Yesterday morning was tough. After my husband left to take the kids to the gym, I found myself on the couch sobbing because of how much I missed my mom. Some days are just like that.
I don’t write about my mom a lot. I don’t know why. Maybe because I hold her memory and my grief over losing her so close. She died of pancreatic cancer over seven years ago when I was pregnant with my first child. It was devastating and heartbreaking. Words can’t express the grief I felt then and continue to feel today. Time has helped in some ways, but in others it feels like just yesterday.
Like alcoholism, I’ve found that grief has triggers. My birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks and it’s a hard time for me. My mom loved birthdays and she especially loved celebrating mine, as I was her only child. From the time I can remember, she made it the most special day out of the entire year. It was magical. Since her death, it’s not the same. It will never be the same.
Yesterday, was also my daughter’s first slumber party and I yearned to share her excitement and mine with my mom. We used to talk daily, sometimes only for brief moments, but even those were important. She was my very best friend and we were just starting to get to know each other as adults, not just mother and child.
As I sat, crying on the couch, I thought of how much I missed her smile and laughter; the weekend visits; the shopping excursions; the times, as a grown woman, I would still lay my head on her lap while she ran her fingers through my hair. The simple truth is, I just miss having my mom. I miss the joy she would’ve brought to my children’s lives; I miss sharing exciting moments with her; I miss venting to her about life; I miss being able to ask her questions about my childhood, like how old I was when I had my first slumber party. Was I nervous? Scared?
And, sometimes I do get angry with God. I want to stomp my feet and beat my fists and yell, “Why God? Why?! It’s not fair!” And, now, instead of drowning that anger and sadness with alcohol, I let myself feel it – really feel it. I cry, sometimes weeping until my eyes are red and puffy.
And, then, eventually, I feel His calmness come over me. My tears are spent, but I feel a sense of peace because I have released everything. I have released the anger, sadness and fear and, instead, look to fill that space with joy.
Yesterday, I went to our back closet and got our wedding album down. The year before she was diagnosed with cancer, my mom had helped me plan my wedding and was overjoyed when the day finally arrived. It was beautiful and her smile was infectious.
I miss her. That will never change. But, I’m so grateful for the joy and beauty I find in her memory.
Cheers, Mom! I might not be drinking the real thing anymore, but I still celebrate you every day.