Game Face
April 25, 2019

I went to the movies tonight with my youngest son, Weston, his dad, step-mom, siblings, and his best friend, Derrick.  It was a “family” event, and although I don’t know if Hagen would have gone with us, I missed him.  After the first preview I had to put my game face on because they ALL reminded me of him in some way.  Weston’s little sister bounced back and forth between sitting by me and sitting with her momma, but for most of the movie there was an empty seat next to me.

Game. Face.

It was a great movie that ended with a beautiful funeral scene and a dialogue between an “uncle” and a young child who had lost her dad.

Game. Face.

As the credits rolled and we waited for our turn to get up I checked my texts.  My sweet sister had texted me that she was listening to one of Hagen’s favorite songs and could almost hear him singing it.


Under no circumstances was I going to allow myself to break for fear of ruining everyone’s night, especially Weston’s.  But let me tell you - once I was in that car by myself, three and a half hours of game face turned into the ugliest cry face you have ever seen.  Just ugly. Thank God it was dark outside or the people in the cars next to me would have probably thought someone had died...but wait...they did.

That’s the thing about living after you’ve lost someone.  They’re still gone, and you cannot predict when that loss is going to hit you.  Don’t get me wrong, I had a good time and I enjoyed watching Weston react to the movie.  I laughed at the funny parts and loved the action of the battle scenes, but sitting in that movie theater was hard.

I know where Hagen is.  I haven’t lost him.  I’m still his mom.  He’s still my son.  He just isn’t here with me, and I have to learn how to be his mom without him here needing me to be his mom.  THAT is my greatest challenge.  How do you go from being hands on 24/7 for 22 years to not being needed at all? 

One day at a time. 

Hagen isn’t in need of anything.  He is with his Father and nothing I have to offer him here could compare to what he has there.  I miss him but I wouldn’t wish him back to the life he had here.  Instead, I will continue to put on the best game face I can as I learn how to live with a child in heaven.  And on the days I can’t, I won’t.  I know the day is coming when I won’t need to.

I don’t share this for pity or condolences.  That’s not my purpose at all.  There are those out there that have their best game face on daily fighting to live through the loss of a loved one, or a relationship or a dream or a job.  Tonight, I had mine on because I miss my son, but tomorrow your spouse, child, co-worker, or the lady at the bank may have on theirs.  Be kind. Be considerate.  Be compassionate.  We are all fighting a battle in some way or another and you never know when the Lord is going to use YOU to show His love to someone.

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