Luke always called his mom an angel and it didn’t take me long to figure out why. She is an overall pleasant person to be around. Her demeanor is sweet, she’s always put together, even though I know she would humbly disagree. She has a surprisingly open-minded sense of humor, she’s no stick in the mud, but I never would have pegged her for such an SNL fan. I’ve never heard two people laugh harder, I miss hearing her and Luke laugh together, quite the duo. She’s a nice woman (nice being an incredible understatement) but she’s also got an awful lot of “Momma Bear” in her. She is short, this is highlighted extra because Luke’s Dad is so tall. I couldn’t see them any other way, God paired them, no doubt about that.
I have lost contact with most everyone I knew through Luke, some purposely, some organically. Regardless of how that has happened over the years, I had to separate myself from “them”. I had to close a lot of doors to move forward. I don’t have space for most people who remind me of Luke, it is too painful, but I need Luke’s Mom. Out of everyone in the world, I felt she understood what losing Luke really meant, not just for herself, or for me, but for the world. I felt she could somehow see this gaping hole that wasn’t visible to everyone else. I still feel like the world doesn’t truly know what it lost when it lost Luke, but I’m not sure anything could be done to make me feel otherwise.
Once every couple of months, Luke’s mom and I will exchange a few texts, to say hello and check in. While my heart skips a beat when I see a message from her, (old habits, I guess) it is always nice to hear from her. Two years worth of catching up, sending scripture, sharing memories and I haven’t deleted a single message. I have saved every text since the day we lost him. Her messages are filled with prayers, filled with hope, they hold happy memories, words of wisdom, reminders of faith, permissions to be happy, encouragements to move forward, to forgive myself. There’s a little bit of Luke in every message she sends me. She’s an amazing Christian, her faith is a miracle, my miracle.
I have this reoccurring dream about Luke’s mom and my mom, one saying to the other “They really did love each other, didn’t they?”. This isn’t just a dream though, it is a memory from Luke’s visitation. Somehow, through my hazy existence in the days following Luke’s passing, I remember this moment fairly vividly. I can see them hug one another and I can hear the words, even though I can’t remember who said what. I’ve never had a dream about a memory before but this memory seems to be etched into me.
Within the last message I received from Luke’s Mom: “That’s just love. Always and forever and no matter what.” Like most things, she’s right about love, always and forever and no matter what. We really did love each other, huh?
Pam, thank you for helping me grieve the loss of your son, for supporting me always. Thank you for sharing him with me, for asking him to send me “love notes” when you know I need an extra little push to “keep looking up”. He still listens to his Momma. Thank you for praying for my broken heart even though your own heart is shattered. Thank you for giving me permission to move forward. Thank you for knowing me well enough to know that I would need your permission. Thank you for giving me space and freedom to express my grief in any way I’ve needed to. Thank you for being so genuinely happy for my happiness. I feel your prayers for me, I always have.
You raised a good man, rough around the edges and we both know he was a stubborn, stubborn man but he was ours. Again, thank you for sharing him with me. I loved listening to him talk about you, talk about his childhood (he remembered everything), I will never forget the fondness on his face, he loved you so much. One memory in particular, riding around with you, listening to motown, he really loved that. He never outgrew his love for motown, or “The Wiz” while I’m not sure I can thank you for “The Wiz”. Maybe one day I’ll watch it again for him.
So, this is for you. To Luke’s Mom, who is an angel to so many. To a woman who has endured an incredible amount of hardship and pain but still manages to have amazing faith and accepts pretty much anything with an “it is what it is”. You pour so much into this world, way more than we would ever be able to give back, that’s certainly the case for me.
Thank you for being Luke’s Mom. Always and forever and no matter what.