I have been thinking a lot about stories lately. Mostly of the personal kind. I think I heard someone say that this postmodern era is defined by stories and post modern people really identify with things told in a narrative fashion. I really don't think it is something only common with postmodernism. It is common with all humanity across all cultures and all time. That is why there is folk tales in all cultures, bedtime stories we tell our children, libraries full of books, and people watching the 11:00 news. We want to hear stories. We want to know other peoples stories.
My mom died June 30. For the past few years I have been trying to figure out her story. On her death certificate the cause of death was stated as kidney failure. It's never that simple. I would say the cause of death was alcohol, but it is not that simple either. She died a long painful death and a short peaceful one. I think there was a part of her that was dying since she was a teenager. Dying for attention, dying to be a star, dying for meaning to her life. She once told me she started getting drunk when she was 16. I think the last time was a few months ago when she almost got evicted from her assisted living home.
I was reading The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis this past week to my family. In chapter 11 Aslan revealed himself to Shasta and Shasta begins asking questions about himself and things that have happened in his life. Aslan answers him. When Shasta begins asking questions about his travelling companion Aravis, Aslan replies; "Child,..... I am telling you your story, not hers. I tell no one any story but their own."
This resonated in me about my mom's story. I will never fully know her story. I know some of her story, mostly the parts that have affected my own story. But I will not know her own story. The one God wrote for her.
I believe that she is in Heaven, dying no longer, fully alive and worshiping our King. While she was living I struggled with whether or not she was saved. Conversations before her death lead me to believe that she knew Jesus as her savior. I struggle with answers to questions about her addictions and why she continued in them even though they brought so much pain. Was the pain of sobriety so much worse? I won't ever have that answer because it is not my story.
I have come to realise that loving Jesus and living the story that He is writing for me is all that I can do. I can appreciate, grieve with, laugh with others stories, but I can not know them or live them.
I will miss my mom. I will miss the times we had together and the times we didn't
have because of her drinking. But I have the hope of seeing her again. Fully healed of pain and worshiping Christ forever.