For sixteen years, November 27, was a day that I didn’t particularly want to remember. But the fact that it usually falls around Thanksgiving made it hard to ignore. Each year when the 27th of November approached I’d hope when the day came I’d be too busy to realize that it was ‘that’ day.
November 27th is the day my mother passed away. It’s one of the most heartbreaking days of my life. She’d had open heart surgery and she wasn’t supposed to die. She was supposed to recover and join us two weeks later for Thanksgiving. Instead, after ten days of suffering a massive stroke, as well as multiple other complications, she died the day after Thanksgiving.
This year was no different. My routine during this time was to throw myself into the holiday and keep busy. As Thanksgiving approached I hoped November 27th would slip by unnoticed. Then maybe the pain of loosing her would slip by as well. The pain is less to be sure, but I still caught myself hoping I wouldn’t have to face it, again.
Thanksgiving is now past and this morning, I opened my daily devotion book without a thought to the date. It opened to the page I’d read yesterday and there it was, staring me in the face. November 26th. In order to read today’s devotion I had to turn the page. So, I did. November 27th. There it was. I hadn’t escaped as I’d hoped.
The familiar regrets and the sadness returned but only for a brief moment. Seconds after I allowed my mind to turn negative I was struck with a new thought. The still small voice of the Lord seemed to whisper to me…’This is the day your mother entered My presence. This is the day she began eternal life. That’s how you need to think of it.’
Then I read the devotion. A familiar passage from Isaiah. Here’s how it starts.
“I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim. And one cried out to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
Then it hit me. My mother sees this scene. This is familiar to her. As a Christian I believe this to be true.
Please know, I’ve had many joyful days and happy memories during the past sixteen years thinking of my mother. Truly, the only melancholy day for me was this one. As it approached each year, I’d try to avoid the pain by avoiding the memory.
Of course, that’s no way to live.
But, I have to tell you since my little epiphany this morning, today has been a joyful one for me. It’s like the sunrise on a new day. I’ll never see November 27th the same way again.
Is there a day, a memory or an event from the past that you wish would pass by unnoticed? Have you like me, gotten stuck in a rut of worry or sadness over something? You may not have lost a loved one but maybe you’ve lost a job or something else you’ve treasured. If so, how have you dealt with it? Have you managed that loss over the months or years? Is so, would you share how?
I would love to hear your stories.
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