“Try it, you’ll like it!” Whoever first uttered this phrase never had a plate of stinky cheese, olives and salami forced upon them in childhood, chased with a wash down of Coke from a glass bottle in some rite of passage and nod to my Italian heritage. I still feel the clink against my front teeth, acid burn and watery eyes from the swish pooling between my tongue and palette. 

“Try it, you’ll like it!” The phrase served me well most times before 1 am. After then, something decadent and magical happens; at least in your 20’s.  Next, you have kids and pray your gene pool is one of deep greatness. 

“Try it, you’ll like it!,” is what I told my 50 year old self as I walked the grey painted steps to a yoga studio. 

“Try it, you’ll like it!,” echoes like a drumbeat in my spirit as I roll over in bed, waiting for my aching sorrow to unpin me from the sheets. Try getting up, try moving through inertia of impending time when I’ll no longer watch a life of solid faith that is my mother in law’s. She tells me that all her goals are met here on Earth. With each visit, I see her reach for the prize from her recliner – heaven bound but so deeply rooted in love, she’s still here. 

“Try it, you’ll like it, Kris. Try on the beauty and gift of this day and bring your part to it.” My mother in love’s final goal was family pictures. I reached in the sea of pink called my closet and my hand tugged at a yellowed belt snug on an elastic loop. Found it,! The flowered dress I wore 24 years ago on a rainy, summer day. The first time I rang the front doorbell of Mrs. Stewart’s home and the first and only time I called her Mrs. Stewart. 

24 years ago and meeting my future, sister-in-law, Sonja whose letter of forgiveness sparked Compassion That Compels

Smiling through the tears as she remembers the dress and says, “Kristianne, it’s the dress you wore when the wind, rain and Holy Spirit blew you in.” Twenty-four years of loving a woman who will always be my mother in love. 

With light filtering through tall magnolias and oak trees throwing shadows across the backyard deck, her family, her legacy came together for 5 generations of God’s sweetness to be family pictures. Her wish was to see the framed family picture and she wouldn’t look at it until it was placed in her hands. Those hands that planted the seeds of faith and will forever be felt together with her best hug squeezes. 

“Well done, my good and faithful servant”

And in this life, grief forces you to try because you have no choice. Life goes on and will without her, but I don’t have to like it. I only have to try. https://www.riemannfamily.com/obituary/Mildred-Stewart

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