Anniversaries are supposed to be a time for celebration and excitement. Except when it’s an anniversary of the death of a loved one. With that type, the day looms ahead and then when it arrives, it feels heavy. Today is the anniversary of my mom’s passing. I haven’t written on my blog in entirely too long. COVID-19 has dampened my chipper mom blog voice. But every year, I make it a point to get on here and honor my mom. And, who knows? Maybe writing a blog post this morning will get me back in the groove of blogging. It’s just like my sweet mom to encourage me from afar.
It’s funny how four years can fly and creep at the same time. Part of me is shocked it’s already been four years since her passing but then part of me feels like it’s been an eternity since the luxury of her presence here on earth. When you lose someone you talk to multiple times a day, it’s very jarring to the psyche. There is so much I miss about her. She would always listen to my thoughts and opinions, but she was also not scared to share hers, which was helpful when I wanted to make a rash decision like book an extravagant vacation or quit one job and start another. She never told me not to do something, per se, but she certainly served as a voice of reason.
I also miss our common interests. She and I were both morning people, while my dad and sister are night owls. My entire life, she and I would be up early cooking breakfast and drinking coffee. We loved watching Good Morning America, holiday parades and other early morning broadcasts. When traveling, we were the nerds of the family. We wanted to hit up every monument, museum and memorial. Before the days of the internet, she and I carried around guide books and maps all over the place to make sure we didn’t miss out on something.
At this phase in my life, what I miss most is having her here as a grandmother to my boys. There are so many days, moments and situations where I want to pick up the phone and tell her about a funny story or anecdote. She loved when I did that. She loved my boys with every fiber in her. They were her everything. When she was diagnosed with cancer, I remember her saying, “I just want to see Brooks make it to middle school.” Well, that didn’t happen. She ended up passing away much sooner than that.
But now, Brooks is starting middle school and even though we’re in the middle of a pandemic and he’s not actually going into a school, he’s still very excited. I would give anything for her to be here and see him transition into this important stage of life.
Death and grief are very hard. Only those of us who’ve experienced it up close can fully understand the depth and sorrow. At the same time, it has allowed me to be a more intentional and grateful person. I no longer waste time on frivolous activities, nor do I let myself get involved in drama or shenanigans. Life is too short for that.
While I cannot see my mom in person, hold her hand and talk with her across a dinner table, I feel her presence around me. She visits me in my dreams and in the songbirds outside my window. When I see a hummingbird or cardinal, I know it’s her saying hello.
I’ve learned life is fleeting and mysterious. And if we really pay attention, it’s also magical and purposeful. On this difficult day, I will find the good and the joy. I will light our memory candle. The boys and I will write my mom letters like we do every year on August 14. I will call my dad and sister and we will all cry.
But I will go on. Life will go on. Though my heart aches for the time lost, I’m thankful for the time we had.
I love you, mom.