This Valentine’s Day, this Ash Wednesday, over tired from being up too late the night before, and overwhelmed with many little and big things, my heart broke open.
I had lain down on the couch to close my eyes for a few minutes early this morning, something I never do before the kids get on the bus, my preschooler wasn’t even dressed yet… I just needed to stop for a minute.
While laying there, eyes closed, my 3 year old sidled up next to my overwhelmed heart, sucking his thumb and snuggling into every curve… and I remembered. I remembered two decades ago when I was 22 laying on the couch just like this with my own mother, right after we found out about her stage 4 cancer diagnosis and with the declaration of “6 months” just hanging in the air. I remember crying and crying such ugly desperate tears holding on to my mom like she was my air and feeling like the wind was cruelly blowing her away.
And this morning exhausted and curled on the couch with my 3 year old, quiet tears stream down my face and in my heart I yell at God for taking her away from me, this woman that loved me so so purely and that I felt so at home with.
And yet and yet as much as I ache for my mother and lament the 19 years she has been gone, I trust that there is more. More than this ache, more than death, more than ashes.
After the tears I feel a little better and am able to get up, usher little ones dressed, hugged, and kissed onto the school bus. I take a shower and then at the request of the 3 year old begin to build an animal puzzle with him.
It is what we are called to do, and when we do, we see that beyond our sorrow there is more than sorrow. We see that there is resurrection in our ashes and redemption in our love.
Happy Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday friends.
With love from Vermont,