Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

I woke suddenly in the wee hours of the morning, unsure if it was the pounding thunder that had startled me awake or the pounding of my heart.

I sat up, desperate to escape the darkness as scenes from my dream flashed before me.

I’d dreamt that my mom had died, and upon waking, felt the crushing blow of emptiness seep into my consciousness and take over my entire being.

And the dream wasn’t even the scariest part. It was the fact that I knew one day, without a doubt, it would become a reality. Had it already? I wondered as I listened to my sleeping husband breathe, struggling to find breath of my own.

Panic swallowed me, as I considered the possibility that my mom had already died—that perhaps the dream was some sort of supernatural alert.

For the next four hours, I tossed and turned, my mind spinning frightening tales of my mother’s death while I frantically waited for dawn to arrive.

I made the phone call at a still-too-early time of day, fearing that the time had come when a call to my parents would go unanswered for the final time. But the concerned voice of a mother greeted me, and I finally caught my breath.

This isn’t the first time panic over the well-being of my parents has consumed me.

These days, almost any time my call goes unanswered, my mind unravels, along with my heart.

I’m of the age where losing a parent is not uncommon, and I’m not ready to say goodbye to mine.

When I call and they don’t answer, I worry.

When they say they are going to call, but don’t, I worry.

When one does call, I worry, afraid that it’s the phone call to inform me of the other’s death.

When they are late, I worry.

When they are traveling, working, or sleeping, I worry. When they do something, I worry. When they do nothing, I worry.

Have they been in a car accident? Are they sick? Has one had a heart attack? Will they wake from their sleep? Are they safe? 

Are they alive?

My parents are in good health by all accounts, and thankfully they’ve had the opportunity to age. To watch their children reach adulthood and get to know their grandchildren.

But the aging process can only last so long, and I fear they are reaching the end of it. As time has passed and I’ve witnessed many friends endure the loss of one or both parents, I can’t help but consider that I, too, will one day be met with the death of mine. The loss of the only people who have known me since birth, the only people I’ve known my entire life. They are the only people who have always been there.

But as I, too, have aged I’ve realized there is no such thing as always, for everything must come to an end.

So for now, I thank God for another day in which my parents walk this earth and pray for a few more. 

I hope our remaining time together will equal more than a few days—if I’m lucky we’ll still have a few more years.

And if not, I’ll be grateful that we ever had any time at all.

You may also like:

What It’s Like to Love a Motherless Daughter

To Those Who Know the Bitter Hurt of Losing a Parent

When a Parent Dies, Part of Your Heart Will Always Be Broken

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Jenny Albers

Jenny Albers is a wife, mother, and writer.  She is the author of Courageously Expecting, a book that empathizes with and empowers women who are pregnant after loss. You can find Jenny on her blog, where she writes about pregnancy loss, motherhood, and faith. She never pretends to know it all, but rather seeks to encourage others with real (and not always pretty) stories of the hard, heart, and humorous parts of life. She's a work in progress, and while never all-knowing, she's (by the grace of God) always growing. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

I Loved You to the End

In: Grief, Living
Dog on outdoor chair, color photo

As your time on this earth came close to the end, I pondered if I had given you the best life. I pondered if more treatment would be beneficial or harmful. I pondered if you knew how much you were loved and cherished As the day to say goodbye grew closer, I thought about all the good times we had. I remembered how much you loved to travel. I remembered how many times you were there for me in my times of darkness. You would just lay right next to me on the days I could not get out of...

Keep Reading

I Hate What the Drugs Have Done but I Love You

In: Grief, Living
Black and white image of woman sitting on floor looking away with arms covering her face

Sister, we haven’t talked in a while. We both know the reason why. Yet again, you had a choice between your family and drugs, and you chose the latter. I want you to know I still don’t hate you. What I do hate is the drugs you always seem to go back to once things get too hard for you. RELATED: Love the Addict So Hard it Hurts Speaking of hard, I won’t sugarcoat the fact that being around you when you’re actively using is so hard. Your anger, your manipulation, and your deceit are too much for me (or anyone around you) to...

Keep Reading

Giving Voice to the Babies We Bury

In: Grief, Loss
Woman looking up to the sky, silhouette at sunset

In the 1940s, between my grandmother’s fourth child and my father, she experienced the premature birth of a baby. Family history doesn’t say how far along she was, just that my grandfather buried the baby in the basement of the house I would later grow up in. This was never something I heard my grandmother talk about, and it was a shock to most of us when we read her history. However, I think it’s indicative of what women for generations have done. We have buried our grief and not talked about the losses we have experienced in losing children through...

Keep Reading

I Asked the Questions and Mother Had the Answers. Now What?

In: Grief, Living, Loss
Older woman smiling at wedding table, black-and-white photo

No one is really ever prepared for loss. Moreover, there is no tutorial on all that comes with it. Whether you’ve lost an earring, a job, a relationship, your mind, or a relative, there is one common truth to loss. Whatever you may have lost . . . is gone. While I was pregnant with my oldest son, my mother would rub my belly with her trembling hands and answer all my questions. She had all the answers, and I listened to every single one of them. This deviated from the norm in our relationship. My mother was a stern...

Keep Reading

A Friend Gone Too Soon Leaves a Hole in Your Heart

In: Friendship, Grief, Loss
Two women hugging, color older photo

The last living memory I have of my best friend before she died was centered around a Scrabble board. One letter at a time, we searched for those seven letters that would bring us victory. Placing our last words to each other, tallying up points we didn’t know the meaning of at the time. Sharing laughter we didn’t know we’d never share again. Back in those days, we didn’t have Instagram or Facebook or Snapchat or whatever other things teenagers sneak onto their phones to capture the moments. So the memory is a bit hazy. Not because it was way...

Keep Reading

Grief Lingers in Hospital Walls

In: Grief, Loss
Hospital hallway

We drive by a hospital. It’s not the one my mother was in, but it still brings the same sting and reminders. It brings pain just looking in the windows, knowing what’s inside. Sickness. Death. Dying. Probably other things too, but my mind doesn’t know those. It knows the devastation of test results, and surgeries, and cancer—my mother’s cancer. It only took 10 seconds to pass that hospital as we drove on the interstate, but the feeling of that view is still sitting with me, just like grief has done since the moment my mother passed. RELATED: The Day She Dies It’s ironic...

Keep Reading

I Hope Heaven Looks like 3128 Harper Road

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Marriage
Husband and wife, posed older color photo

Jeannine Ann Eddings Morris grew up in western Kentucky as the oldest daughter of hard-working parents, who both worked at the Merritt Clothing factory. Jeannine was the oldest of 23 grandchildren who proudly belonged to John B. and Celeste Hardeman. John B. was a well-known preacher who traveled all over the South to share the gospel. Life as a child was as humble as one might expect for the 1940s. Jeannine was the oldest of four children, spanning a 13-year age range. To hear her talk, her childhood and teenage memories consisted of mostly reading every book she could find...

Keep Reading

I Didn’t Know Anxiety until I Knew Grief

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Motherhood
Woman crouched on ground by waterfront

If you had known me for the first 45 years of my life, you would say I was an extrovert. I loved going places, meeting new people, and striking up conversations with all ages. I talk a lot, often sharing too much in the way of being transparent. It’s been said that I have never met a stranger. Yes, I will admit, I am that woman you see in the grocery store line starting up conversations with the people around me. A few years ago, my life started changing, and I struggled with becoming introverted. Though I had once loved...

Keep Reading

Mom Showed Me What It Means to Be a Caregiver

In: Grief, Grown Children, Loss
Grown woman with her mother smiling, color photo

My mother is an extraordinary woman. She inspires me to be a better person. She has spent seven years selflessly caring for my father after a horrific battle with Stage IV tongue cancer. During this time she would laugh with me, cry with me, and express her fears and frustrations with me. My mother is the definition of strength and courage while surrounded by heartbreak and human suffering. During the time my mother was taking care of my father she had her own health issues. Her colon perforated in 2012 making her critically ill. It’s nothing short of a miracle...

Keep Reading

Mom May Never See Our Home, but Her Love Lives Here

In: Grief, Loss
Cute and quaint house, color photo

To the average person, it was a typical Wisconsin Friday in October—wet, dreary, and a bit nippy. To my wife and me, it was a day of both elation and sadness. We put in an offer on a house we both loved. My wife spotted it a few days beforehand; we toured it alongside a couple of other options, and just knew it was the one. And we did it without our mothers. Her mother died seven and a half years before. At the end of October was the three-year anniversary of my mother’s death. There’s something to be said...

Keep Reading