As I sit here and look outside my upstairs window, the landscape is blanketed in a snowy winter wonderland. While we slept last night, snow fell, leaving about 3 inches on the ground. The trees are covered in the beautiful purity the snow brings.
It’s December 1. Christmas is only days away now and we are in full-fledged shopping mode to get all the gifts for the ones we love.
As this time of year always comes around, Mari is never too far from my mom. She never far from my thoughts, but, as you can imagine, she is no longer a constant presence in my mind like when she was alive. However, December and July always pull her to the forefront. Mari would have turned 17 this year on the 29th. Seventeen. Really??? It almost doesn’t seem possible. She’s been gone over 8 years. She’s almost been gone longer than she was alive for. Does that even seem real? Honestly, it still doesn’t feel real at times. I mean, I know she’s gone, all too acutely. However, I can still feel her presence.
For whatever reason, I am really missing her at this moment and tears are streaming down my face. Why does it have to still be like this after so much time? Because I am a mom and Mari will forever be my daughter, just one that is no longer here with me on this earth.
How do we get through such traumas in our lives? For me the only answer has been God and His ever-present presence. I know He has been leading and guiding me as I have gone on the topsie turvey path. Easy will never describe this path. Plain, flat hard is the only way to characterize the path.
Since living in Alaska, I hardly write anymore. The desire seems to be almost all but gone. I can’t even seem to push myself to do it, yet when I do, like I am now, it helps me to better understand who I am. You know, the nitty-gritty parts of ourselves.
A little over a month ago I wrote part of a scene for the fiction book I’ve been writing (for-ev-er). It is still sitting on my desk unfinished. I know I will get to it eventually, but, again, no desire to finish it.
This holiday season will be a little different for me, and for a very good reason. Keith and I really prayed on it and talked about it for approximately three weeks about whether we should have my mom come to live with us. Her situation with my sister and then before her, my brother and his wife, was not good. Both my sister and my brother’s wife were simply awful to my mom. They treated her so badly through verbal and emotional abuse. She wasn’t allowed to talk about God. If she did she was yelled at.
She has a severe social anxiety disorder and she was getting really nervous about going to a friend’s house for Thanksgiving this year. I said let’s pray. She said okay I’ll do it in a minute. I said let’s pray right now and we did. It’s amazing how something as simple as this can be such a huge thing in someone else’s life. My mom can finally be herself again. We are not condemning her in any way for her being just who she is. God made her that way.
Due to losing Mari, I have an acute understanding of what it means when someone says how short life is and we never know when it is our time to go. No one ever dreams that when they have a child that they will lose them as a child. We dream of their lives through childhood, into adulthood and to when they may get old. A parent’s absolute worst nightmare comes to life when they die. I have lived and continue to live my worst nightmare with Mari being gone.
Now that my mom is here with us, I have no idea how much longer she has to live with us. I want however many days she has left on this earth to be happy days. Ones filled with joy and contentment. To feel abundantly loved. Don’t we all need this in some way? I think so, at least in some form.
How about you? Do you live for the moment?
It is always good to read your posts and to catch up on what is happening in your life, Kristena. My thoughts and prayers continue with you. I appreciate what you are doing with your mom – may God bless you and give you peace and strength as you follow His leading. Perhaps. This time of life is less for writing and more for filling the needs that Gos lays before you. Seasons of life come and go like seasons of the year. I am still waiting for my “writing season” to return. God will bring it to you in His time, just as He brings us the seasons of the year. Enjoy the snow and this season! Love, Sylvia
I was so elegantly touched by your words. Today I missed your granny (and my mom) more than usual. I miss Marianna. Then I realized that Mari has been in heaven spending time with her great granny. I know mom and Mari are best friends.
I am so thankful that we have the assurance as Christians that we will meet again in heaven one day. We will be reunited again with those we love.
I am proud of you. Your journey from Mari’s birth to her death until now was arduous and full of many circuitous roads through your grief and growth as a person. You are truly an amazing woman who is godly and touches the lives of those around you.
It is my prayer and hope that your rough times are ones that bring you closer to God and as I see your faith grow, I know God is using you for His perfect purpose. God teaches us the most at our worst times in life.
Your courage and bravery through all your tragedy is uplifting and inspiring. Your abiding faith will bring you comfort always. It is through your eyes that I am reminded of the joy of walking with God and following Him.
I love you Kristena and appreciate you more. I am proud of you. Love you, mom
Kristena Tunstall says
Thank you, Mom. I am blessed to have you as a mom and have you in my life.
Kristena Tunstall says
Sylvia, You have always been such an amazing person in my life and always so inspirational and supportive. Thank you for everything you do to uplift us and your continued prayers. They are always welcome and appreciated. I miss ya lots and hope we can see each other soon. Love, Kristena
Deirdre Lockhart says
Thinking about Mari. Thought I’d say hi and let you know my heart and prayers are with you these days. Hugs.
Kristena Tunstall says
Thank you. I think Mari is never too far from my mind. As I sit here typing this, the snow is falling adding more to our wintry wonderland here in Alaska. I wonder how much fun she would have had if she were still alive. Knowing Mari she’d be flapping her little wings and having lots of fun.
Sorry I didn’t respond before now. Motivation for writing has been rough for me for awhile now. I wish I’d get out of my funk.