He Knows Her, I Made Sure of It

June 4, 2020

I watch from afar as he waddles over to the cabinet. He just turned two and still has that quirky little toddler walk. He opens the drawer where a special book stays. It’s the book of my mother. A book with pictures and quotes and love. It was a gift at her funeral. A gift that we treasure. One we look at often. 

He grabs the book with his chunky little hands and heads to the couch. In the softest voice, I hear him whisper, “Memere”. It is our family’s word for grandmother. It knocks the wind out of me. I’m both proud and heartbroken. He knows her name. He knows her. Even though the harsh reality is that she died before he was born.

He slowly sits down, flips through the pages, and heads to the cabinet to put it back. I pause. I pay attention. I watch with intent and love. His sweet little “Memere” has me in a complex mixture of emotion. A moment that brings beautiful perspective.

He knows her.

They never met, but he knows her. I made sure of it. 

He knows her face. He knows her name. He knows her beauty. 

He knows because I prioritized keeping her presence alive and appreciated. I prioritized saying her name. I kept telling stories, even when it hurt. 

When someone is taken from us, it’s our job to never let their love and influence fade. It’s our job to honor them, to remember them, and to share their story. As a mother, it is my responsibility to influence my children with light, love, and brilliance. There is no better way to do that than with the story of my mother. All that she was, and all that she continues to be, through us. 

She is gone, but her influence does not end.

She is gone, but her love is not.

He knows her. I made sure of it, and is the best teaching I’ve ever done. 

I taught a lesson on life, faith and grace.

I taught a lesson on loss, grief and influence.

I taught a lesson on honor, beauty, and hope.

I taught a lesson on the power of effortless and never ending love. 

I taught a lesson about my mother and it was the best lesson I’ve ever taught. 

He knows her. 

Not the way I planned, or wanted, but he knows her and that is success. It is a gift. It’s proof her legacy continues to expand and grow, even after she has left this earth. 

May the lives of your lost loved ones be taught and remembered in beautiful ways. 

xox, Chels

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Chelsea Ohlemiller

Chelsea Ohlemiller

A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.

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