In some ways it seems like an eternity, and in other ways it seems like just yesterday that I said my final good-bye to my mom.
Life has completely changed without my mom here. I would be lying if I said that things weren’t all around easier without the chaos of coordinating caregiving schedules and hurrying over in the mornings to bathe Mom and worrying about her throughout the day, worrying about the future. But I still miss her. I miss being able to touch her, hug her, tell her things; even if she didn’t understand what I was saying, there was still some sort of comfort in talking to her.
They say that time heals. I don’t believe that’s true. The hole is never filled; we simply learn how to maneuver around it. The hardest part about the passage of time is when people expect that you will heal; that you will some how “get over it”. The world moves on and slowly forgets the person you’ve loved so dearly and lost, but you never do. You remember. I remember.
I remember laying across her lap while she scratched my back. I remember the way her face would light up when she talked about her grandkids. I remember the smell of her hair and the scent of her lotion. I remember the way she would play with her hair and tuck it behind her ear when she was nervous. I remember the freckle in her eye and her front tooth that was slightly crooked that she was always self-conscious about, but that we loved because it was a characteristic of her. I remember laying on her bed at night, chatting with her about whatever was on my mind (until my dad would come and kick me out of the room). I remember my mentor, my cheerleader, my mother, my friend. I remember all of her.
But I’m also afraid of forgetting. If I live to be an old lady, I will have lived more than half my life without her. How can that be when she is such a big part of my life? Will she slowly start to fade away?
There are no new memories being made. There are no new pictures to share. And I worry that I will forget. I worry that my children will forget. I am afraid of losing this part of who I am as the time passes and as everyone else around me moves on, and forgets.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her. Not one single day. There will always be a void.
And so, I cling to the memories I have of her. I continue to talk about her to my kids. I imagine that she is there, cheering them on, cheering me on. And I hope beyond hope that I will see her again one day. What a glorious reunion that will be.
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