There it is, lying there, in pieces on the ground (floor). And I’d just been thinking about my Mom’s death. The edge of the counter caught it as I lifted it, and down it went — in slow enough motion to give me time to hope desperately it wouldn’t break, but, well, you can see.
That dish cover wasn’t worth much money. It was just one of those items full of love memories — the memento I chose when we sibs went through her things before the auction.
It just said “Mom.”
It was always there, a constant. Though our home was less than posh or over-fussy, after each post-meal clean-up Mom always made sure the dining table sat ready for the next gather-round: covered with tablecloth, each place set, centerpiece at center, and just to its right, the butter dish, neatly supplied with fresh butter and wearing that ever-present cover.
So, when it crashed, multiple memories hit the floor with it, and a few tears.
But Mom’s been gone for almost three decades! So what’s the big deal?
Well, I was going through my springtime funk.
A few years ago I figured it out: why this happens, amid the fresh promise of scintillating springtime, when daylight increases in bright blue skies, doors open outward, birdies sing, and gentle breezes caress…
I was reading, in Harriet Braiker’s Getting Up When You’re Feeling Down, about “anniversary phenomena,” emotional slumps triggered by dates of sad events, bringing on the blues, irritability, unsettled emotions, in the weeks around those dates — slumps we might not consciously connect with the past. What sat me up straight was examples she gave:
death of a loved one
date of a marriage break-up
date a job ended
things like that.
I started checking documents and journals…
That was it! Spring had been hiding multiple losses beneath her flowers and flowing fogs. Spring turned out to be my “time of many endings”:
my Mom’s passing,
my first marriage ending (that’s when that dreadful oversized divorce certificate was hand-delivered to my door!)
school years closing, my classes moving on, often to other schools, “Good-bye.”
homeschooling ended with graduation,
nest emptied out.
And a couple other (huge) traumas I’m not even going to mention.
All in the spring! I’d never realized how many ending dates had ganged up together on the calendar within a few short weeks!
In recent years, the spring-loss rhythm has continued. In spring we found it needful to leave our decade-long “church home,” ending multiple church ministries, “friendships,” social network, even “sure-fire” book publication prospect. In spring they said I’d lose my eyesight…
So… no wonder my inner woman wants to slump! I have to admit to sometimes even dreading spring’s approach, wondering what looms ahead this year!
But that’s life. Things break. Our world can shake. Loss comes, whatever the season.
But the “negative” memories bring with them reminders of God’s great grace, His presence, His amazing intervention.
In fact, the times of loss brought the greatest spiritual blessings, whether or not I could discern them at the time.
Realizing my spring blues are only reasonable forearms and reassures me. Seeing how God’s used past springtime “losses” to prune, grow, and bless me helps allay my dread of more to come. And the whole business nudges me back to Him, to connect with His presence and draw on His strength and peace and overflowing love.
So right now a broken dish lid seems a very insignificant thing.
Do you get undefinable blues at certain seasons, that might have an “anniversary phenomenon” trigger, or find that certain dates or objects lead you to “revisit” grief?
COUNTING RELATED (God-Centric) REASONS TO PRAISE HIM
(From 2 Corinthians 1:3-5,18-22)
- 243 – Because He is the Father of Mercies
- 244 – Because He is the God of all comfort
- 245 – Because He comforts us in all our tribulation
- 246 – Because He does this so that we can comfort those who are in any trouble, with the same comfort with which He has comforted us
- 247 – Because as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.
- 248 – Because all the promises of God are “Yes” and Amen in Christ
- 249 – Because He establishes His own together in Christ
- 250 – Because He has sealed us who are His own, and given His Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.