On Feeling Tender

I always feel extra tender this time of year. Like the wind could bring tears to my eyes.

Two weeks ago now my mom would have turned 60 and three days from now my Miss E turns 8.

It’s this strange pull between sad and happy, happy and sad.

Nine years ago now, nearly to the day, I remember talking to my mom while making coffee cake in my kitchen. H was running amok and another baby wasn’t really on my mind. She was sick and I knew it but I liked to pretend she wasn’t. I liked to believe in miracles and that the prayers we were sending up were working.

I mean, do you know my dad? A hardworking man of faith. His Bible spread across the table each morning while he ate breakfast and so many prayers sent up on all of our behalf. But once my mom got sick, so many prayers for her. “We serve a God of miracles,” he told me when I sat at the ball field and he told me it was terminal.

But then, she died.

For several days before she died, she was gone and it was terrible. I wish those days on no one. She was here but she wasn’t.

I remember the night of December 11. I was scared to go to bed because I thought she would die and then I awoke on December 12 and she was still here. And I went to bed December 12 so very exhausted and awoke to the phone and the news that she was gone.

Grief is so strange because I look back and those days are both so fuzzy, yet so clear.

I don’t think I realized it then but I had lost quite a bit of faith. I remember reading a blog about a friend’s father being ill and becoming well and I was mad about the unfairness of it all.

I remember bargaining with God as though to say I would have given you this one, but not that one. Like, what?

And then I was pregnant with E. Some of you have been reading this little space on the internet since she was called baby Beep Beep.

And it was hard and I was so sick and she tried to come so early.

And then three hundred and fifty five days after I lost my mom and I’d seemingly lost my faith, I almost lost my baby. As they rushed us to the OR and told J and I they’d lost her heartbeat, I remember “praying” a secret angry prayer, that this was it. You take this one, God, and it’s over. Because that’s the way it works, you know?

But her heartbeat came back at the last possible moment, no emergency c-section took place and instead, with no time for drugs or anything, she came into the world dramatically but full of peace.

She is joy, she is peace, she brought healing to my broken heart. She gave me faith and has made me so utterly happy. evie1

I am always tender though this time of year because I only wish she’d have met her Grandma Nan here on earth. I am so very happy. Overwhelmingly so. But I will always be a little bit sad, too for what could have and should have been.


  1. I always think of you at this time of year. Sending you so much love.

  2. Samara –
    I didn’t know your Mom, but there is one thing I know for sure. You are the kind of woman and Mom that your Mom would have wanted you to be. Thinking of you my friend as you ride the waves of joy and sadness.

  3. Be at peace, it’s a bittersweet time of year for myself and Dilma Teresa with the loss of our mates. Time and family, and God brings that healing and joy day to day. Thank you for your post. Love you Dadio

  4. You always make me feel the feelings. I ride the same ups and downs, Samara, as any child who lost a parent too soon and so unfairly. I’m so glad you are able to look at E and see the joy and goodness she brings each day. Because she does. Life is so hard sometimes. Can I share with you some words that comfort me time and time again? I’m sure you know it, but it’s oh, so true:


    God hath not promised skies always blue,
    Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
    God hath not promised sun without rain,
    Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

    But God hath promised strength for the day,
    Rest for the labor, light for the way,
    Grace for the trials, help from above,
    Unfailing sympathy, undying love


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