28 July 2009


I found myself staring at my plate during lunch today. The sight of my meal triggered some memory in me.

It wasn't an exciting meal, but it was a very familiar one. I had a scoop of this macaroni-tuna-egg-salad-type-thing and two slices of banana bread spread with cream cheese. Don't worry, it doesn't offend me if that sounds unappetizing to you. I know. It's kind of a weird meal.

I have no name for the type-thing I was eating. I just know it was this concoction that my mom brought out frequently during the summer growing up on our family's dairy farm. I think maybe she made it up. She probably kept making it for two reasons. One, everyone ate it. (Even my ridiculously picky older brother Dean, which is saying more than you know.) Two, it is served cold and therefore could be easily transported to the field in a Tupperware container to meet Dad or whomever on the tractor for a quick picnic lunch.

And the banana bread with cream cheese on top? Yep, another combination my mother always ate. You should try it - it's tasty.

It's funny how much I unconsciously find myself doing the very things my mother used to do. And how missing someone changes and morphs through time.

I still miss my mom. Maybe even more now than I have before. But it's different. It's not the hungry, devouring everything in its path sort of grief that the early days held. It's a more subtle sorrow.

I'm sad she doesn't know my children.

I miss her godly perspective and her gentle reminders of where I have been that always encouraged me to be patient when I wished my children were...somehow farther down the path. (Particularly one teenager I know. How I long for those gentle reminders that I too wore clothes of which my mother disapproved and listened to bands that were not her favorite. Loudly. And often.)

But there's so much joy in the remembering as well.

C.S. Lewis said, "Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process. It needs not a map but a history."

I love to tell my children stories of growing up in Virginia. On a stinky cow farm. And playing with my brothers. Sharing a bedroom with all SIX of us for four long years. (You think I'm kidding.) Hiding in the cornfield. Camping by the pond. Sleeping in the feed room. Playing with matchbox cars in the sand. And eating macaroni-tuna-egg-salad-type-things in the shade with my family.


  1. We can learn to accept the existence of ambivalent feelings in ourselves and in our children. To avoid unnecessary conflicts, children need to know that such feelings are normal and natural. We can spare a child much guilt and anxiety by acknowledging and voicing his ambivalent feelings.

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  2. Your mom would be so proud of you. Well she is proud of you and she is probably laughing and giggling with delight whenever your teenager is smart with you... I think it is a mother's evil side, the "I told you so" side. She probably thinks too that you should give me that recipe... It sounds wonderful!

    Your mom was amazing! And still is!

  3. I miss your mom too. Was just thinking of her a few days ago. It's funny how something that happens makes you think of different people that are or have been been in your life. I guess that's Gods reminder to us of them. She & I had some good times together working at CHA with eggs & festivals, etc. She became a dear friend to me.

    So how is your Dad doing? Been wondering about him too.

    By the way, I love your posts and can't hardly wait some days to see what's happening in your life. You have a wonderful way of expressing yourself and you make me smile and sometimes laugh out loud.
    Keep them coming!

  4. I miss your mom too and often find myself thinking of her and wishing I had her quiet loving demaeanor in the face of conflict.........I can vouch for the living in one room for all of those years,As a child I bet it was awful but as a mother , I would love it. My favorite nights are laying across the bed late at night with Amber and having her reveal to me parts of her day and her life that she trusts me enough to share..it doesnt get any better than that.