Lent Photo-a-Day 3/4: Poor
"Blessed are the poor in spirit:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
I didn't make up this list of topics for the Lent photo challenge. Whoever created the list could not have known what today, March 4th, would mean for me. They could not have known that I would be "poor in spirit" today -- the first year I had to remember my mother's birthday without her presence. It's been almost seven months since her passing. Seven long, difficult, very emotional months. This week has been one of the hardest weeks of them all, even harder than Christmas. I feel emotionally beat up.
Daddy wasn't feeling too great today after yesterday's big day in Cades Cove. I feel a little devious, but needing some private time for me, I left him home and drove across town to the cemetery. I did not tell him where I was going. I couldn't face his sad eyes. How could I explain I needed to go without him? I couldn't so I avoided the conversation. I hope I will be forgiven for this. These days I feel like I have a thousand shortcomings I need to be forgiven for. It's not a feeling I'm accustomed to and it is gut-wrenching.
A month ago I bought bunches of pink tulips to take to the cemetery for Valentines Day. Between my own illness and the winter weather, the flowers never got there. Tulips are my mother's favorite flower so it is fitting that I would honor her on her birthday with the flowers of her homeland, the Netherlands. It was unusually warm but extremely windy today. On the hilltop where my mother and sister are buried I was just about blown over. I was glad it didn't matter how I looked since the wind was blowing so hard. No one was around to see my tears as I placed cheery pink tulips on the graves. The wind drowned out the sobs. It was a small blessing.
I tried to find a nice photo of just tulips in my files but I had none (imagine that?). Instead I found this cherished image of my "niece", Mary-Catherine, great-niece, Isabella, and my dog, Emme, all posing with Mom in front of the tulips and redbud trees in our yard in March, 2008. Bella was such a beautiful baby! Mother and I were so happy for a visit that day. I may try to improve the editing on this photo, and early digital image, and print it so I can remember this day forever. Every March when I am sad, I want this image to fill my poor spirit with joy. My Mom would want it that way. Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you!