The last Christmas present I received from her is folded neatly in a lavender scented drawer — long-silk underwear. They really do keep me warm, just like she promised.
Holes naturally “fill in” all by themselves. Even if you leave them alone — especially if you leave them alone. The gapping void she left was a “thing” I carried around with me. If I went to the garden center and saw flower baskets, I mourned that I couldn’t make one for her. If I saw a mother and daughter clothes shopping together, I mourned for all the times we fought over clothes.
The hole is getting smaller. I no longer tear-up at the garden center, because it’s inconsequential — I’ll get around to buying new flowers if I have time. I’m relieved that the clothes fights are over. If anything, those struggles have made me much more careful about the battles I pick with my boys.
And, more importantly, people have just showed up and gracefully and abundantly filled up those holes.
There is a story about King David. His own son, Absalom, was hunting him, with the goal of killing his own father so that he could gain control of the kingdom. At one of the most crucial moments in the battle, when death was imminent, help came to King David.
“The people are tired, hungry, and thirsty from the desert.” So they brought many things to David and those with him. They brought beds, bowls, and other kinds of dishes. They also brought wheat, barley, flour, roasted grain, beans, lentils, dried seeds, honey, butter, sheep, and cheese made from cow’s milk. 2 Samuel 17:28
Beds, lentils, table service and butter? These were the last things David wanted in that moment. What he wanted was reconciliation. Safety. Love to bring the healing with his son. For his son to drop his sword.
But he gets barely.
We want big things from God. Yet he always brings what we need. Tenderly. The bed, the bowls, the honey.
She bought the yarn for me last summer, when we were together at the lake. Eventually, she had to get a different kind of yarn, because of the sizing. All winter, in that bone-chilling cold in Colorado, this blue collection of yarn sat among her many “to-do” list. As she worked, she gave me what I needed. Kindness. How beautiful that it showed up this weekend– Mother’s day weekend.
She’s too young to be my mother — a sister maybe. And because of that hole, I have room for her to fill up my life. She means more to me than gold…She just isn’t afraid to show me that I always have exactly what I need.