A Year Ago…Part Three

“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”~Anne Lamott

I have another post that’s written and ready to go, but I’ve decided to change things up just a bit.

You see, today is the one year anniversary of my mother’s death. If you’ve been following along the last few days, you’ve read a few of my posts about what my sister and I experienced a year ago, leading up to my mother going home.

It’s been quite therapeutic to jot down my memories of the days leading up to her death. Honestly, it was dramatic, startling, sad and traumatic…for me (and my sister) and for my mother. There’s no possible way, after what her body went through, that it wasn’t traumatic.

But, today, I didn’t want to dwell in the death part.

Because, today, I’m not sad.

I’m grateful.

For so many things…

I’m grateful my sister and I were together walking through the last weeks of my mother’s life together.

I’m grateful I was given the gift of, hopefully, making that journey for my mother a little more comfortable. As my friend Sandy wrote to me, there’s an “odd beauty and grace” in process of a loved one dying. I pray my participation was as close to being Christ-like as it could have possibly gotten.

I’m grateful I was able to tell her over and over how much she was loved.

I’m grateful my sister and I had both of my parents around as long as we did. Even though I feel it was too early for them to depart this earth, I know other friends who lost (or were separated from) their parents much, much earlier in life.

I’m more than grateful for my husband. More than grateful. I cannot imagine walking through this past year without him by my side. My mother loved my husband and trusted him. She knew our family, including my sister, would be in good hands. I am blessed.

I’m grateful both of my parents met and loved my sons and knew what fine young men they are and will be. I’m sad the boys don’t have my parents around, but I’m grateful they have my husband’s parents still.

I’m grateful for the renewed commitment my sister and I have made to one another. I’m glad we have one another.

…I’m grateful for the beautiful red cardinal sitting outside my window while I type this. What a gift.

I’m grateful for good friends who love me and pray for me, knowing this could be a hard day.

I’m eternally grateful to God for His gift of my mother and father. They were not perfect. (Nor am I.) But, it was a good fit. And, because of them, I am hopefully a better parent because of their instruction, discipline, and example.

I will continue to miss my mother, but I no longer grieve her death. In fact, the opposite. That’s not to say my stomach doesn’t lurch sometimes when I see something or hear something that reminds me of her; it just means I am removing the figurative sackcloth.

Today, I am looking not at what I’m missing, instead, I’m looking at all I’ve been given.

I’m choosing to dance with a limp.




  1. Andrea H.

    Thanks for being transparent with us E. My heart hurts for you, and at the same time rejoices in your blessings!!! I miss you. I even thought for sure I saw you in the audience at my last play. I couldn’t figure out how you managed to be there without me knowing. Alas, it was not you, and I was a little sad.

    • Elizabeth Simmons

      Oh, Andrea, I wish it HAD been me watching you perform! I kick myself that I missed my opportunities while you lived close by.
      Continue to enjoy yourself and break a leg! 🙂

  2. marcy smith

    I’m thinking of you today. I am remembering your Mom as a very honest and blunt lady. Your parents were always to welcoming to me: Mount Calm was like home. I have not gone where you have in this matter, but I think of you and pray for you.

  3. Annette Bruce

    You are so brave to write about this. You know that I understand your pain. I also understand your gratefullnes. I wouldn’t trade the memories of that horrible day for anything! My sister and I have really grown so much closer and I too am beginning to see the blessings from such a traumatic experience. Thanks for sharing:)

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