I woke up at dawn to be with my mom. It’s in the quiet and stillness when I feel her presence and remember how her voice sounded or how her arm felt around my shoulder.
When someone passes away, the yearning to remember is paramount. Sometimes my mom comes to me in dreams and those nights are the best because it’s as if she’s here with me. But those dreams are few and far between, so I have to do my part to keep her memory alive in my mind and heart and in the hearts and minds of my boys who loved their Grandma B very much.
Over the past three years, I’ve written a lot about grief and loss. I’ve listed a few of those blogs or columns at the bottom of today’s post. If you’re struggling with this type of heartache, it’s often helpful and encouraging to read the words of someone who’s going through it as well.
Today, three years after we said good-bye to my sweet mom, I want to spend time remembering what an amazing mother, wife, grandmother and friend she was. Below are a collection of photos that do just that.
In May 2016, three months before my mom passed, we girls spent a day on my parents’ back porch. It was just my mom, sister, little niece, Maddie, and me. We ate food, drank wine, listened to music and laughed. At this point, my mom had been sick for a while and you could tell her spirit was waning, but she still did her best to hold it together for her girls.
I love the innocence in the picture below. I remember sitting on the hospital bed watching her talk to Brooks about Case. The excitement that her Brooks would have a baby brother was evident. She loved my boys with an unparalleled ferocity.
Brooks was her “angel” and Case was her “little munchkin.” She was THE BEST grandmother, always willing to baby-sit, spend the night or take the boys on trips. In fact, one week before she passed away, she found the energy to take them to the North Carolina Zoo. The picture below makes me smile. I’m not really sure what the boys are doing in this photo, but look how happy my parents are. They absolutely glowed when they were with any of their grandchildren.
After the boys were born, my parents would come over every Christmas morning to see what Santa brought. I’d have their coffee ready and would make a huge breakfast so we could relax and watch the boys play with their new toys. My parents always made Christmas magical for my sister and me. They did the same for my boys.
From the time I was born until the summer before my mom died, we went on a family beach trip. I have a million photos I could share, but the photo below shows the kind of grandma my mom was. She was already sick in this photo, but here she is on the front porch of our beach house shucking corn with all the grandkids.
My mom loved going to DC to visit my sister, brother-in-law, and nieces. When we traveled up there, we were both able to leave behind stressors in North Carolina and fully relax. Below is a photo of us girls at a Washington Nationals game.
My mom and I were really good about spending time together. Whether it was just she and I going on a girls night out or the two of us taking my boys somewhere, we were together a lot. We only lived 45 minutes apart, which made it very easy for us to see each other multiple times a week. The photo below is from a day one winter when we went frolicking about in downtown Hendersonville.
The photo below was captured the night we sent my mom’s ashes out to sea. At that moment, we were focused on honoring our precious wife and mother. We didn’t know how hard and painful the next three years would be. My dad, sister and I struggle every day. We all cope in our own ways to adjust to a new normal.
But I know one thing for sure. My mom would not want us to be sad or waller around in our sorrows. She wants us to happy and live adventurous lives, just like she did.
So, today I remember all the joy she gave to my life and the lives of my dad, sister and two little boys. We will forever be grateful for the years we had her here on earth.
We love and miss you, mom. Rest well.