Today we have the honor of sharing a guest post written by our friend Gia Wallace.
My youngest is a New Year’s baby (almost). Sam the man, as he’s called, was born on January 2nd, five years ago. As he and I discussed this milestone, he asked me, “Are you sad you have ‘none’ babies anymore?”. As if the calendar changing from 17 to 18 wasn’t enough to remind me, my now five year old was reminding me too: time never stops marching on.
I’ve never been one to fear aging. I’ve always been an old soul, so for me aging was like taking steps to get closer to who I am. Staying in on a Saturday night? Yes, please! Watching HGTV instead of MTV? You had me at shiplap. So I was a bit surprised when 2017 brought about a new insecurity of getting old. I had never really worried about it much before. But now, with my gray hairs reflected in the mirror, it suddenly began to sting. And as I watched 2018 march on in, I began to dread it. So I decided to spend a lot of time reflecting why I’m suddenly sad for the new year. Why does getting older now seem like a necessary evil? And I found my answer in my Mom.
My Mom died very suddenly when I was 17. She died of Bacterial Meningitis, and it was a mere 12 hours from start of symptoms to death. To say we were shocked doesn’t quite capture it. I went to bed a kid and woke up an adult without a mother. She was only 45. That’s me in a hop, skip, and a jump. 2018 marks 16 years since we lost her. And 2019? Well, that marks 17 years. Which means from that point on, I will have spent more of my life without my Mom than with her. This thought nauseates me. Along with the fact that my memories of her are fading.
My Mom drove a corvette when I was in high school. She loved coming to pick me up from school with the top down, being the cool mom she was. She was very witty and could put you in your place if needed. She was my alarm clock until the day she died, somehow putting up with my pleas for “five more minutes”, pleas that I don’t put up with when it comes to my own kids. She was warm and wonderful, she made the most delicious homemade biscuits, and was simply the best mom. These things I remember. But the details? They’re a bit fuzzy. My husband sweetly asked me one day to tell him a funny story about her. And I was blank. I had a few that I had told him before, but that was it. All gone. And I know that it’ll get worse. Sometimes it feels like with each passing year, I lose her all over again as the memories slowly slip away. I realized my hesitation towards the new year isn’t as much about getting old as it is what you leave behind. This time in my life, my kids at these ages, my relationships at this point, who I am right now, all soon to be memories. And losing my Mom so long ago taught me that memories fade. The saying goes “Time heals all wounds”. Time may be a healer, but he’s also a thief.
So that’s where I am, begrudgingly ringing in 2018. It’s not that I’m not excited for the future. I am. Between my family, my job, getting to build a new house, etc, there is a lot to look forward to. I just hate that tomorrow is at the expense of today. That each step forward is a step further away. It’s not that I’ll be more gray tomorrow, but that I’ll be a little less brunette. And that Sam the man will never again be Sam the baby. And that I’ll be one day further from my Mom, one more memory forgotten. So I asked Father what to do, and He encouraged me to write this. For all you out there not quite ready to let go of 2017. For those of you also hurting because you have “none babies”, or new wrinkles and gray hairs, or another day without someone you love. Let’s mourn what’s gone together, thankful for the healing found in Jesus, and faithful that He will help us embrace tomorrow as it becomes today. Because trust me, time is going to march on either way.
Gia is married to Glynn, and mom to Mac, Rose, and Sam. She is a generous and loyal friend, the kind you want in your corner. She’s also an insanely talented calligrapher. You can check out her work here.
If you have any thoughts you’d like to share with Gia after reading this, feel free to leave them in the comments or email us so we can pass it along to her.