We have been back in Asheville, home from my Mom’s funeral in Orlando, for a week now. I’m not going to lie, it’s been a hard seven days. In some ways time seems to be crawling along, each moment reminding me that my Mom is no longer with us. In other ways it seems like a giant blur and a reality that still just isn't true. Sometimes the day ahead seems almost impossible and I’m not sure how I can keep smiling and moving on. But I have been. I keep moving forward, one step at a time, because I know that is what my mom would want. She hated to see me unhappy. So I’m fighting through the sadness; for her.
I have been slowly trying to find my routine. For me that involves running and exercising. With everything that has happened over the past month, I ended up taking a much longer break from running than I intended. I ran 3 slow miles Saturday, Monday and today. My body wanted to stop so badly. I felt out of shape and out of breath. But I powered through and felt so much better afterwards. I can’t believe I’m the same girl who just ran a marathon. It may be awhile before my mental strength comes back, but I can work hard to get back my physical strength. I hate to feel weak.
I have found such comfort in all of the kind words, comments and notes so many of you have sent to me. I am blown away by the support and prayers. I thank so many of you for lifting my family and I up in such a trying and difficult time. This community is amazing. I apologize if I have not gotten back to respond to your individual note or comment, I am just so behind. But please know that I have read and cherished all of them and they all are giving me a little nudge on that mental strength to get through the day.
So many of you shared stories about how you lost your parents. Some of you are going through the same feelings and sorrow I am now. Our minister in Orlando read this poem at the graveside. I honestly don’t remember hearing much of it at all at the time, but he was kind enough to send it to us in an e-mail a couple days later. It gives me a sense of comfort and peace with my Mom’s death. I hope it will help some of you going through similar situations….
A Letter From Heaven
A Letter From Heaven - Ruth Ann Mahaffey
To my dearest family, some things Id like to say.
But first of all, to let you know, that I arrived okay.
I'm writing this from heaven.
Here I dwell with God above.
Here, there’re no more tears of sadness;
Here is just eternal love.
Please do not be unhappy just because I'm out of sight.
Remember that I am with you every morning, noon and night.
That day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through.
God picked me up and hugged me and He said, I welcome you.
Its good to have you back again, you were missed while you were gone.
As for your dearest family, They'll be here later on.
I need you here so badly, you are part of my plan.
There is so much that we can do, to help our mortal man.
God gave me a list of things, that he wished for me to do.
And foremost on the list, was to watch and care for you.
And when you lie in bed at night the days chores put to flight.
God and I are closest to you....in the middle of the night.
When you think of my life on earth, and all those loving years.
Because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears.
But do not be afraid to cry; it does relieve the pain.
Remember there would be no flowers, unless there was some rain.
I wish that I could tell you all that God has planned.
If I were to tell you, you wouldn't understand.
But one thing is for certain, though my life on earth is over.
I'm closer to you now, than I ever was before.
There are rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb;
But together we can do it by taking one day at a time.
It was always my philosophy and Id like it for you too;
That as you give unto the world, the world will give to you.
If you can help somebody who is in sorrow and pain;
Then you can say to God at night....My day was not in vain.
And now I am contented... that my life was worthwhile.
Knowing as I passed along the way I made somebody smile.
So if you meet somebody who is sad and feeling low;
Just lend a hand to pick them up, as on your way you go.
When you're walking down the street and you've got me on your mind;
I'm walking in your footsteps only half a step behind.
And when its time for you to go...from that body to be free.
Remember you're not going...you're coming here to me.
Ruth Ann Mahaffey