When I was little I was scared of storms. Little rain showers, thunderstorms, tornados, you name it – I hated them all. I never felt safe. It didn’t matter where I was, I constantly worried about what could happen to us when severe storms would hit our area. My Mom, on the other hand, was never scared of bad weather. While I was busy hiding away, you could always catch her looking out a window, somewhat mesmerized by everything happening outside.
One day, a smaller thunderstorm was starting to clear up and my Mom was standing at the front door. My (ironically) favorite smell of spring rain was in the air as the winds began to turn into a nice breeze and the sun moved out from behind the clouds. The only thing separating us from the rain was the screen door to our porch, but hugging her made me feel safe. Without taking her eyes off of what was happening outside she quietly said to me, “You know… there is no need to be afraid of storms. God is in control of the sunshine and the blue skies, but also the clouds and the rain. They may be scary and loud, but He is always there. Look Loni… Remember how beautiful everything is when the sun comes back out?”
I’ve always wondered if that was God’s way of foreshadowing. Or simply the gift of prophetic wisdom? Maybe He simply spoke through her… I don’t know. But what I do know is that it was the single most important lesson I needed to learn from the exact person that the biggest storm I would face was centered around. And, seeing as I would cry outside the bathroom if she took too long, I don’t think anyone thought I’d be able to recover from it…
Losing my Mom is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with, yes. I think about her every day. I’ve written down everything I can remeber about her and our interactions multiple times by now. I’m still so easily overtaken by nostalgia, especially when people mistake me for her (to the point that I freaked out a family friend at the movie theater back home this winter), or someone tells me I’ve somehow picked up another one of her quirks that I honestly didn’t even know about. And, I pray for my salvation in hopes that one day our souls meet again so much, that I don’t even think there are enough angels in heaven to help receive my messages… But, despite the fact that I can’t say I’ll ever “move on”, I’ve matured in my outlook on the situation.
This is the first time I’ve publicly shared this story with anyone. Probably because it’s taken me a long time to really embrace her lesson on storms. Sometimes I do still get so caught up being frustrated that I can’t call her to ask what to do, or tell her about some unimportant thing I saw, or one day completely disagree about what style wedding dress I should wear, that I can forget to take a second look at the lessons I learned from her years ago (before I fully understood them) for the answers I need now.
I understand now that we live in a broken, cursed world where bad things happen to some of the best people and there is nothing anyone can do about it. That storms are inevitable, but I shouldn’t be afraid of their potential. That I simply can’t live life worried about things that God has control over. And that sometimes I need to remind myself of the beauty around me.
You know how much I love the sunshine, but I’m happy to say that I am no longer afraid of storms, Mommy. Continue to watch over me. I love and miss you more than anyone could understand. – Love, Loni Monster
In Loving Memory of Y.D.S.S.