Ten years ago tomorrow a 9 year old version of myself was just about to get off of his big yellow bus only to find the most shocking and testing news he would likely ever find. This boy was unmarked still from the trials of life; a mother’s boy if there had ever been one. An innocent and young boy. A boy that would fake sick just so that he could come home from school early to just have the opportunity to take a nap with his momma. But on this day–this day that he would never forget–he came home to find a barrage of police vehicles and the news of his mother’s sudden death. An aneurism, they said. It couldn’t be predicted, they said. Boom, it hit, and boom, she was gone.
Kelly Jenee Hermes was a laugh-loving woman if I’ve ever known one. We lived on a golf course, and people say that they could hear her from a mile away, laughing and having a good time. She knew how to be a mom, I can tell you that. I was young enough that I don’t remember many aspects of her, but the ones I remember I remember with such fondness that it’s one of my favorite past-times to simply think upon the woman that she was. She could care for me in a way that I only wish I can one day be able to re-create for others. It’s funny, the memories I have I can laugh at… her forcing me to sit at the table in an effort to eat my vegetables while I beg my dad to let me go, because after all, he didn’t eat them either. Her dealing with my intense nervousness as a child with such care… “Mom, I want to go to Sunday school but my stomach won’t let me!” I wish that I had more memories like the time my dad and brother went away for the weekend, and my mom made it a huge deal. “This is Mom and Dakota’s weekend,” she said. She bought me my very own puppy; we watched the Grinch while I wore my matching Grinch footie pajamas. “We’d better take some pictures of this moment so that we never forget!” She knew how to give quality time, and she knew that my heart lit up when she wanted to be with only me for even a minute. What a blessing that I could even have known this woman. I’ll surely never forget the great impact she made on me in 9 short years.
It isn’t hard to think about her. It’s not hard to tell people about what happened. What’s hard is to think about the fact that I have forgotten almost everything about her that I wanted to remember. That my wife won’t know her mother-in-law. That my children won’t have a grandmother on their dad’s side. That my dad’s heart is still broken over his wife’s death. That my grandparents still cry when they talk about her….every time. When I sit down and really think about her… really think on the woman that I can’t know right now… I mourn. I want her to be with me. I want her to see what I am becoming.
What’s crazy, though, is this: I am 100% content with the way God has used her death for His glory. After I finally stopped running from the God whom I thought was evil for taking my beloved mother, I realized I had fallen into His arms of mercy. I had been completely caught off guard by a God who had been with me all along. He had been taking care of me, keeping me out of evil things. He’s healed the wound that was created by my mom’s death 100 fold. He has overflowed my heart with His love.
I can’t express how thankful I am to know a God who can use my greatest trial for good.
Sure, I still feel as though I missed out on a lot as a kid. I missed out on having family dinners. I missed out on having a mom to cry with me when I was having bad days. I missed dating advice, in general. But I have a sure testimony of how God has looked out for me, and walked with me for my entire life. He has provided, time and time again, people to fulfill the roles that I needed to have fulfilled. I’ve never been left alone, and it’s all thanks to Him.
It makes me think of Jesus, the way I mourn for my mom. She has gone, but I’ll see her again one day. I still have memories of her. I have pictures, landmarks, family members that knew her. So it is with the Lord. I have His word. I have His beloved Holy Spirit. But I don’t have Jesus here with me. I can’t lean back against Him like John did. I can’t eat with Him. I can’t walk with Him in the cool of the day.
So I mourn in this time. I mourn until the coming of my King. Just as I mourn to see my beloved mom again.
I mourn, for His glory.