Soon my year of firsts will be ending. I find that I have learned a lot in this past year.
I have learned that I have to let things go. You find that when someone you love passes, you analyze things. You think about how you treated them, your relationship, and did you give them enough time? Did you tell them how you felt? I am an only child and had a tough relationship with my Mother. But I always loved her and tried hard to be the daughter she wanted. She was the daughter of two immigrants and had a tough childhood being raised by a Grandmother famously known in the family for being miserable. So she had a rough start. But even with that rough start my mother would do anything for the ones she loved. But she was not always easy. But who is? And now that she is gone, I find myself thinking about things I did, or did not do. Death has a way of changing your view on things. Maybe you should have given in more, had more patience. But you will never know if this would have helped. So you must do your best and move on and learn the lessons that you have been taught. And I am.
I have learned I am a tough cookie. This past year I have helped my Dad through open heart surgery to fix an aneurysm. Then supported my husband when he was in a serious car accident requiring multiple surgeries. Through all this I just kept going. I had a close friend ask me how I did it. And I replied “what is the alternative?” I did have a few moments when I just put my head down and cried, but once it was over, I continued on.
Besides all the health issues we still were grieving for my mother. Noticing she was not here to help, or support us. Besides that I have had all the major holidays, some nice accomplishments with my art, a fabulous party for my daughters 16th, and found out I am going to be a Grandma, all without my Mom. All this year at each little milestone, I noticed her empty chair. I went to call her to tell her some news, only to realize she would not answer. I visited her grave a few times to tell her she should have taken better care of herself so she would be here with us. I cried at times that made no sense. And I have learned that grief does not get easier as time passes. Instead it is like a weight on your shoulders that you learn to carry.
I am now nearing the Anniversary of her death, and I have learned a lot this year. I wish I had told my Mom more how thankful I was for her. To tell her thank you for dropping everything to always help me when I needed it. Thank you for giving me a beautiful name, that I hated for years, but now love for its uniqueness. Thank you for being so thoughtful with your gifts. Thank you for taking care of me and my family when we were sick. And thank you for being a great Mom.
Sadly I feel like I have two dates for her death as she died on Black Friday, right after her favorite holiday. So on black Friday this year, I wanted to do something special. Something to make me not think of the last moments watching my mom removed from the machines that were keeping her alive. Something to celebrate life. So all the girls in our family are going to a spa day for my daughters 16th birthday. What better way to spend a sad day but surrounded by loved ones? And on the actual anniversary I will be having my Dad over for dinner where we will silently mark the day and be thankful when its over. So we can continue our grieving but look for the silver lining. Because although we are missing our loved one, life goes on. I used to think that was sad that life kept going, but now I know that the current that carries you along is a good thing. There are days when you may feel like your head is barely above the current, and then there will be days that you are floating and enjoying happy moments. And those are the moments that I prefer to focus on.
Thanks Mom for everything, and I miss you more each day.
Till we meet again…..