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Grief can cloud your vision when you least expect it.

And toddlers can teach you lessons when you need them the most.

My mother, my best friend, Jeannette Harbin Townsend, was killed in a head-on collision two weeks ago.

Yesterday marked the two-week anniversary of her death. Some mornings it is still hard to believe she isn’t calling me on my way to work or dropping the twins off at daycare.

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Honestly, there have been mornings when I have accidentally tried to call her cell phone to tell her something excited.

And then, well, reality hitMomma is gone.

She is no longer visible on earth where I can see her, hear her, or even feel her touch.

I was crying a mountain of tears yesterday morning and voicing my wish that Heaven had visiting hours or FaceTime.

Oh, what I would do to hear my momma’s voice again, feel her arms wrapped around me, or just read one of her talk-text messages that always distorted her message and made me laugh.

Oh, what I would do to hear her say I love you Kelly just one more time in real-time.

Yes, I have voice messages and texts saved on my phone to replay over and over.

I just miss her ability to have a daily conversation.

While I was having my moment of grief, the twins must have been listening intently. Samuel and Noah, my 3-year-old twins, don’t really understand where Grandma is or what happened.

But at the right moment yesterday, the exact second when I needed to hear it, when I was moaning on and on about missing my momma, Noah chanted, ”Mom . . . Mommie . . . MOOOOOOOOOM!”

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He kept saying it until I gathered my emotions and said, “What Noah?”

With a grin on his face, he pointed to his heart and then up to the sky and said, “Mom, Grandma in your heart and in the sky.”

Smack in the face.

Yes, my 3-year-old made me open my eyes. He made me see my momma. No, she isn’t in front of me where I and others can see. No, I can’t feel or touch her anymore physically.

But yes, my mommajust like Noah saidis still living in my heart. All I have to do is look up and see.

Her memories, her love, her lessons will always live within me.

And I just pray, I just hope, I pass those memories, those lessons, her unconditional love down to the little eyes who can still see me.

Kelly Jo Wheeler

Kelly Jo Wheeler, of Good Hope, Alabama. I am the mother of 3-year-old twins and the wife of an amazing pastor. I love working with senior adults and sharing their stories with the world. 

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