When times were tough, she would say, “He didn’t bring you this far to leave you!” Depending on the circumstance, it was exclaimed with joy or stated somberly. But it was one of my mother’s enduring battle cries that was a motto of endurance, to keep pressing forward. Her voice and these words have been ringing through my head.
Another thing she often said was how elephants never forget. Elephants were her favorite animals, and she collected figurines of them, and I continue to collect them to honor her and to never forget.
Ma keeps showing up, her words and the elephants. When my son had a procedure done at a local hospital, he was in the elephant room, which we saw as a sign that she was watching over us, over him.
Earlier this week, son went to daycare for the first time. I fully expected to be a bundle of tears when we dropped him off, but I wasn’t. His teachers at the daycare sent us pictures and updates throughout the day. After we got home, I was looking at one of those pictures closely and noticed something: a painting of an elephant majestically looking over our son as he drew at a table. And here is were the tears came. Ma had shown up again for her grandson.
On this sixteenth anniversary of her death (August 31, 2022), I am choosing to celebrate how she shows up. God didn’t bring me this far to leave me, something I hope I never forget.