"It's a girl!" my husband joyously exclaimed. "You got your little girl!"
After a seemingly endless labor, I should have been exhaustedbut all I felt was indescribable joy. A girl! I marveled. We'll be as close as Mom and I were!
Suddenly, pain pierced my exhilaration. If only my mom could see her beautiful granddaughter, I thought. I pushed tears from my cheeks, resolving that this familiar ache was not going to tarnish my joy.
MY MOTHER DIED from ovarian cancer when I was nine years old. My memories of her now are few, but I know we were practically inseparable. I was a "Mama's girl," always hanging on her skirt, gladly helping her with any household chore, just to be with her.
Some of the best times we spent together were lazy summer days at the beach near our home. In the morning, Mom would pack up the cooler with sandwiches, lemonade, and a special dessert. Then she would put on her sun hat and off we'd go for a day in the sand and sun.
My clearest, dearest memory of Mom, however, is when she knelt by my bed and helped me accept Jesus into my heart. I was five.
Sadly, most of my other memories are of when she was sick for three years before her death. I'll never forget that horrible uncertainty of waking to find Mom's bed empty, only to be told she'd been rushed to the hospital during the night.
One year Mom was allowed to come home on Christmas Eve. I can still see her lying on the couch when I came in the door from the school bus. She was too weak to get up but her arms flung open wide to hug me. That was our last Christmas together.1