Yesterday I was honored to celebrate the 23rd birthday of my first born! YES! We were blessed to have a little time to just hang out at a favorite restaurant and ice cream parlor.
While delighting in the celebration, my heart silently ached because I thought of the many mothers and fathers that would not get to see their child’s next birthday. Headlines in the news are filled with such stories daily.
I can think of 4 mothers immediately that I know have lost their sons to tragedies, sickness, murder, and mystery. Off and on over the past 24 hours, I have literally cried for them and with them. I too have lost a child.
My heart aches not just because of the life lost but because of the life we forget to remember. Often we hold on to the injustice and unfairness of losing a loved one. Consumed by the loss, we forget to celebrate the LIFE and become the walking dead in our obsession.
We must remember while mourning the loss of our loved ones to celebrate the lives they lived. Joyfully honoring the memories of our deceased loved ones heals us and gives us the strength to continue living and thriving while carrying the best of them with us.
During the summer, I read two books surrounding the life of Emmett Till. One book, A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson, was a beautiful crown sonnet written in honor of the youth who was so brutally murdered in Mississippi, 1955. The other book, a fiction novel by Bernice McFadden (A Gathering of Waters), surrounds the life of the young boy and a little girl who loved him shortly before his death.
The latter made me wonder more about his life and what he was like as a youth. In contrast to the many responses to Emmett Till’s death, I chose to embrace his life, his innocence, his playfulness and beauty in my writing.
That writing soon became, “Till Poem,” a prayer and praise poem for the many lost sons and mourning mothers that I knew.
Often we forget that these parents, even though their children have physically departed, are still parents. We hesitate to tell them happy mother’s day or father’s day or recall their departed child’s birthday and such for fear of bringing up uncomfortable memories.
We forget or neglect to bless them and honor them with our remembrance: a kind word, a funny story, a picture, a card, a prayer…
Take the time today to let a mourning mother/father know that you remember. Read, “Till Poem” and by all means, please share it with someone whose heart needs to be lifted and remembered.
I welcome your prayers, blessings and reflections below.
The pic above is my first born circa 1997. I hope his smile makes you smile! Thanks for spending this moment with me.