Yesterday was a pretty good day. We went to Weatherford to make arrangements for Mom’s services for Monday. Molly, one of mom’s friends since the Tupperware days went with us, and Marissa, my friend since Kindergarten met us there. Mom’s pastor from her home church, Pastor Greg from Brock BC, met us there also.
We were late, in true Johnston women fashion. I drove off and left her clothes at the house.
Truthfully, it was great to spend some time with women who have known mom for what seems like our entire lives. We cried a little and laughed a lot.
Pastor Greg has only known mom about 2 years. To hear him talk of her was amazing. I guess to hear anyone talk of her is pretty amazing. We all think she hung the moon, but to hear someone else talk about how he always felt encouraged when she left, how she was a prayer warrior and how much he will miss her is so beautiful.
Even the lady at the funeral home, Charity, would laugh at our stories and thought she sounded pretty amazing too. As we tried to contemplate all the lives she touched, we just could not even wrap our head around how big her world really was.
I’ve been going through pictures to put a slide show together for the funeral… and for us. As I do it, I constantly find myself smiling. I told Christy yesterday, “That woman LIVED.” She had a really good life!
It is also reminding me of what a good life I have had with her and because of her. We have done and seen great things and places. We have experienced a love that most humans are not able to express, no matter how hard we try or how much we want to. Mom had the ability to love others like Jesus loves us.
Mom was able to say what needed to be said, even if it hurt. But what she said was truth. Not said with animosity, but with truth. It was always real. And we have said for years that if you ask Momma you will know what she really thinks. It wouldn’t be sugar coated or flower-up, but it was real.
There was freedom in that for her. It would be amazing if we all said what needed to be said, but could do it without hate or selfishness or even fear. Just truth. Out of love.
How are Christy and I doing? We don’t know yet. We have been through this two times before so we are familiar with what happens. We know that we stay busy for about a week, then things slow down and reality sets in.
We know that the first years is the toughest and even discussed where we should spend the holidays so it doesn’t suck quite so bad. March will suck because both Mom and Dad’s birthday are in March. Mother’s day will suck. The first year sucks.
We know that we will have to find a new normal. We are scared because we have never “adulted” alone. Of course we know we are not alone, but it is real scary to be in this big scary world without parents. We are only 40 and 45, and this just should not be the way it is.
Do we need anything? Yes. We need everything. If God puts it on your heart, we need it. Call us. Drop by next week just to give us a hug. Bring over a meal. Mail a card. Send us a memory of mom. Put a note on your calendar to check on us in a month. We need it all.
How are the kids? We aren’t sure. Michael and Mavrick are teenagers. They go all the time. They are trying to keep going and keep things normal. They are also men, and men want to fix things, and this cannot be fixed. But, there is a point when you keep going and you are able to fall into the new normal, but you have skipped the whole dealing with the loss. I did that with Michael (Young adults and grief).
Cooper and Isabella seem to be talking with Christy well about it. They are asking questions and talking which is good. Christy has told me about some of the conversations and I am so proud of them. We know that once the permanence sets in it will be very difficult for all of them.
Major has been avoiding it. Last night he was lying beside me as I was looking at pictures and started to cry. I just held him and told him it was ok. But if I made a sound like I was crying he pulled back to see if I was ok. When I first told him, he hugged me and said, “It’s gonna be ok, momma.” I guess we will just have to hold each other and let the other cry until we can be ok again.
Thank you all for everything you are doing and have done for our families. We are sad. We are going to miss her SO much, but we do have a peace about it. We know she touched so many lives here on earth and that brought her a lifetime of joy. But that joy is minuscule compared to what she is experiencing in the presence of Jesus, and our dad and brother, and so many family and friends that she has been reunited with. Our hope now is that we can be more like her, follow her example of loving like Jesus does, and touch many more lives to the glory of the Lord.