Celebrating You, Mom
One year ago, I had the honor of ushering my Mom and best friend, into the presence of Jesus, as she took her final breath, this side of heaven. It was single handedly the first day of the hardest season of my life. Today, on the one year anniversary of my Mom’s arrival to heaven, I’d like to share with you my friend, a letter written from my heart to hers. (Please pardon the excessive length.)
Sweet Mom & Best Friend,
On one hand it seems like only yesterday, I was telling you goodbye and that I love you, as you walked through heaven’s gate without me. On the other hand, the past year has held some deeply painful struggles, as well as tremendous growth that made the year both drag, and fly at times. 2020 has been a whirlwind, Mom, and there have been numerous moments I wished you were here to discuss the latest happenings in our world and in my life.
I spent my entire childhood, scared to death of losing you one day; knowing the bond we shared was a gift and one I treasured more than any other relationship in my life. What I didn’t know, is that losing you, would leave me with a hole in my heart bigger than any loss I’d ever faced. I thought the pain was intense when we lost Daddy, but whoa it paled in comparison to the pain I have felt in trying to navigate my life without you.
Losing you has been like learning to live life as an amputee without a limb; awkward, painful, and terrifying all the same. You weren’t just my Mom, you were my best friend, my confidant, my biggest cheerleader, my encourager and the one who believed in me more than I believe in myself. Now, I’m like a toddler fumbling around on their new found feet, trying to walk alone, yet falling all over the place. I am currently what I laughingly and humbly refer to as “a hot mess”, Mom! I miss you. Every. Single. Day.
The first few months after losing you, I was numb; going through the motions of handling your affairs as you instructed, and trying to settle back into living at home with Tyler, after being gone most of 2019. Once all the work was handled, I sunk into a deep dark hole of depression and sadness. Getting out of bed was literally a daily challenge. My health took a dive and I got sick, and sicker, and continued sinking deeper into the hole of depression. I withdrew from my friends and family, didn’t reach out, and struggled even reaching back when they reached out to me. I didn’t want to be around people, and everything in my life made me angry. Angry because no matter what good was around, all I could focus on was you weren’t here, my health was declining and I felt awful all the time.
Your words rang in my ears, “You need to start taking care of yourself, Satin Sharee”, and so I started doing just that. I met with a nutritionist, we ran test after test, I met with my doctor, and ran more tests. I discovered my left breast implant had ruptured years ago and the toxins released from the silicon were making me ill. The two choices I had were to replace the ruptured implant, or remove/explant them both. In order to be fully healthy, I knew I needed to explant, so I scheduled the surgery for September, and continued working with my nutritionist to prepare my body for surgery. I learned a lot about my body; what it was lacking and needing, as well as what it doesn’t like, what foods were adding to my illness, and how to eat better. I had my explant surgery on 9/8/2020 and the moment I woke up from the anesthesia, I felt better than I had in years! I could breathe freely again, my head was less foggy, and I had a ton of energy. My recovery was extremely difficult and painful, but I’d do it all over again to feel as amazing as I feel now, just three months post operation! Mom, I regret ever getting the implants. I recall so vividly your vocalized concern that I was putting a bandaid on the real issue (image insecurity) rather than dealing with the insecurity and loving my body the way God created it. Oh how I wish I would have listed to you; the years of illness I could have avoided. You were right and I sure was wrong. I’m just so grateful to have learned what I did about BII (Breast Implant Illness) when I did, so I could get on the road to better health.
The year of 2019, with most of my time being spent with you, helping you with doctor appointments, radiation treatments, the house etc, I remember knowing that God was calling me to a place of stillness and waiting. I hated it. It was hard for me to sit still, to be still and to try and glean from that stillness. Now, I can see He was preparing me for what my body was going to need in order to heal, in 2020. I had no idea my health would get worse before getting better, nor that it would require me to rest a lot, in order to heal. And when I say rest, I’m not talking about sleeping more, but truly resting on the daily! Yes, solid sleep is important, but resting my mind and body by slowing down, not taking on so much, not filling my calendar, or over exerting myself. Taking time to slow down and enjoy each moment at a time without planning for the next “thing” or event! It’s been a real challenge for me to learn this, but oh how grateful I am to be in a slower season of my life, because it’s allowing me to fully embrace all the healing my body is doing during this time. It’s such a beautiful thing to learn what my body needs and craves, provide it with those things and watch it thrive and heal and function better than ever.
I am still healing, from the inside out, and still feel completely lost without you. I haven’t worked in over two years now; I struggle knowing what direction I want to go in my career, but am confident of this: God will give me direction, and for now, I’m focusing on healing and that is not only okay, but it is good! For the first time in my life, I’m taking the time to give my body what it needs, and not push myself to the max just to please other people, or be liked/loved by others. It’s very freeing to say the least.
I am proud to say, I started writing a book about my grief journey after losing you to cancer. I have a long way to go still, but I made a lot of progress this year, so I know you would be proud of me and cheering me on as you always did by saying, “Keep writing, Satin Sharee!” One day, in God’s perfect timing, I’ll finish that book and present it to the world, in hopes of helping others in their own grief journey; all because of you.
This Christmas, I’m trying to focus on the JOY surrounding me. The JOY of having such an amazing husband by my side, through thick and thin, gains and losses, who loves me so much and is supporting me in the most amazing ways. The JOY of getting to share Christmas with Jackson, in our home, with no place to go, or people to see, just us and the dogs! The JOY of good health, a beautiful home to continue making memories within. The JOY of settling into Texas, meeting some amazing people who have become incredible friends/family to us. The plaque you gave me, after Daddy passed, says, “Choose JOY” and I’m doing that, Mom. I know you’d be proud of me. I’m not faking it, rather truly embracing the JOY all around me. I’m really doing my best, to not just focus on the JOY but to bring JOY to others as well. I finally feel like I’m me again. I got my mojo back and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me and my family in 2021.
So Mom, today I want to celebrate YOU and the amazing lifetime of memories we shared together. The love and compassion you taught me by your life example of both. I celebrate your love of Christmas and how it’s truest meaning is Jesus – humbly coming to this earth as a baby, in the most unlikely of circumstances, to change the world from the inside out. To change our perspective of a King, His Kingdom, and His great Love for us. Today, I honor the legacy you left within me because of the work you allowed the Holy Spirit to do in your own life. I know you weren’t perfect, but you were perfectly my Mom, a beautiful Daughter of the King and a humble work in progress from earthly birth to heavenly birth. I’m so incredibly proud to be your daughter and pray my life makes you just as proud. I love you, to the moon, beyond and back, no matter what, forever and always. I miss and carry you and Daddy in my heart every single day.
All My Love, Your D&BF,
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