Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of my mom's passing. Some of you might think this would have been a horrendously hard day for me. It wasn't. I didn't cry. I didn't spend the day in a depressed fog.
I spent the day doing what I felt like.
It was a good day.
I didn't puke (hooray!), I ate breakfast (and enjoyed it, not just stuffed it down because I knew I needed to eat), had a great morning with my little boy, took him to the park to play, met my brother, niece, grandma, dad & husband for lunch and then we all went to the cemetery to leave flowers. Then I came home, put Ben to bed, cleaned my bathroom til I didn't feel like it anymore, laid in bed & watched TV, took a mini-nap, played on my computer, checked my reader & Pinterest and had a great dinner with my boys.
I'm a follower of many blogs (shocking confession, I know) but one of them strikes home with me a lot. Traci at Beneath My Heart also lost her mom to cancer and often speaks of her loss. She recently wrote a piece titled Broken where she shares her emotions surrounding some broken casserole dishes - which sounds like such a silly thing to be heartbroken over, til you realize that the dishes are one of the last presents her mother ever gave her. This part got me and still gets me even when I glanced at it briefly to make sure I was copying over the correct part:
"When Mom used to help take care of me. When she knew that money was tight and I was doing my best to take care of my boys, and she would say to the cashier, “No. I’m gonna pay for this.” And I felt my mother’s love. That deep, deep love of a mother."
I miss that. I miss those mommy moments when she knew something wasn't right. I didn't have to say much, or really say anything at all: she knew. She knew I needed a little something extra. She'd offer to buy me a new shirt or surprise me with a new toy for Ben. I miss that for Ben, as well. He's missing out on being spoiled by his nana. Nick pokes fun at me because I seem to buy Ben a new truck every time we go to the store. If I don't, who else will? No one else buys Ben a special little toy just because they want to see his face when they play with it.
Most of all, I miss what she's missing out on. I'm forever thankful that she got to be here for the first year of Ben's life. That she got to see him crawl and walk and start to talk. I'm forever sorrowful that she doesn't get the rest. She doesn't get to hear him jabber or call out excitedly for her. She doesn't get to see him cheer just like Nick does for the Packers. She doesn't get to hear him say "hockatoo" instead of "helicopter". She doesn't know what his favorite foods are or how much he loves to read. She's missing out on our new baby and all the new memories we'll create. She's missing out on her other grandchilren's lives: Emma being a dynamo at basketball, Hannah in her enormously cool kid pad or Connor making great achievements in school.
I don't know what happens to us when we die. I know my mom believed in heaven and I hope she's there. I hope she's having a good time, watching over us and not missing out on as much as I think she is. I hope she's got a gorgeous head of hair and that she's got a little hand in the Packers great season this year. I hope she's happy and proud of us.
So I will not spend every January 13th miserably unhappy. Instead, I'll make sure it's a great day. Our first January 13th was awful, the rest of them don't have to be.