My family has a long line of daughters relying on mothers. I have two brothers, my mom four brothers, and my beautiful, late Grandmama 2 brothers as well. We were flowers among sturdy oaks and we needed each other.
After being sent home as a healthy, baby girl on December 7, 1985, my mama’s whole world turned upside down three months later. Her sweet peaches would need open heart surgery to fix a congenital heart defect that developed after birth. The sweet peach was me. Now that I am a mama I cannot imagine the worry and stress my parents must have felt; completely out of control…. my life literally in God’s hands. My Grandmama and Grandpapa flew in immediately. As my mom quivered with fright, looking at her new angel girl completely covered in tubes and surgical tape, my Grandmama sat by my mama and whispered, “Imagine Kelsey in a glow of yellow light. This light is God… protecting her when you cannot.”
The doctor’s hands were guided by the Lord and at age 16 years I was completely cleared as having a healthy heart. The repair not even visible anymore it was so flawless. But from that fateful, surgical day in April 1986, my mama has been my rock. Walking with me when anything thing gets rough. When I was 16 years old, I battled depression. My mama never left my side. Searching out whatever medical professionals I needed.
After laboring through the night, my sweet Addelyn was welcomed into the world. With Daddy busy being her protector, all I wanted was my Mama to help me become a mama.
When Addelyn was 3 years old, I was struggling with anorexia. I found myself controlling my food intake to an extreme and exercising non-stop trying to find any sort of control in this crazy thing called motherhood. Again, my mama, walking my daughter, Addelyn, in a stroller while I went to a sports nutritionist, had my back.
In that same time frame I accepted Christ as my Savior, finally surrendering to the fact that He is ultimately in control and my life has never been the same since.
Fast forward to April 2014. Zarra Rebekah entered the world an hour after Christmas 2013. Her water birth was glorious, she was precious and I was finally a mama again after trying for a whole year. But then a dark cloud, an anxious cloud, an obsessive compulsive cloud loomed above. Post-partum depression sucked any joy from every ounce of my body. It was paralyzing. My mama was my warrior. Answering every single panicked call I made to her every day. After hitting rock bottom, my mom met me on the floor of my house and said, “Kelsey, this has been harder for me to watch you go through than open heart surgery and so, remembering what your Grandmama told me during that horrible moment in life, I will tell you the same. You are enveloped in a yellow glow of God’s light. He is protecting you and will see you through.” And He did.
My Grandmama went to the Lord this last April with all five of her children and her dutiful husband at her bedside. As she slowly slipped away they whispered comforting words in her ears. My mother, heartbroken, yet relieved her mama was not in pain any longer, exited the nursing home. The crisp Minnesota air hitting her tear-stained face she stood in shock as a tiny yellow butterfly fluttered in front of her face. It was much too cold for butterflies to appear in April in Minnesota. To this day she will tell you it was my Grandmama angel fluttering away on golden wings to meet her Savior.
This last summer, I was having a particularly rough day. I decided to put Zarra in the running stroller and go run out my woes. Putting one weary foot in front of the other I noticed a shadow frolicking on the ground. Looking above I already knew it was my angel, my yellow butterfly, my Grandmama running along with me through my sorrow. I continue to this day to see my Grandmama in the form of a yellow butterfly especially during moments of motherhood when I need to slow down, moments of motherhood when I need to look to the sky and lean on Jesus, moments when she is happy I am out adventuring with my girls. If there was anything that woman loved the most as a mama it was a good adventure with her five babies.
I dedicate this blog post to my late Grandmama, Marilyn Colby Smith. May I frolic with her on golden wings in heaven some day.