Today it has been 6 months since my mother died. (Just typing that nearly made me gag.) I try so hard to live in a world that pretends all is well. But on days when it hits me like a ton of bricks, it is not easy to forget. It’s never easy to forget, but sometimes it is a bit easier to pretend.
I miss her. I miss her so much. Silly things make me want to pick up the phone and call her. I found myself reaching for the phone the other day when I long lost character on one of her favorite shows popped up again. A character we both laughed at and adored. My immediate thought was, “I have to make sure Mom is watching this.” And it hit me. I put the phone back down and sighed. No one else would get it.
Hard times make me want to be with her. Times when I am hurting or scared or frustrated and need to ask her opinion. Times when I want to cry and just let down my guard, but I realize that the only one who would really get it is my Mom. The hardest times are when I just want my Mommy and there is no reason.
Motherhood. Motherhood makes me miss her more than anything. I want to ask, “Mom, did I ever do this?” or “Mom, how would you handle this?” and especially “Mom, was it this hard for you, too?”
I stood in my closet today and pulled out a shirt of hers. I held it to my face and inhaled her scent. I want to preserve her scent. I want to always be able to close my eyes and hold something of hers to myself and be brought to her in memories. I closed my eyes and just let the memories of her wash over me. The tears flowed before I was aware of them.
When I think of her, I have to push aside the last 6 months when she was so sick. But the truth is, in those last 6 months so many life changing things passed between us, I could never wish them forgotten. Times when a lifetime of feelings were shared with a long look passing between us. Words you forget to tell people you love on a day to day basis were spoken. I can’t forget those times, but I also don’t want to rememer her so sick.
When I go to pull her up in my mind, I also try to push away the past few years when her MS began to win its battle over her body. It frustrated her so much. So, I do all I can do to take myself to the times when she and I hung out and laughed. The times when she and I were more best friends than mother and daughter. I remember her humor, her laughter, and her ability to get through anything with a laugh and an attitude that made everyone else around her feel like it would all be okay. “This too shall pass,” she would say. I would roll my eyes, yet every time I needed to hear it–which was every time things were hard– sure enough, she would reassure me.
I need to hear it now from her. You have no idea how much I need to hear right now from her that every thing will be okay. It has taken six months to feel like we are all getting back in our groove. It seems as if we are finally feeling like maybe things will smooth out for all of us for a while. But then life has a way of reminding you that you are not the one in charge of how things work out and what things fall into your life.
Anniversaries like this are tough. Days when I feel lonely and more than a little scared, I want to hear her tell me that this too shall pass. I want her to put her arms around me and tell me that no matter what happens, I will be able to face it head on and and be fine.
I miss her. I know I always will. Yet, I have been reassured that time will help it become less intense. But for now, I am just going to cling to her words that this too shall pass. And pray that she is once again right on the money.