Life unfolds sometimes on a baseball field

Reflections on Summer Solstice

Four years ago I thought the Summer Solstice would always be a day I had to endure and for longer for years to come. You see, I lost my mom four years ago on this day and it seemed so appropriate that it was the longest day for me and that for her, it was the shortest.

I was glad for her for the latter. I was glad to see her united with my father who predeceased her by 4 months and relieved that her long suffering was over. You see, she shared with me that she was ready and that there was no life here on earth without him and that she was praying for God to take her. Although it was hard for me to hear my mom say that, and I grew teary, she asked for no tears and for understanding.

So, we spoke for a while about how she was going about this wanting to die. I invited her to change her prayer. I asked her to flip her request to God and to ask him for help in accepting his time frame for events instead of putting demands on him. It’s a discussion I’ll never forget. I felt honored that she could talk with me like this. We shared some deep discussions of the heart about her concerns, about how she felt she did as a parent to all 6 of us and how she needed to accept that she did the best she could with the skills and circumstances she was given. I was inviting her to let go of her parenting guilts and to bless her life as one where she did the best she could.

The first year was hard when the date crept up on me. I think the anticipation — at least for me — was worse than the actual day. The next year held the same with just a little less sting. The third year offered thanksgiving for our work together to bring her full circle and the opportunity for me to hear her whispers in nature or through songs — especially in church. It seems she knows which ones to inspire the choir to sing just when I need her most.

Yesterday, I woke to a day of hot sun and to reaching out to her in prayer. I asked her to help me lead my young sons and keep them safe and on the right path. My little one had an AllStar baseball game to play and I knew she’d be watching.

The day was long. We got home at half past 10 in the evening. We were surrounded by people supporting my little guy and my family and a cool breeze under the lights. The day was long but not the way I had anticipated it would be all those years ago when she left us. It was long with blue skies, cooler breezes in the evening and new friends to share the journey and bright lights shining on hopeful faces.

I know she and my dad are guiding us. They send whispers at just the right times. I remember that hard talk we had and I remind myself to do the same here in my life. I have to consciously stop trying to run my life and ask for guidance and the courage to accept the design of my Creator. It’s hard still, I’m human, after all. I saw her peace and contentment follow after our chat and it wasn’t too long after that — a few weeks — that I watched her take her last breath. It was amazing to be that close to the divine in the same room and watch as she surrendered it all. It’s a lesson I’m still trying to master myself and am so glad that she heard and modeled for me.

The Summer Solstice holds new meaning for me and proof that life is different, hard sometimes, changing always and joyful, too. The healing is bittersweet and now I have a great picture in my mind of my little man rounding first, doing his best with the skills he has with a group of supporters standing by, including his mom and dad. We lost the game but overall we won. It was a great Solstice and we’re thankful for another turn around the sun.