My Mama went home to be with our Lord. Not a day goes by when I don’t find myself thinking, “oh, Mom would love this…” or “what would Mom have to say?”. I miss her ability to listen without judgement. I miss her slightly crooked smile and soulful eyes. I miss the look that says, “really?”. There are times when a question comes up and I think, “Mom will have the answer” and then I am sad all over again because I remember that I can’t ask her. I miss all the things we shared and all the things we never got to share.
We lost a piece of our history, our family legacy with Mom. I’m sure that’s true to some extent anytime a person passes, but Mom passed way too soon and the last couple years of her life were spent trying to better her quality of life, seek out medical treatments, and tend to the day to day necessities of having a terminally ill loved one. I can no longer look at Mom when one of my girls does something wonderful, or silly, or outlandish, and say, “was I like that?”.
As much of our legacy as we lost with Mom, continues to live on in myself, my two sisters, my three daughters and my brand new baby niece… the precious baby angel that arrived 11 months and 2 days after Mama passed away. I’m sure Mom met baby Alexa in Heaven before she was sent to earth, but how I wish she was here to hold her… to see her first smile… to have been with Eden during her 33 hours of labor, as she was with me for the birth of each of my babies. I’m sad for Miss. Alexa, that she will never know her Grandma, except through the memories and photographs we give her. My heart bleeds for my sister, Eden who experienced the joy of new life mixed with the sadness of Mom’s passing.
I find myself trying to fill Mom’s shoes, in addition to mine. I’m already raising my youngest sister, being both Mom and Sister to her. Now, I’m filling in as Grandma to Baby Alexa in addition to Auntie. While shopping for baby things, I found myself thinking back to what Mom liked to give to each new baby… I found a soft baby doll and a Grandma Loves Me bib, because Mom always saw the first baby doll as a big deal and she wanted to gift it. There is no doubt that I’ll be Nana to my youngest sisters children when they start arriving (many, many years down the road)… she is like my own daughter. And yet, all of this will be in honor of Mom, not in place of her.
My children pray for Grandma every night… without prompting. I hope that continues for their whole lives. It helps keep her alive in us. Right now, their prayers are a simple, “I hope Grandma Cheryl is having a nice time in Heaven”. And I’m sure she is… We all want to go to Heaven… yet, we don’t want to do the dieing to get there. Mama died with dignity. She died knowing where she was going. She still didn’t want to die, she wanted to be here… to see her children grown, her daughters married, her grandbabies born and raised. Now, she watches from Heaven and I can only pray she feels blessed with what she sees.
In Loving Memory of My Dear Mother,
Cheryl Lynn Barclay
June 6, 1957-April 21, 2009
In the awareness that when one soul leaves earth,
another enters it;
We welcome to this world,
Baby Alexa Lynn
Born March 23, 2010
*Mom passed away from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), 2 years and 7 months post diagnosis, about 3 1/2 years from onset of first symptoms. We will be participating in the Walk to Defeat ALS this September, you can donate to our team here.