Into the Fire {When Mother’s Day is Going to be Different This Year}

We sat together over tea last Sunday.  I talked excitedly about my latest adventure.  As you swiped through the pictures on my iPad we marveled at how my feet a walked the land of Austen and Brontë.  We  joked about finding Mr. Darcy around every corner.

You told me that day about how you’d been sick all weekend but that you were starting to feel better.  On your way out you wrapped me in your arms and hugged me close.

Such a familiar sensation that now I wish I hadn’t taken for granted so often. 

I breathed in the scent of you like it was oxygen and you gave me one more squeeze and said “welcome home.”

I wonder now if you meant more than just my feet on the ground, because mama your arms felt like home that day.

And then Monday came…

You had a stroke mama.

The doctors told us at first it was massive, but they’ve changed their tune so we’ve removed that word from our vocabulary.

You had a stroke. 

We rushed to your side because that’s what we do in our family.  We were terrified and sad and so confused but underneath it all pulsed everything you ever gave us…

We are fierce.  We are fearless.  We are determined. We are you. 

I held your hand, you squeezed it and I knew you were there and that you’d fight like hell to make your way back to us.

I wrote you a poem once, for what seems like a million Mother’s Days ago. I wrote you a poem telling you that I knew I had come from the purest of gold because life and circumstances had refined you into the grace, beauty and grit you are today.

I wrote you a poem a million years ago telling you that you are so precious. 

I thought about that poem yesterday when I held your hand again and marveled at the softness of your skin.

It breaks my heart mama, it just flat out busts it wide open…

It breaks my heart mama that you’re being thrust into the fire yet again and I keep asking God how there can be any dross left to burn off because you’re already precious gold.

I’m not sure we’ll ever have an answer to that question, — but what I know is this:

Death reached out its dark fingers on Monday morning and we felt their sting.

But today…

Today we’re reaching back with life and hope and while I’m pretty mad at God right now I’m clinging by fingernails to the promise of his goodness.

Yet I am confident that I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land the living  – Psalm 27:13

And we rejoice everyday that we’re in the land of the living and that you’re here with us.

Every day you astound us! Every day we see your determination.  Every day we see more dross being scooped out and the brilliance of your gold shine through.

This Mother’s Day will be different for you, for all of us.  We’ll shuffle and dance awkwardly for a little while as we figure out our new rhythm but your setting the music mama.

Your playing your own music mama and we’re dancing with you. 

I love you.




  1. Gayle Greven

    Read through tears but praying with hope.

  2. Audrey

    You have a beautiful way with words Tonya…my goal for my sister and I is to be sitting in the sun soaking in the sweet sounds of Home County…munching on the traditional Pad Thai, sipping on contraband wine from a thermos and making our spot of real estate our place for the weekend…she is fierce and I have no doubt!!

  3. Oh friend… I love you so and I am praying for you and your sweet Mama and all of the family! I pulled out a poem I wrote years and years (and decades) ago for my own Mama –I’ll Vox you a snapshot of it… simply because it talks of dancing too –because, of course!

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