Photo by: Shawn Nix, 2010
Today is a hard day. It's the first anniversary of my mother's death. As I sit back on reflect on the many things my mother wasn't here for this year, my heart swells with grief.
She missed my son's wedding and the happiness of family. She missed my daughter, her youngest grandchild's high school graduation. She missed the birth of my sister's first grandchild. She missed the announcement that this year my son will become a father. She missed holidays and phone calls and conversations where more times than I can count I reached for the phone only to remember there is only silence where once there was advice and love.
I try not to count the things I miss. The sound of her voice. The smell of her perfume. The way she pursed her mouth when I did something incredibly stupid. The tightness of her arms around my waist. (She was only 4'10"; I'm 5'5".)
It's only after I indulge in my pity party that begin to ruminate on what I feel she has gained, despite my soul numbing pain.
She's no longer a slowly decaying mind trapped in a rapidly failing body. She's no longer alone; my father having died in 1992. Most of her friends have already passed as well (Mom was 94 when she died), so she has plenty of friends to talk with, and family who'd gone on before. Finally, I know she is with our Lord, watching over her family to let us know she's with us even when we feel most alone.
Nothing, no amount of time or distance will ever ease the pain of losing one's parents. Even though I didn't always agree with the things they said, our differences made for lively discussions. Moreover, every day more and more of my friends are losing their parents, creating a generation of lost children, left wondering if there was anything more that needed to have been done.
Every day I wake and I think, "How I wish I could speak to either one of them." Sometimes I sit down and meditate, using my energy to send my wants and needs to the other side. Other days I manage to stumble out of bed and make it through the day without remembering there are no more conversations to be had.
But the bad days aren't as frequent as they used to be, and the okay days seem to fill in nicely at the corners. So, maybe time really does heal all wounds, at least that's what I'm hoping for. In the meantime, I'll go on, because really there is no alternative. I will see them again, one day. When it is my time, we'll all be together again.
Until then, I remember the days that aren't shared so there will be lots to talk about as we enjoy eternity together. That's what really gets me through the days.
This pain isn't forever