when i got home from the wedding i shot this past weekend, there was a box sitting on the kitchen countertop. i asked josh if he knew what it was, and he said, "yes, your mom asked me to give it to you but she said you probably shouldn't open it tonight. i think she knew you'd be tired from shooting the whole day and she didn't want you to get upset."
the wheels immediately began whirling in my mind trying to figure out what could be tucked inside that brown box, but as my mom had predicted, the nonstop action of the day was catching up with me and the wheels began slowing to a crawl, eventually stopping as i finally hit the hay. the next morning, i got up early to get the kids and me ready for church. my plan was working perfectly...i was showered, blown dry, and putting my mascara on when the first little foot came pit-pattering into my room. we all came downstairs, i got the kids' breakfast going, and then i set my sights on the box. josh serves in a homeless ministry downtown on sunday mornings so he wasn't home yet, but i couldn't wait any longer so i grabbed the box, pulled off the tape, and lifted out one of the most precious gifts i've ever received...
here's what you're looking at: my mom cross-stitched every single part of this gorgeous pillow using colors, animals, and scenery that she thought would mean something special to judah. and the second i saw her gift, it started. it wasn't a gradual build-up of tears or an easy entrance into weeping. no, it was a complete, immediate, and total come-apart that only got worse as my fingers gently moved across the beautiful stitches that she worked months to complete.
i ran to the phone, dialed her number as quickly as i could, and tried to tell her through my sobs how much her gift of love meant to me. unfortunately, she got going as well and told me with a pitiful, cracking voice that she had originally begun the pillow with the thought that he could snuggle with it on the plane on his way home, but when he passed away, she redesigned the plan for the middle section and sent it to me as a gift of remembrance for our son.
mom, there are no words to describe how much i love this precious gift. it means the world to know that you invested so much of your time and heart into creating something so perfect (both for judah's life and for his death). i love you dearly, and i'm so thankful for an amazing mom like you.
even if you did make me ugly-cry just after i finished my makeup. ;-)
"the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away.
blessed be the name of the LORD."