Things that mattered, now seem small

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 14, 2005

Her new shoes my sister gave her still sit by her living room door.

She took them off on April 25 as she headed to her bedroom.

It was her habit to walk barefooted on the carpet.

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There are new pictures of the grandchildren that still need framing left on her desk.

Her little dogs, her "other children" have not quite been the same.

Her grandchildren continue to grow, but she is not there to give them hugs and pats on the back.

Her own mother sits quietly in her home wondering how much more a 90-year-old woman must endure.

As many of you now know, my mother, Judy, passed away unexpectedly on April 25 while sitting on her bed watching television.

For those who have never lost a parent, there is no pain like the pain my brother and sisters have felt over the last several days.

I can only describe it as losing a part of your identity or as a hole that cannot be filled inside.

You may be asking yourself how I can be writing about this and I will have to tell you that it's what I do. This is part of my grieving process.

In these last few weeks I have had to face the idea that while her physical being is gone, she is still with us.

She has simply changed into a greater power.

Does that mean that I don't miss her?

Not at all. I miss her every moment I breathe.

I got the opportunity to talk to my mother about 30 minutes before she died.

We talked about things that happened that day, things

to do in the future.

We laughed about some crazy thing that my nephews might have done or said that day.

She counseled me on how I needed to set things straight on a relationship issue. Then just as we did every night, she said she needed to run.

I said I would talk to her later and hung up.

If I had only known what would happen within the hour of hanging up, I would still be on the phone with her.

I would talk about things that matter.

Because folks, let me tell you, things that mattered at 8 p.m. on April 25, no longer do.

Momma was my dearest friend and closest confidante.

She had a way of knowing everything if she chose to and while she and I didn't always agree, it never kept me from loving her.

Now, we must face holidays, birthdays and family celebrations without the person who made sure all were noted.

The words, "I love you momma" remain lost in a rainy April night.

In the days since, many times I've prayed to God to just let me shut down and wake up when the ache is no longer there.

But I can't. Despite our wishes, life goes on.

So we do what Momma taught us. We get up off our scarred prayerful knees and we take those first shaky steps in faith.

Faith in the love that she gave us.

Faith in God in his promise that those dead in Christ will be reunited and the faith that she will be the one to welcome us to heaven.

I also have faith that God searched countless hearts and when it was time to choose a mother for me, He found the perfect woman.

I am blessed and grateful that He chose Judy Owens Thomas, for if I ‘d done the search myself, I would have chosen no other.

To paraphrase a scripture:

She fought the good fight; she stayed the course and she kept the faith.

Happy Mother's Day Momma, I love you dearly and miss you so very much.

Jay Thomas is managing editor of the Greenville Advocate. He can be reached at 383-9302, ext. 136 or via email at or write P.O. Box 507, Greenville, AL 36037.