Snow in April

Snow is falling and the sky is gray, hard to believe its April. I stand outside in the cold letting the snow fall on my face hoping somehow it’ll wake me up from the nightmare I am living. I want to breathe, but I can’t seem to remember how. A single tear escapes my eye. No. No, if I cry it makes the nightmare real. Somebody talk to me… anybody. My husband holds my hand and opens the door. I walk inside. There is faint organ music playing in the background, gloomy and depressing. I hate it here. I want to leave, but instead I walk into the small room where the rest of my family is. I smile. I am brave. I look straight ahead and walk. I walk forward and I see my mom. I go to her and rub my hand to her cheek and smile at her. I wonder if she is proud of me. I wonder if she knows how much I love her.

My little nephew suddenly runs up to her and starts patting her shoulder, “Grandma, Grandma wake up” The world around me starts to crumble. I feel something inside of me waking up, but I don’t want to wake it up…I feel it trying to break free from my control. People start to arrive. Good. I have it under control again. I talk to people. I can’t get over how many people are here. It’s so nice. I smile I even laugh. Suddenly, we are ushered away into another room and we are being lined up. It feels like a wedding. We come back out to where my mom is waiting for us to take her into the sanctuary. I walk forward. Oh no. Oh no, they didn’t. What did they do? Why? Why? Why? They closed her in the box. She won’t be able to breathe in there!!! I move forward I want to stop this from happening, but it’s starting to crack. No. I can’t breathe it hurts to bad, nothing has ever hurt so bad. My heart feels as if it’s been pierced by a scalding hot knife.

Someone screams. It’s the most agonizing scream I’ve ever heard…it’s pitiful and full of mourning, it’s my voice—I am screaming. My mom is gone. My beautiful mom, my best friend, my safe place. My mom is gone. I am empty. I am broken. I fall to the ground.


The Prodigal Daughter By Laura Kay

One Saturday afternoon, I had spent the day shopping with my mom. She had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. We were all dealing with it, but trying to live normal and believe she would be just fine. It had been caught early, she was in good health, and had very good health coverage. We were on our way home and had been talking about what we were each planning on making for dinner. I mentioned we were going to be visiting a church the next day. Aaron, my husband, had been there a number of times and wanted me and the kids to join him. I was surprised when she perked up, “Oh, ya know your dad and I have been talking about going to church, too. He wants to go to the Windsor Heights one. Why don’t you go there with us tomorrow?” she asked. I’ll be honest and say I was surprised. My parents had never been regular church goers growing up. They had for a short while, and then that seemed to be it.

“I don’t think so, mom. Aaron has been visiting with this church for a few weeks and really likes it. I can’t exactly tell him no we are going somewhere else.” I felt bad. I honestly loved the idea of going to church with my parents. They were going to be going to the church we had gone to years before for a short while and I’d always liked it there. I could tell she was disappointed. She was quiet for a minute and looked down towards her feet.

“It would just make it easier if you were with me” she looked up at me, tilted her head. She adjusted herself and looked out the window, “what is everyone going to think of me going to church? As soon as they know I have cancer I’ll be on display…they’ll think that’s the only reason I’m going.” I told her it didn’t matter. She explained how this had been something her and my dad had been talking about for some time, before she found out she had cancer. They had planned on going when they got home the following Sunday from vacation, but they had learned she had cancer instead. She clearly felt uneasy about going to church now that she had cancer, but then admitted something even more, “will God think it’s the only reason I’m going?” She sat there… “I don’t think I can go.”

I knew the answer! Of course not! I told her, he knows what’s in your heart. She was not convinced. My mom always seemed scared of fully committing to the idea of God, of His love. I felt like I so badly wanted to say or do the right thing. I knew going to church with her would help relax her, but I knew my husband wanted to go to this other church. Then it hit me…

My oldest son, Zack was having some problems in elementary school. We met with the school psychologist who let us know she felt we were good parents, “the type who takes their children to museums.” As soon as my husband and I left the meeting, we looked at each other and both said we should take the kids to a museum. The following weekend we did just that.

The kids had loved The Children’s Museum and we both wondered why we had not gone sooner. Just outside the museum was a small art museum. Well, we wanted to be good parents, so we should take them there too. It was just one large room, dark and cool with track lighting being used to display the different pieces and paintings. As we walked through the small gallery, I noticed everything had a similar theme playing out. I pointed it out to my husband. He nodded and said, “yes, it’s an exhibit for The Prodigal Son.” I told him I didn’t know the story. He was surprised. He went on a told me the story of The Prodigal Son, as we walked through the gallery. The kids were quiet, listening too. The artwork around me seemed to come alive as I know understood the story they were telling me. We left the museum having really enjoyed ourselves.

I looked at my mother and told her the story of The Prodigal Son, explaining even if she was going to church because of cancer He didn’t care. He only wanted her to come to Him. We drove and talked about the story and how it related to her situation. She still felt torn, but I could see she was feeling more at ease with going to church.

At the time, I remember thinking what perfect timing. How we had been going through all these struggles with our son and how one small off handed remark pushed us to go to the museum. This trip would teach me a story, a story my mother would need to hear. A story my mother would hold onto as she went to church—a church that would become her family. A church family we would all come to need and rely on. It was perfect timing, it was God’s intervention.

Sometimes in our lives all we see is the pain and the heartache of our situation, I remember feeling so stressed about Zack and school. And it was because of this painful situation, I was able to share with my mom. Because of this story, she went to church and allowed herself to be loved, and she asked God into her heart. A year later, my beautiful mother died to this world. I know she will not perish but have everlasting life. I know in my heart, God has a reason for me to write this story down. I know there are no coincidences, but just His perfect timing. Trust in Him even in your bleakest moments…He is there.


New Blog

I've been writing my book review blog for over a year now. I absolutely love it. The truth is, is I started it with the idea it would get me writing more. It has, but not like I thought. I spend my time writing about what other people are writing, which isn't all bad! I just want to press myself--see what my voice sounds like.

This blog is my take two. I will be writing here about stuff other than books. Ok, I'm sure I'll mention books here too! I just wanted to say Hi and hope you will be a part of my new journey!

Laura Kay