In May, my "little" brother, Russ, and his wife, Deborah, came to Colorado to visit over Mother's Day to honor our 85 year old Mom, and we spent a special week together.
During the week, we talked and laughed and talked and laughed somemore. My husband, Bob, and my brother are very close and they both retired before they turned 60. Over the years, since their retirement, the four of us have had several conversations about retirement, and we all agree that it is important for us to not just take up time, space and air, but to find something that will make a difference and leave some sort of legacy behind, as well as us enjoying the simple pleasures of being blessed to be able to retire.
One day, while Russ and Debbie and I were on our way to Denver, I overheard by husband and brother in the front seat of the car (yes - they ride shot-gun, don't all men?) talking about how easy it seems to be for women to find something to do with their time, and how for them, it is more of a challenge, now that they don't have to show up to work everyday.
At one point, I heard my husband tell my brother that he was truly happy for me, that I co-founded Mothers Like Me and that I am fulfilled and content in my retirement years. After a few seconds of silence, he then said to my brother, "Well, maybe I should just form my own group like Mothers Like Me, and I'll call it "Nobody Like Me" - I'll meet with myself, send memos to myself and focus completely on ME!" The two guys had a good laugh and they began to play off the idea of a life that revolved around the notion that there is "Nobody Like Me" and the four of us found the subsequent discussion hilarious. But, the discussion, though light-hearted and funny, caused me to consider that there just might be some element of a deeper truth in their "playtime," and I began to think about what life might be like, if it was lived as though there is "nobody like me."
Though I was amused by our men's humorous conversation that day, I also realized that they were somewhat serious, as they are both trying to figure out what to do now that they are retired. From that conversation, I made a commitment to pray more specifically that God would help them find new meaning and purpose to their "new normal." Neither of them are selfish or self-absorbed guys, but they are trying to find their way through our "new normal" and this brought that time in our lives, after our son, Kevin, died, when we were also trying to find our "new normal" in response to our loss.
According to God's Word, we are sojouners in this life - just passing through - meant for a measure of adventure, for fellowship and for living life in communion with Him and with one another. For those of us who are living with the loss of a child, I wonder how many of us may be trying to figure out this journey through grief and think that there is "nobody like me." That there is simply "no one who really understands," and that grieving and moving through grief is just "something I have to do on my own, my way."
If you may be thinking that somehow your circumstances are unlike anyone else's, and you doubt that anyone really cares about your feelings, would be willing to embrace something of your personal sorrow, hear stories of your child and/or just "be there" with you and for you, we hope you will think again. Through the years, since Mothers Like Me began in March 2006, we have been privileged to watch brokenhearted moms move through their grief with renewed hope, as they experience acceptance, comfort, hope and encouragement within our Christ-centered community of moms.
Our ministry leadership team is in the process of mapping out our 2013-2014 Season of Comfort with YOU in our hearts and prayers, because there really is "nobody like you" - you ARE special, your child is special, and we care about you and would consider it an absolute blessing to acknowledge your loss, share a measure of love, comfort and encouragement and to just accompany you on your journey through grief until you are ready to go out and "comfort others as you yourself have been comforted."
Visit our website at www.motherslikeme.info and view our upcoming Calendar of Events and Loss Group schedule.
With Faith, Hope and Love,
Angie Green, Director
"Mighty Like A Rose" ministry leadership team (Shelley Forney, Stephanie Whitton, Christy Weeks, Julie Christen and Sharon Spencer)