On the day I should be grateful and thankful for all the sacrifices men and women have made to give us the freedom we, and my children, have (and I am grateful, I truly am) all I can think about is the life how I knew it ceased to exist one year ago today. How sometimes I want to forget that today even exists.
One year ago today I woke up knowing what was facing me in the coming hours and I was scared. Devastated. Trembling. Feeling isolated even though I was surrounded by my brothers and their family and my Mom’s closest friends. Waiting. Waiting for the moment I never wanted to live, especially this soon. It was beyond words. Tears quietly burned my cheeks and I couldn’t breathe. The heaviness in the air was suffocating. I prayed for peace. Peace for my Mom who had an uphill fight most of her life. I prayed for it to end so she could finally be free, but at the same time, I wanted more time. I wish I could have had more time. 59 was too young.
One year ago I sat in eerie silence waiting and my world, the world I’ve always known, ceased to exist. She didn’t prepare me for this. But, how could she? I sat there for days just holding her hand and talking to her and letting Oliver hold her hand and just sitting in silence in my own thoughts. She was the first and only to get confirmation from me that we were going to expand our family hopefully in the near future. It wasn’t how I imagined I’d tell her the news or how she’d meet her newest grandchild but I made sure she got to feel his hands and hear his squeals, laughter, and cries. He loved sitting on her hospital bed and squeezing her fingers and caressing the soft blanket they brought her from home. He was so content just being there with us.
Today marks the last of the “first ______” (Birthday/Christmas/Mother’s Day/etc) without her and I can’t believe this is our reality. Feels like yesterday but at the same time, an eternity. Her greatest fear was being forgotten. That her life would be forgotten. I certainly could never forget. She taught me so much and loved me unconditionally with a force like no other. I still smile when I look down and see my bony wrist bones and crooked fingers because those came from her.
I have struggled for a long while with this post because I don’t know what to say. What I can say or what I want to say but I do know I can’t have today pass in silence from me. I remember and will always remember it all. The love, the sadness, the laughter, the uphill battles, the tears, and the happiness. They say with time comes acceptance and healing but I’m not there yet. I can’t bring myself to delete her contact off my phone. I still have her last voicemail saved on the server. I still struggle that any time now we will be welcoming her 5th grandchild into the world and she’s not here to experience it with me. I sometimes forget and think, I need to share these photos with Mom or she’d love to see this video, etc and then I remember. It all comes back. Every little conversation, decision, and memory comes back. It’s all so bittersweet.
So today I remember the single greatest Mother I had the honour to call mine and I miss her dearly. Every minute.
I will take a deep breath in and feel grateful for her knowledge and love and hold my boys just a little bit tighter and just keep on keepin’ on as we would say but today, I’m letting the grief and tears flow.