Today is my Mom’s birthday. She would have been 66 today.
This is her 2nd birthday since she’s been gone and it truly feels unbelievable that it’s been that long.
Last year, I was awake at midnight, the minute it was her birthday. I was in Eastern Washington with my friends and it was snowing very very softly. I stood on the porch and listened to how quiet it was outside, the kind of quiet you only hear when it’s been snowing and every twig snap sounds loud and you feel like you can actually hear the snowflakes landing. I remember that night and how lonely I felt. I stood there and cried, not wanting to tell my friends it was my Mom’s birthday because I didn’t want to bring anyone down. Everyone had already dealt with four months of my pain, my sadness.
I thought another year of her being gone would be less painful. That this one wouldn’t be so bad. I was wrong. It hurts terribly. It is an incredible pain that nothing can touch, nothing can make it better, really. In fact, it’s worse this year. The longer she’s gone, the more lonely I feel…the less people are apt to understand or recognize how much I’m still hurting, because after all, it’s been a year and a half now. It’s less acceptable to be so sad…it’s less acceptable to have the pain bring you to your knees, to be able to just lie on the floor and moan with the sadness. You’re supposed to gather yourself up, a year and a half later you’re supposed to be able to be grateful for the time you had, remember with smiles, etc.
And I do that sometimes. I am incredibly grateful for the time I had. I know others were cheated out of a parent much earlier on in their life. I can talk about her sometimes with a smile on my face, or laugh about some silly thing. But mostly, mostly…it hurts. Really bad.
The fact that the holidays come immediately after her birthday doesn’t make this time of year any easier. I am lucky to have many family members, on both sides of our family still in my life. I am glad I will get to spend the holidays with them. But oh, there’s such a big void where my Mom should be filling…with her love, her hugs and kisses, her delight at whatever clever present she would have given Jack, her turkey she should be fussing over on Thanksgiving Day. It just isn’t the same without her – the shine and twinkle of this season is dimmed for me. It’s still there – I love my family and Jack and Jason make everything better and I can delight in the holidays for them.
My Mom just made everything shine and twinkle a little extra.
I miss you, Mom – Happy Birthday and I think about you every single day.