(this is a repost in honor of my mother’s birthday last month)
I think it’s finally here. I distracted, busied, shooed them away for as long as I could, but tonight, those pesky November Blues have rolled in like a northern front.
I miss her tonight. Richard is making a huge pot of chili and it smells like her kitchen, delicious and warm. He quietly and quickly gets his work done, but her style was to sing and bop around as she cooked. She sang little ‘ditties’ all the time and I still find her words slipping into my mind as I roll throughout my days. Soon, she will be gone for 11 years. 11 years. Just weeks longer than our sweet Davis and Grant have been with us on this Earth. Where has the time gone?
Earlier today, a friend confessed that she really dislikes the holidays and I do understand. I just think our dislike for them is for different reasons. I simply feel apprehensive about them because they remind me of times I spent with her that I can’t get back. She seemed to love the holidays and knew no boundary or limit. There was always enough food on the table for everyone to have fourth helpings, there were presents to unwrap for days, her smiles were endless, her energy tireless. And all the while, I never fully appreciated just everything that she did. I think I always thought I’d have time. Time to ask her how to make her amazing dressing, time to ask her where her energy came from, time to ask her what she thought of the grand babies she had, time to ask her what she thought of her daughters and who we had become.
But there wasn’t. And I didn’t.
To all my friends who still have their moms, please, please, please…savor this time. Savor her quirky ways, her annoying reminders, her idiosyncrasies and her unconditional or sometimes not so unconditional love for you. I can’t begin to admit how many times I’ve been overwhelmed with jealousy because you still had her with you.
To my sweet, accepting, amazing sisters, brother, father in law, and extended family that I’ve recently been blessed to add into my circle of loved ones, please know that I know many of the things you are feeling, worrying about, experiencing. I know the angst of irritation, annoyance, blind siding blues, anxiety, peace and calm, strength, and resilience that you will most likely go through this holiday season. I know. I’ve lived it for a decade now.
For my sweet Richard, please know that I am here for you this first holiday season without your Elizabeth. Know that I know. Please also know that on occasion, I might be selfish and absorbed in my own grief and coping. But, I will aways be there for you and I will always know, as I glance backwards on this lonely, painful, but manageable path that I am slowly making my way down , what you are going through. I will know that you can do it. I will know that it becomes more okay than not, I will know that you will have some days, some moments that just knock you on your ass. But I will know that we will do it together and we will move forward. What I hope I know most is that the loss of our loved ones will teach us how to live better, how to be true to ourselves, how to treat life like the amazing gift that it is.
I am afraid that if I don’t, I won’t honor their strong, independent, accomplished, but all too short lives that they led. I have to be true to myself and the women they were and by doing that, I honor and respect them.
As I move towards that, my true self, my inner calling, I hope I will bop around my kitchen and make up little songs to make the small moments in life more memorable and fun.
I’ll also look forward to the holidays and keeping their beautiful memories alive.
This I can do.