It’s been almost two weeks now since God called you home. I think it’s safe to say that I’m over the initial shock of it all. Not so easily remedied, though, are some of the deep feelings of regret that I’m still having; mostly for leaving some things undone and unsaid. My relationship with you has always been about openness and transparency. But I’ve failed you to some extent by leaving some things unsaid. Until now, I guess. This is for you.

As I said, I freely admit to having several regrets. For starters, I regret that I selfishly wanted you to stay with us. The thought of living without you being here wasn’t something I was quite ready to cope with. A person as complete as you leaves unfillable voids in my life…and I wasn’t completely prepared to face that reality. So I selfishly fought it. But equally as regrettable, in another sense, I actually WANTED God to take you away.  The thought of you agonizing over each breath and having fingertips as black as coal from all those pin pricks made me want to see it all end. As you can imagine, sitting in front you watching you take your last breaths left my mind in a pretty frenzied state. But now that I’ve had a chance to clear my head a bit, I’m happy in knowing that God’s will prevailed. In that Divine will, your suffering is over and you’re now somewhere in your mansion, probably getting sarcastic about how Peter needs to cut his beard or something. In hindsight, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I also notably regret that I didn’t always view you as a reliable person to lean on and talk to. While I definitely appreciate how – as the matriarch – you were the “rock” of the family, I also had a tendency not to defer to your thinking on particular things. For example, you had a habit of offering commentary laced with non sequiturs…annoying to a person like me who loves to follow logic. It’s the scholar in me, I know. I’m working on that. You also drove me batty with how you used non-biblical quotes in biblical context (i.e. saying stuff like “God will never put more on you than you can bear”). To this day, I was never able to convince you that some of the quotes you used weren’t anywhere in the Bible. LOL!  But at the end, I knew where your heart was. That, to me, is what mattered most.

Finally, I painfully regret that you won’t be there to see me as a husband and a father. After all, you were one of the driving forces in helping me see the world from a different angle. You may not have thought I was listening to you when we discussed love and relationships, but I was. I found…nay, God sent me a wonderful woman, just like you predicted. And I’ll always cling to your words about doing everything I can to be a good man for her. Regardless to how she and I end up (whether we’re happily married one day or hating each other’s guts from across the room), you’ve fed me with more than you know. You and Big Daddy left an indelible mark on me – on ALL of us — by providing a true model of how a husband and a wife should love one another, and how parents should love their offspring, even when those children are out of pocket. You left me a lot to work from. I’m just sorry that you’re not here to see ALL the fruits of your teachings. But in your storied life spanning eight decades, you’ve seen and done enough. You deserve your rest.

Besides all of that, I believe you’re watching me, even at this moment. And in the off chance that you DO miss something (i.e. if they’re showing All My Children in Heaven or something), I’ll fill you in on the details when I see you again. Just save me a seat at the table.

I love you, Big Mama.

– ACL

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