Saturday, February 28, 2015

One year

For those of you who read me, you may be sick of my posts about my mom. So I'll add a caveat to this one: it's a post about my mom. Writing - it's how I deal. And in dealing, sometimes I strike a chord with others versus irritating them. Sometimes, I even make others feel as if they're not alone in their own feelings. That's the bonus. Mostly, though, it's how I deal. 

I know there are plenty of people who don't have one or more parents here anymore, and they survive just fine - at least on the outside. I'm not sure how they do it - they must be able to cover it better than I can. Or maybe the fact that I don't really have that partner to share sorrows and joys with makes it harder. I'm not sure. I know everyone at some point goes through this and survives. We all survive. But I guess I just didn't realize there would be such a void. Such an emptiness.

Not all the time. But a lot of the time. Still, after a year, Mom, my brain automatically thinks to call you to tell you something good (or bad) that's happened. My heart tells me to talk to you about something I'm struggling with, or to ask for parenting advice. My subconscious tells me I haven't seen you in awhile and I need to stop by with some soup or cookies or something and see the new outfit you got at some ridiculous sale price.

Snow angel for Mom - March 2, 2014
I never realized how great of a space you filled until you were gone. I never realized how much peace you gave me just knowing you were there. You and Dad took such good care of each other that my biggest worry was, well, what happened a year ago. I never worried that there was enough food in your fridge. Now I look and it's virtually empty, except a few random containers of stuff someone has brought over that are probably long overdue for the trash. Not that Dad doesn't shop and cook - he does - but not like you did - he'd even admit that (though he did do you proud with your homemade pea soup.) Of course the house is spotless, just like you left it. Your clothes? We just can't. None of us are ready. After a year, no one, especially Dad, wants to see your empty closet that once housed a veritable treasure trove of you fashion finds.

Not that Dad isn't fine. He's fine - I mean, relatively speaking. In fact, I'm pretty darn proud of and impressed by him. He's keeping busy and volunteering and helping out all the neighbors just like you know him to do. He still takes care of me like he always did, and I try to take care of him like I promised you I would. He's going on his walks and taking care of my dog and we go out to dinner and he comes over for dinner and I bet he'll be at most every one of Logan's track meets he can over the next few months. (I wish you could see Logan run. He's so fast. You'd be so proud.)

A love story for the ages.
I've said it before, Mom. The only thing worse than missing you is watching Dad miss you. I'm glad he likes to talk about you. So do I. I love hearing stories about you two that I'd never heard before. We joke when things happen around the house it's you're doing. It's a half joke - I'm pretty sure it could very well be your doing. (Thanks for helping him find his checkbook, by the way. Now if you could tell us where your fancy canister set is I think he'd sleep a lot easier!) But it's quiet over there. And as busy as he keeps himself, I catch him missing you. I see it in his face. I know every single day is hard for him at some point of the day. And that tears me up, especially since I know he says "that's not how it was supposed to be." I know how I miss you, and I can only imagine what his missing you is like. And there is nothing I can do to take that away from him. I told you I'd take care of him, and I'm doing my best - I really am. And I really do love having him around. But my sadness doesn't hold a candle to his, and I know how great mine is.

I know I put a lot of stock in getting past this one year milestone. I don't know if it will get "easier" per se. Grief - or whatever it's called at this point - seems to come in waves for me. I'm fine for awhile, then something happens and I realize you're not here anymore. My mother. Every time I realize that it's like I'm realizing it for the first time.

I know you see us. I know you're sending us signs. I know you're at peace, and that gives me peace. I know how proud you will be when you watch over that precocious grandson of yours as he graduates from high school. I can almost hear you yelling, "Hallelujah!" Just please always make me feel that way - that you're still there. Because if I didn't have that to hold on to, I  wouldn't have much else.

Daffodils in February - at hospice.
I miss you, Mom. I can't believe it's been one year - technically, March 1, but not technically, one year ago tonight. It feels like it was yesterday. The snow is falling exactly as it fell one year ago tonight. I received my "in remembrance" card today from Hospice. I don't know what to do with myself knowing one year ago at this very moment, on this Saturday night, I was by your side, and you were alive. I wish I could talk to you again. I wish I could hold your hand. I wish I could hear you say you love me and see you look at Dad with that love in your eyes. God I miss that. 

Thank you for being my mom. I was damn lucky. Thank you for calling me your Sunshine. I'm not sure I ever lived up to that, but it always made me feel special. You'll never know, Dear, how much I love you. Wish you hadn't gone away.

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