Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Space Between

4,745 days today.

She has been gone.

Casual.
It was her latest perfume of choice.
I can still smell it at the mere thought of her.
Her last.
I can remember breathing it in so deeply as I rubbed her smooth legs and stroked her hair smelling especially behind her ear demanding of myself to not ever forget her face, her feel, her smell, HER.

It's the space between where uncomfortableness, grief, and absolute heartache ease their way into the numbness of moving on knowing that this scar will never heal.

13 years.

The early years were always unbearable. You turned the calendar to #4 month and the aching and resist began to churn in your stomach.

Those middle years were a combination of disbelief that you had, in fact, lived that long without her and the relief that those sharp pains had subsided into only everyonceinawhiles of curled-up-in-a-ball on the floor missing her.

Which leaves me to this new number. 13.
And how am I today?
Pre-occupied and passionate.
Pre-occupied with her grandsons.
Passionately wanting to hear her voice
.
Casual.


Mollye Ann Cook was born on October 12, 1950 to Harry and Merriam Cook. My grandparents were 22 when they had my mom. Mom-mommie looks every bit of 12 to me here.

The space between.


Here's mom at Eli's age now. 4 years old. Spirited and fiesty are like rays of golden sunshine beaming from that sweet little face. Those rays never stopped shining her entire life.

The space between.

At 20 years old, she was a sophomore at University of Maryland on her way to earning a degree in teaching. I was this age when she died.

The space between.



Here's mom at 22. This was the year she graduated from Maryland. I get lost in this picture sometimes. It's mesmerizing to me to some effect. Until tonight, I couldn't put my finger on exactly what it was. I always like to daydream about what was on her mind, ask her what eyeliner she used to make her green eyes look so absolute, tell her that the braces investment was so worth it.

The space between.



Roughly 9 years later, here she is. With me.Yes,with me. And who else? Mom-mommie, of course. The three of us round this time where devoutly Saturday shoppers for depression glass and other antiques. I sat in the back and those 2 in the front galvantin' around the middle Tennessee area wheelin' and dealin' on what good finds were out there. Her face. Her grandsons have blessed me with this same look. The wonderment of your child is like nothing words can match.

The space between.

My most favorite gift I received from mom her last Christmas alive was this book.
God doesn't leave out the details. He doesn't. Mindful of her time on this earth ending although she was totally unaware, He had her pen these words to me on the inside cover:


The space between.


And then there was the dress.
Mom was an expert seamstress. An art form mom-mommie taught both she and my Aunt Sharon. Mom made all of my formal gowns for high school.

Yet it wasn't until my sophomore year of college, that mom sent me a note with 2 swatches of fabric asking me which one I would like best to have my spring formal gown made in.

God gave her a full year and a half with me wearing 3 formals of store bought dresses before the desire to sew for me again.

The space between.


The night before she died she had begun to sew the pinned pieces together. It was lying in her sewing room next to her machine 13 years ago today. Mom-mommie couldn't bare to finish it. She took it to a local seamstress to complete. I wore this 8 days after mom died to my spring formal returning to college that very day from her death.

The space between.



Our 1st Christmas without her. The absence of the one who had all the packages tied just so with crisp corners folded. Candles on the mantle and stockings hung. Family heirloom and her handmade Christmas ornaments adorning the tree in just the right spots. Goodies baked. Christmas music filling the house.

A woman fills a home with comfort, joy; a longing to be there.
I see this picture and ache at the pain my dad felt to do just the bare minimum for the sake of Adam and me knowing all too well that he could never replicate what had been lost. Her light was so bright in our home. Maybe that's why dad chose to hang up the tapestry curtain over the french door.

To remind him her light was not there. Yet, none of us needed a reminder.

The space between.


It's the spaces between that God gives us. His timing. His will. His plan. No tapestry can cover the light He has for us all if we just turn to face Him.

About 3 months after mom died, my dad called me at school. He said he had a package sent to me and there was a book inside. He wanted me to read it. He said there was a note from mom in there and I would know it when I saw it.

I asked where he got this book and if it was one of hers. He replied that he found a scribble of paper in mom's nightstand with a list of books on it. You see, mom was an avid reader. Always ready for a new read, I can see her grabbing that scrap paper to jot down a book title she heard from a radio program or television.

He took her scrap paper filled with potential books to the local bookstore in hopes of finding one. He said he thought that reading something she wanted to read would help him in missing her as much as he did.

Dad adored Mom. Adored is actually an understatement.

Upon his search, it turns out the book he was sending me was, in fact, not on her list, but merely the book beside one that she did have written down.

The title of this book was too ironic for him not to include in his purchase.

He said he went home, sat on the front porch swing with a beer and read the book he was sending me.

And with that, he simply re-stated his initial words to me on the telephone:

"I just sent you a package. There's a book inside. You need to read it. There's a note from your mom in there for you. You will know it when you see it."

I received the book, my curiosity and anxiousness through the roof. I began reading. It was a collection of poems.

I love poetry. To read it. To write it. I am in heaven. There is just something about fragmented thoughts that give way to such beauty and precise sentiment.

Page 107.

Smacked me right in the face as the mere scan of the title had tears welled up in the corners of my eyes.

Casual.

I can remember breathing it in so deeply...

Mom was named Mollye Ann Cook.
When she married, she became Mollye Ann Casey.
MAC

I was named Meghan Alicia Casey.
When I married, I became Meghan Alicia Cobble.
MAC

Page 107, the title of the poem: MAC.

Filled with emotion and disbelief, I was torn at what would be on the page before me. Completely stunned by the title, I had to collect myself before reading.

Trembling with sadness and about 2 sniffs away from my curl-up-in-a-ball on the floor missing her, I read these words:

MAC

Mac is asleep now
Growing wings in her room

All fifteen years of her
are ready to come true


All of her faces return me
I remember especially how she waited for me at the gate
with her arms begging
"Hold me, Mama!"

It has been such a long time since I have squeezed her in against my heart
...It will be longer still
Until I can again.

Mac is growing wings tonight
I can see them coming
They will be larger than mine
They will lift her out ahead of me

It is hard for me to imagine how far she will go or how soon
It is something she is dreaming now...
So I pulled up the quilt around her tonight
And I kissed her where she used to smile so much
...On the voice that must deny me

...I closed the light around us
It is time for us to be foreigners

Mac is leaving me
It is that twist in nature that my own mother warned me about
...The next time I see her she will be my sister


...I can hardly wait to be your friend
It has been so hard to be your keeper


Wherever you are when you read this page
wherever you are going from here
I want you to know that I'm still here
In the body where you came from


I'm a woman, Mac
I carried the seeds like you do now
...I don't know how important it is for you to come back me before you leave a 2nd and final time

It's my turn to stay behind the fence


~Merrit Malloy

Her words to me.

It was no accident Dad stumbled upon this book. The book next to the one mom had scribbled on her scratch paper.

Floored both literally and physically, I cried deep rooted tears of sorrow. I cried for the mother I needed so badly. I cried for my dad who missed her more than he could stand and for my brother who had so much from her to still learn and see.

I cried.

The space between.

The Christmas book title with the hand written note...
The dress...
The poem...

And the picture of mom at 22. The one I mentioned being so mesmerized by. Captivated by her look.

22.

This was the age I accepted Christ. I prayed in my dorm room for all the hurt, the sadness, the void, knowing at that moment that He was the only one that could mend it all with His undying love.

Was it a coincidence that picture of mom at 22 captivated me so?

No.


It was another one of God's details for me to observe, connect with, and grow from.

The space between is just that as well. He gives us those spaces of time to rest in His love and to look for the details He adds to our life. Once found, these details are meant for us to grow in our strength in reliance on Him and work on our earthly life to not miss the mark.

Celebrate.
Forgive.
Never lose hope.
Be bold.
Share.
Invite.
Live your dreams.
Apologize.


Choose to love with your lips and not let hate fill your heart.

4,745 days today.
13 years.
Casual.
I can remember breathing it in so deeply...

I will always remember it.

The space between

Glory to God, I will never be the same.


I love you, Mom.

.mac

12 comments:

Ruby Red Slippers said...

As Clifford is on the Tv-MY eyes are filled with tears-I was so touched by your sweet, and tender story of you and your mom---You have a gift with words that captured your emotion, and feeling...So beautiful.
Hugs to you today-
You look so much like her!!!

April said...

I am completely blown away! That was absolutely incredible! I lost my mom 8 1/2 years ago and there are so many things that I can relate to. It's been one of the most difficult journeys I've ever been on. I miss her more and more everyday.

There is no doubt in my mind that God had His hand in the poem your father sent to you. That gave me goosebumps! Your mom spoke to you through the words of the poem. I can just imagine how that must have rattled you to the core! Isn't it such a blessing, though?

You write so eloquently and it comes directly from the deepest parts of your soul. You can just feel it! What a God-given talent you have! I am so sorry for your loss. If it helps, at all...I understand.

Nicole said...

Love you MAC!

Anonymous said...

I have the biggest lump in my throat right now, trying not to cry at work. I love you tons, Div! Thinking of you, especially today.

All my hugs to you,
Angie B.

Stella Blue said...

I've been thinking about this very part of your life story a lot lately. Touched by the journey you've taken, each twist and turn has been a reminder of God's love. Don't ever stop telling your story or writing. You're touching lives every step of the way. Summer when will you come a calling so we can have play circle?
I love you.

TateandLily'sMom said...

MAC: I can only imagine the pain and void you have felt over the past 13 years...I did not know your mother but I have a sneaking suspicion that I get to see a glimpse of her every time I'm around you. Surge of love for you today...

pam said...

What a sweet and beautiful tribute to your mom. I can feel the love you have for her.

Kacey R. said...

I don't know what to say except that you wrote this so beautifully. The space between...in His love...so beautifully written. Thank you for sharing with us. Sending you hugs.

Jessica said...

I feel very blessed to still have my Mom. We almost lost her this past November. She was on a ventilator for nine days and we didn't know if she would come off of it. My pastor and his wife would come by and anoint her several times...even though the nurses would stand behind me shaking their heads (like there was no hope), my pastor said he felt God working with my Mom.

And...today...she is fine...she has emphysema so she is on oxygen a lot, but compared to where she has came from...she is a miracle and doing wonderful.

Mothers can be one of the most precious things in our lives...the whole part about your Mom's book touched my heart!

By the way, I think this is my first time to your blog, feel free to stop by and say hello at my blog as well! =-)

Live.Love.Eat said...

Wow!!!!! This was precious and sweet and just a very beautiful tribute to your MOM. Thank you for sharing this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sarah said...

Meg-
Your words are so similar to my own thoughts about my mother.I am at work and am trying so hard not to cry!! It has been 17 years now for me. I remember the phases of thinking "man has it really been that long" and such. We have a lot in common and need to get together!!

Mama Jamz said...

Oh, Meghan, that was so beautiful. I loved reading about your mother. I don't really know that much about her, and I treasure what you had to say about her. I loved her special message to you throught the poem ~ that is wonderful! And I love your writing style. I haven't been reading your blog, but I have it bookmarked now. :)

I know you miss her so much. She must be so proud of you.

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