one who can handle all of my emotional baggage! God's love is the greatest love story I will ever know and I am humbled that I have a role in His story.

"But God demonstrates His own love for us in this- while we were still sinners Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

She Always Loved Pink

I used to sit on her lap
Arms of love embraced me,
The miniature version of herself
Arms of addiction, black and blue
Her gray blue eyes never reflected light
Her nails were bit down
tiny nubs
of hard skin
Where there should have been nails painted pink
She loved pink
light, soft, pure pink
I buried my face into her sweater
Inhaling scents that I didn't know then
would still bring me back there
Stale cigarette smoke- marlboro's
A light spray of Jovan's white musk
Scents that aren't as strong now
Lightly fading away as her lap became numb
The black and blue now just blackness