After my mother died, I searched endlessly for a letter from her. I needed to know what to do now that she was gone. Because of complications after surgery, she was medically paralyzed and I never heard her voice just before she died. I never heard what she might have wanted to say.
I hoped she had left me a written letter on a hidden piece of paper in her home with a final goodbye or maybe even some final words of wisdom on how to be the wonderful mother she was to me?
Devastated, I looked everywhere and found nothing!
My ritual was to go to her house and look through all her things. Maybe there is a letter in the desk? Maybe she left me a note in her journals? All I would find would be little post it notes with reminders of appointments or bills to pay. I was certain I would find the words I needed to hear from her in some miraculous way. With every failed attempt, I would end up on the floor of her closet, smelling her clothes and crying.
If you have ever lost someone you love so deeply, you know what it is like to be left with a closet full of clothes you can hardly bear to get rid of. These are the hidden moments of raw grief without comfort.
The last day I left my mother’s house, I gave up looking for the letter. I arrived home and fell on my bed. Covering my head with a pillow like a little girl, I tried to hide the sound of tears. My husband asked me why I was crying and I sniffled out the words,
“I didn’t find it! I never got the letter from my mom. And I don’t have the words to know what to do….”
My husband is an engineer and words are not often his strong suit, but today God gave him the words that touched my heart into eternity.
“Tracey, don’t you realize, YOU are the letter! Your mom invested in a relationship with you so that YOU could say the words to our children they need to hear. She didn’t write the words with a pen or paper but she wrote them on your heart! YOU will say all the words she wanted to say.”
I looked up from my pillow and stared into my husband’s eyes with an insight that was straight from God.
I did have all the wonderful years of words from her stored up in my heart.
I WAS THE LETTER! I could still speak the words of love to my family that she spoke to me…
I WAS THE LETTER my friends needed to hear. Mom’s voice was silent but I could become a letter to my generation reminding them that a mother’s words matter to the heart of her child!
I finally released trying to find a physical letter and embraced the unseen words written into my memory of her actions – Beneath every memory I could almost hear the words to the letter she would have written:
I saw my beautiful mother holding me as a child when I feel asleep and heard the words…
Dear Tracey, you have always been my beautiful little girl…
I saw her wrapping gifts from holidays and making special dinners.
I have loved you with all my heart and always desired to make your life special…
I saw her boarding a plane with me to go on a mission trip with cancer in her stomach.
Don’t let anything keep you from serving God and others with your whole heart…
I saw her holding my babies and rocking them, while she sang their favorite lullabies.
Love my precious grandchildren and be there for them in the way I was there for you…
I saw her tears at the diagnosis of cancer, the way she persisted during treatment.
I will always be with you in your heart…
I saw her holding her bible and reading her morning quiet time devotionals.
Never stop praying and staying close to the Lord, as He will carry you through…
I saw her breathing her last breath while holding my hand.
I love you forever, I’m waiting for you….Mom-
I will never have an actual letter but
I CAN BE THE LETTER with intentional words of love!
Know what else?
Here’s the surprise ending you might not expect!
I believe YOU are the most powerful letter of God’s love to your children’s heart besides the actual word of God itself, the Bible. As mothers, it is easy to forget we are so gifted at becoming this letter of love and yes, even when we blow it, we can remember that love covers a multitude of sins, (and so does an “I’m sorry.”)
YOU ARE THE LETTER your family reads daily!!!
Today, say the one word you want them to read in the letter of your life!
It’s so simple to become the letter our kids need to read, as we try each day to speak ONE intentional phrase into their life each day.
Say I love you.
Say I will always be here.
Say I know I make mistakes.
Say God will always help you, even when I can’t.
Say I will never stop loving you.
Say No matter how big you get, you will always be my baby.
Say Don’t ever stop having faith in God.
Say Thank you for making me feel special today.
Don’t let anything stand in the way of the words you want your children to hear- no matter how big or small, whether they live with you or their Dad, if they are out of the nest or in the nest, NEVER, EVER give up on writing the letter of love in their hearts.
Your letter will be read for generations after you are gone, so write on their hearts what you want shouted out for years to come.
If I can become a reminder to you of how important your words will be to your children one day,
then I am eternally grateful for the fact I never got my letter….
Tracey is crazy in love with her husband, Mark, and four children. She is a repurposed girl herself, who actually loves her not so perfect life! She married, divorced and remarried her husband who came to Christ during their separation. They have been happily repurposed by God, I mean remarried, for almost 20 years. They share their story with others to inspire hope for restoration.
She is a gifted speaker and Award Winning Writer published in Proverbs 31 Magazine, ParentLife Magazine, and Sharing Magazine. She won first prize at the Florida Christian Writers Conference for her article, “Experiencing the Heart of a Truly Mary Christmas.”
Her testimony is published in a book called Valentine Promises: Heartfelt Reminders of True Love by LeAnnWeiss and Crosswalk.com.Tracey writes to help women learn to repurpose their hearts with the truth of God’s word. Between trips to the grocery store and searching for forgotten homework under piles of laundry, She blogs inspirational messages in the hopes she’ll start a movement of Christian women who Live Repurposed!