Five Minute Friday – Comfort


I remember the day we picked her up from the airport.  My brother and sister and I.  It was a long flight from Shanghai. An unexpected flight.  A painful flight.  As most flights are when you’re flying home to loss.

I had stood beside my Opa a few days previous as he placed that overseas call and I was there when he couldn’t get the words out and then he passed the phone to me.  I was there on the other end clutching the receiver wishing it was my mother’s arms wrapped around me as I heard her grief explode on the other side of the world.

I went through the motions the next few days.  Planning, writing obituaries, picking out flowers.  Did the kids have clothes for a funeral?  Would I need to cancel my appointments?  And I did all of it through a haze because there was an ache beyond the grief that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

Oma had died and my family was shattered.  We never expected that she would go to sleep one night and wake up in the arms of Jesus the next morning.  We never expected it at all.  Yet there we were, death had found its way to our doorstep and someone had let it in without warning.

And the ache it grew as the hours marched on and I soaked pillows with tears and replayed our last conversation over and over in my mind.  It was a cold March morning when we made our way to the airport to pick up my mom.  My mom, who had lost her mom.

And I remember her coming down the walkway, with her long sweater flowing out behind her and her eyes searching.  It’s like we had homing beacons on our foreheads because she found us through the crowd in an instant, mere seconds it took for her eyes to land on her babies.  She rushed forward with her arms outstretched and gathered us close and in that one sweet embrace I felt the ache give way to comfort.

My nose was buried in that soft space between her  neck and her shoulder and I inhaled her Chanel like it was oxygen.  There I was wrapped in her arms as my soul found comfort from the inexplicable grief.  Wrapped up there in my mother’s arms was the comfort I needed to let my heart feel the pain I needed to feel.

I’ve never told my mom this story.  Never mentioned to her how much that embrace meant to me.  Never told her how much it meant to me that she pushed aside her own sharp grief for that one brief moment so I could find comfort in her arms. 

I love you mom. 
 I love this time of the week.  Love what we do in the Five Minute Friday community.   Cheer eachother on like bosses and write brave and free for five minutes.  Come read about Comfort over here.
Five Minute Friday


  1. Incredible post, my friend…I just love your heart and how you shared it so well here. So true…sometimes the best comfort is the arms of a loved one wrapped around us. Thank you for sharing…blessings!

  2. Mmmm, moms. That is all that needs to be said: Moms.
    you beat Crystal 😉

    • “Mom” – pretty powerful word eh? I only beat Crystal by shear luck and refreshing Lisa-Jo’s page like a mad woman… She is still the ninja!

  3. Girl, you had me tearing up. God bless you and your family

    • Thank you for your blessings friend. It is amazing how God uses one word to bring the sweetest of memories to the front of our minds in 5 minutes.

  4. Oh , this reminds me of my mom and when my gram, her mom passed. Very brave and beautiful writing. Precious memory.

    • Thank you Dawn. It is a precious memory and I’m so glad that I got the words to express it… it’s been 10 years since Oma passed and there are days when it still feels like yesterday.

  5. Oh my! How I love Thursday nights so I can share so much emotion with some wonderful women. Love this!

    • April? I do too! I love this community and by Thursday night I need Five Minute Friday like I need air. Thank you so much for reading this story here.

  6. This is so sweet. I live how it is such a mother thing to care for your own before yourself, even when they are grown.

  7. Anonymous

    Lovely. Simply lovely. What a mom’s hug can do. (My iPhone wont let me comment on google blogs except for the anonymous route. )

    • Anonymous

      But I had to comment since your post was just beautiful to my heart.

    • Heather I am so glad you commented… My mom has the same problem only being able to comment annonymously – I must try and figure out why that is. My mom’s hug is pretty awesome!

  8. Oh my stars… girl! OK – First off… you BEAT Crystal! You pour out your heart like this and you STILL pull out some serious #ninjaskills to get the #1 spot! Nicely done! The whole thing is breathtaking but what got me was the part where you “inhaled her Chanel like oxygen”

    Love you so!!!

    • Karrilee – I am pretty sure that my beating Crystal was an apparition – she’ll be back to her ninja-self by next week 😉 (it may have had to do with the fact that I was refreshing the page like every 5 seconds). That phrase that you pointed out – that was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw the prompt… It’s her scent.

  9. Oh friend. I love this so much. Grief. I remember sinking into my mom when my dad passed away. Just sitting there in her arms and we were both crying and even then, having each other knowing it was going to be different but okay. Comfort. And that’s how I think of you. I know your hug is going to feel so good in October. I am glad to be back and reading here again.

    • Girl… you made me blubber at 6:30 this morning when I read this comment… I was thinking the same thing just the other day when I was thinking about all the friends I’ll be able to see in real life and I just pictured your lovely face and hugging hard… they’ll be crying – lots of it. And I am so happy that you are here – so, so happy – and I so loved watching your pictures of your spontaneous road trip – you looked radiant friend – simply radiant.

  10. Oh, and whoooohooo! You beat Crystal for the number one spot! Dang those ninja skills are showing. 😉

    • Crystal will always be Sen Sei to me… I’m crafting the skills for Allume – and hoping and praying the hotel has wireless… I can so remember the picture of the live FMF last year with you sitting in the middle of the room… I hope that happens again!

  11. Such a precious post.

  12. This is beautiful. There is nothing like the comforting embrace of a mom!

  13. Wow, Tonya! Just wow!

  14. Anonymous

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  15. So beautiful. will be seeing mine later today and this will be on my heart and in my mind. Thank you!

  16. Oh girl, you have me in tears this morning. What a simply beautiful post – I’m so glad your mom will get to read it 🙂

    • Thank you Crystal… and she did and I made her cry (in a good way).
      PS – thanks for sharing the No. 1 spot with me this week – You’ll always be my Sensei!

  17. Anonymous

    sitting outside with my tea….the rain echoing my tears. Thankyou my darling daughter.

  18. Blessings as you’ve shared this loss with us … comfort and blessings …

    • Thank you friend… I love this community that comes up and around and gives hugs when hugs are needed – it’s been 10 years since my Oma passed – and there are some wonderful memories with her.

  19. Tears here. This is beautiful. I hope your mom will read this?

    • Anonymous

      I did…:-)

    • Thank you Sarah… she did – we can’t quite figure out why Blogger will only let her comment anonymously… And can I just say again friend what an honour it was to guest post over at your space this week… still blown a way by that a bit.

  20. So glad I waited to read your post this morning alone instead of last night with the whole family here because I am crying my eyes out. I thank there is no better way to tell your mom thank you than to share her comfort with us. Thank you

  21. Wow. Just…wow. So beautiful and heartbreaking and awesome. What a lovely tribute to your Mom, and so glad she’s here to read about it. We Moms need to hear about it when we get things right. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, friend.

  22. Tears of beauty here.

  23. Oh mylanta…
    there’s just something beautiful about a mama’s love.
    what glory you share here, friend.

  24. Wonderful writing, of many emotions and most of all love.

  25. What a wonderful memory. I was completely enthralled. Thank you for sharing.

    • Debi – thank you so much for stopping by here and saying hello. It is a beautiful memory – one I wish I had written about a long time ago.

  26. This was beautifully said. LOVED how descriptive it was. Thanks for sharing!

  27. Oh so very beautiful…what a sweet Mother’s Day gift to your mom to share your remembrance of such a sacred moment. 40 years later, I still miss my beloved grandma!

    • Thank you friend – it was a perfect way to celebrate Mother’s Day with my lovely mom – and a great way to remember my Oma.

  28. Reading this, I remember the scent of the perfume my mom used to wear when I was little. She’s moved on from that brand now and I beg her to wear it…just one more time. There is comfort in that mom smell…

Leave a Reply