The Best Suga…

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You can set your clock by it–it happens literally every Mother’s Day, most Christmases, and thereafter it becomes more sporadic. It’s that moment whereupon having celebrated our family’s Mother’s Day festivities I steal away for a few minutes, pull up an old pic, and allow the tears to flow. It’s that annual moment where I allow the weight of years of memories to crash land on my heart. Mom’s been gone for 23 years now. But on Mother’s Day it feels like she just left this morning. Those tears for years were painful. But now I relish them. For when those tears flow now it’s more of ‘my time’ to be with Mom. It’s always the same–a smile, a laugh over an old memory, and then a weird, kinda painful, but yet pleasant cry. And then there’s the end of it. When I ask Jesus to give Mama some “suga” from me. Mama called her kisses, “Suga” but when she kissed her kids she’d always tell us, “You got the best Suga!” Now poor Cam and Grandy and Andi hear that all day from their Daddy.

Do not mourn for me. That’s not what this post is about. Celebrate with me. Because 23 years ago you couldn’t have told me that the void left after Mama’s passing would be filled. You see, I had the best Mom ever (I know you likely did as well). Spirit-filled. Lover of people. Told you how it is (she was an “8” on the Enneagram before we knew what they were). But knew something about sweetness. And grace. She had the bestest laugh you ever did hear. One of heaven’s joys will be listening to that brilliant laugh bellow out in paradise. Hers was the tastiest spaghetti you ever did taste. Meatballs WITH mushrooms, and if you were good, some tiny slithers of sausages. Mercy. And a hundred one-liners that she knew how to land at precisely the right moment to leave your would-be rebut in the trash can it belonged. Oh she was the best. She was the loudest cackler at our ballgames. The loudest (and craziest) worshipper in our church. The kindest giver in the neighborhood. And the prettiest thing you ever did see. I had a good Mom.

So why not mourn for me? What made Mom ‘great’ was the Savior she witnessed about constantly. She was in LOVE with Jesus so much that she drew us to Him. And when we lost her, that Jesus filled every void. He made all the crooked places straight. And he told me to move forward. He brought me peace over my broken heart. He brought purpose out of the seasons of wilderness. He brought me the best wife a man could ever find. He brought me children who bear Mama’s spark. He brought me a future and a hope. Do not mourn for me.

I write to all of you who are enjoying this Mother’s Day. May smiles rule the day and laughter reign in the night. Happy Mother’s Day!

But I write as well to those who will have their ‘moment’ today just like I did. To the Mama who can’t get pregnant. To the person whose Mama is gone. To the fella whose Mama just wasn’t what she should’ve been. To the sister who grew up as an orphan because Mama died or gave you up. To the lady workin hard to take care of a Mama whose body is there but her mind isn’t. To the guy who ‘just’ lost your Mom. To the Mom whose baby went home before you and you question how you show up now. To the person who has pain today–I bid you to draw from a well springing up to everlasting life for all who dare drink. This Savior will draw near to you and fill the void. He will pull you close and ‘kiss’ you with His presence. Trust me–23 years and counting–Jesus has the best suga.

One thought on “The Best Suga…

  1. Robin Northrup says:

    Ricky I just saw this post and read it. Tears are glowing. I have my mother still here but stood next to my Daddy as he went to his forever home with Jesus 21 years ago next month. I will reread this on Fathers Day as I do the same for my Daddy as you did for your Mama every year. I am a witness that Yes …Jesus does indeed fill that hole in your heart and gives me hope that one day soon I will again see my sweet father’s face and hear his voice once again in praise to the Lord he loves so much.
    Thank you for this honest account of how it is to have a parent missing in the flesh from here…there is something very profound about the death of one who is responsible for your life. This account put in words what I experience every Fathers Day, birthday, Christmas, Easter and some random days for no apparent reason at all.
    -Robin

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