Thursday, November 7, 2013

It never really ends...

Mourning the loss of my mother is something that will never go away.  I thought by now, almost six months since she went to be with the Lord, that it would be a little bit easier.  Wow, was I wrong.  I have had the roughest two weeks or so.  Bad weeks.  I think about her all the time.  I instinctively think about texting her.    I want so desperately to hear the excitement in her voice when I called to tell her that I got a promotion at work.  But alas, she is gone.  She is happy.  She is pain free, and I am quite certain that if she knew just how sad I have been lately, she would kick me right in the a$$ and tell me to move on, be cheerful, and carry on her memory with dignity and with pride.  

I know the holidays are going to be hard.  It wasn't blatantly obvious to me that I would struggle so much with the holidays until my doctor mentioned it.  I was thinking in the now.  Grieving in the present.  But now I am thinking of all the things we will not be celebrating together.  That part hurts the most.  After she passed away and I gathered up enough courage, I re-visited her home, and sorted through her things.  One of the most important things that she wanted me to have were all of her Christmas decorations.  Let me tell you...she had a small walk in closet FULL to the ceiling stacked with items.  I sat on the floor of her home while her puppy jumped and barked and brought me his toys to play with.  I sorted and reminisced and shed a few tears.  I was dumbfounded at the abundance of 'things' she had accumulated over the years.  These things will help us remember her over the holidays and have a little piece of her with us in every room.  I'm not kidding when I say EVERY room.  This woman was a hoarder of holiday trinkets, lights, snowmen, Father Christmas's, and tinsel.  She loved the holiday season.  It was most definitely her favorite time of year.  It was mine, too.  Christmas Eve was always 'her' holiday.  With families and in laws and brother and sister in laws, we always have several Christmas gatherings to attend.  The rest of our family always understood that Christmas Eve for us was never an option to have their gatherings.  Now as the time grows closer, I literally get goosebumps every time I think about not having her here.  What are we going to do on Christmas Eve?  How will I make sure her traditions shine through in what we decide to do that night with our kids?  I want to create something meaningful for our family.  Celebrate like we did at her house...homemade chicken noodle soup, chili, and you could always count on shrimp cocktail and loads of snack foods.  Should I continue on with her traditions or start my own?  It is the same thought for me over and over and over again.  Whatever we decide to do, I know she will be here with us in spirit, in our prayers and forever in our hearts.

"Death ends a life but it doesn’t end a relationship that lives on in the mind of the survivor."  As I read this sentence in an article about grieving the loss of your parent, it screamed out to this is what I am feeling right now.  I am still holding on that relationship with my mother in my mind.  I play it out every day.  What would she think of how I was living my life?  Would she approve of the way I am raising my children?  Would she smack me up the back side of my head when I crawl in bed some nights and cry myself to sleep because I miss her?  That mother/daughter bond I have with her will never ever ever go away.  I don't want it to go away.  But I am surrounded by people who don't realize I haven't ever stopped loving my mother and talking to her through prayer.  They think that things are okey dokey and that because she has been passed away for a number of months that the pain I feel is lessened.  That I am normal.  That I am living my life without my relationship with my mother.  And then there are the friends that are closest to me that know the truth.  They KNOW that I have been struggling as of lately.  That I am still holding on to that mother/daughter relationship and I will never ever ever let that go.  It all makes sense to me....but to outsiders its normal.  It's real.  It's over because she is gone.  Well it's not.  That's why my family and my closest friends are so important to me right now.  I know if I reach out to one of them to talk about my feelings, they know I still hold that "relationship" with my Mom very near and dear to my heart.

From here on out, I vow to start the healing process.  The anger from the cancer stealing my mother is subsiding and I am working on what is most important...carrying on her legacy for all to remember and to love.  I will start new traditions and keep some of the old.  I will bring her memory into every room in our homes so that she can feel the love.  I will continue to have my chats with her each and every single night in her memorial garden outside my back door.  I will love her and honor her wishes and cherish her forever.  I refuse to let the holidays get the best of me, but know I may be asking a select few of you to hold my hand through it, pat me on the shoulder and tell me it's ok to feel sad at this time.  To pick up your phone when I call even if you are short on time, just so I can vent.  I will get through the holiday season with a smile on my face and a love for my Momma and my family <3

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