Two years ago today, my mother died.
I have no idea how to follow a sentence like that.
I was awake and saw the clock flip from 3:05am to 3:06am. The “official” moment she left this world. It was a bizarre feeling. I cried. I smiled at thoughts of her. I wandered the house. Not really wanting to sleep but not really wanting to do anything else either.
I have gone through every emotion and questioned so much since she died. I have tried to figure out how one goes about living life without a mom and what the secret is to actually accomplishing that successfully.
I miss her. I started to ask myself what I would say to her if we could talk. Something tells me she would do most of the talking at first. I know the life I have “lived” the past two years has been…well, disappointing. She always told me she could never, ever be disappointed in me. I believe her. But I have been disappointed in me. It isn’t all bad. I have learned. I have changed. I have grown and I have regressed. I have learned to say no when it is right and yes when I should try something new and scary. I have also learned that sometimes when you take a rough, tough piece of coal and apply an immense amount of pressure, sometimes it just stays coal. Which isn’t all bad. That, too, has purpose.
Last year I had things to say. Thoughts to share. Now, I am in a different place. A place of pondering and re-evaluation. This year, I am sad, introspective and feel lonely. But there was a strange new feeling, too. I felt something almost like freedom. No, that is not right. Not freedom so much as something lifted from my spirit. I suppose you could say it felt similar to getting permission to move forward.
I have lost so much these past two years. But I have gained a lot as well. The feeling I felt was as if I was giving myself permission to live again.
I will always, always….until I draw my own final breath…miss my Mom. She was my best friend. She was amazing. She was funny, full of life and the perfect person to be my mother. We fit. We were exactly what we both had in mind when it came to a mother/daughter relationship. I will not stop missing her. I will never get over the empty feeling that something hugely important in my life is missing. But I will move forward. I will give myself permission to move forward.
Because of who she was and how she raised me, I am taking her with me. In my laughter. In my sense of humor. In my ability to laugh at situations where it may be hard to find any humor. Because sometimes that is what you and everyone around you needs. She is with me. Always with me.
After wandering my home, I checked on the kids as they slept. When I looked in on my daughter, the dam of tears broke free. There is something about your own children that gives you both strength as well as weaknesses. There was my daughter. A little girl who needs me as much as I needed my Mom. A little girl who I want to look at me as I looked at my Mom. To love me in the unique way I love my Mom.
With tears streaming down my face, I crawled onto her bed beside her and drew her into my arms and just held her as she slept. Her sweet little girl breath softly tickling my neck as she lay dreaming.
I felt the complete circle. Mom passing the torch. And somehow– for the first time in two years– something inside me began to feel healing as I took the torch that was passed to me and vow to honor all it stands for.
For my daughter.