The human psyche is a wonder. Just when a perfectly grown-up lady who is a seasoned traveler thinks she has it all together, she encounters a snapshot of life that is all too familiar, and she weeps. Although grateful for the tender sweetness of the memory, it is just so close. She could reach out and touch a vivid shadow of her past, but she knows it’s not hers to touch, it would be an illusion that faded into oblivion.

It’s not that I haven’t seen middle-aged daughters with their elderly mothers since Mom passed. There have been many that brought a melancholy smile to my face. But, seated next to me on my short ride to Detroit was a diminutive 80-something lady with a recognizable, tired smile. With her was her very doting daughter tending to her every need as a mother would a child. The daughter was cheerful-a cheerful I recognized too-a brave, settled kind of cheerful in the face of inevitable eventualities, just never knowing when.

We exchanged a few air flight pleasantries and then settled into our private worlds. I felt a gentle bump and thought I heard something, so I opened my eyes. Looking into my eyes was this little grandma, smiling and offering me one of her crackers. It was such a precious child-like gesture, and it was just the kind of thing Mama would have done.

I politely smiled, thanked her and had to say “No,” but I wanted to squeeze her. I know it sounds silly but besides it being such a sweet offering, she became my mother reincarnate for a fleeting second. Demurely, I turned my head and silently wept into my napkin.

That one moment brought back the memory of my mother’s final days on earth and my seat of gate-tending beside her.

Sorrow is a strange beast. Just when you think you have it tamed, it rears its ugly head to rip your heart open again.

The Only sweetness I have found in sorrow is the presence of dear Holy Spirit. He is the reality of Heaven living in our hearts and our promise of sweet reunion with loved ones who know Jesus. He is the healing balm rubbed into these broken human hearts and psyches; and He is the Divine Lullaby who puts our hearts to rest.

Thank You, Father, for sweet reminders of your amazing gift–my Mama; and thank You for walking me through the lingering pain, healing me along the way.