10 years. 10 months, 10 days, 10 minutes. It all feels the same to me. Mom passed away on this day 10 years ago. It’s staggering to think it’s been that long, let alone KNOW how much has gone by without her.
I’ve tried to write this post a few times and just couldn’t put the right words together. Truthfully I wrote this on Sunday and just waited to publish it in case I needed a few more modifications.
I’ve written about this before but I can still hear, see and feel when Sean had to tell me the news. In the one sentence, my world changed forever. I never pictured a day when Mom wouldn’t be here. I knew it would happen “someday” but it felt so far off that it was not something I’d ever thought about. Especially with a 2 year old and one on the way in a month.
Without mentally reliving everything that followed that week (including buying funeral flowers on Valentine’s Day), I look at some of the things she’s missed. Everything Jakzr. Oh how I know she’d have laughed herself silly when I changed his diaper and a stream flew over his head. Oh the joys of having a baby boy.
Big things, little things. It’s all the same. A permanent hole in my heart for all the things she’s missing. 10 years. It almost takes my breath away.
I miss her laugh. I miss her advice. I miss the life we had as a family. It has all changed.
Often, I wonder what she’d think of me as a mom. I know she’d be full of her usual criticism when I didn’t necessarily do it her way. When things happen with the kids, I miss being able to ask if I had the same struggles as a kid. Tests, learning, stubbornness. So instead I blame my husband and say they get it from him! That works, right?
The need to pick up the phone was so great when she was first gone. It doesn’t happen much now. But I still find the need to do it sometimes.
It’s not all bad. Even with her unable to talk to me, I’ve found my way. I’m proud of the mom I am now. There are weeks, like this past week where Jakzr was tardy 3 days, where I think I suck at this mom thing, but it’s fleeting. My kids are good people. I watch the small things like how they help friends, or how they’re genuine with concern for others or that they have empathy incertain situations. I know that’s in part because of me. Instead of only focusing on what I’ve lost (and it’s a big one!), I’ve harnessed my energy to focus on what’s in front of me.
I’m grateful to my mother for showing me her struggles. I clearly didn’t understand them then, but as I’ve matured and gone through some myself, I’ve seen them from a new perspective. I wish I could have done more. Mom was happy, but I know she struggled with a lot that I know she never said aloud or wanted to admit. She’s taught me that someone is always observing- it was me! So I watch what I project for my kids.
I’ve woken up with anxiety all this week. Typical for me. I just call it “February”. When it was worse and I’d see my doctor, he even knew what that meant. It does get less each year, but the dates on the calendar still manage to play mind games with me. This year’s was different, coupled with work stress and life stress. I can honestly say that I haven’t been dwelling on it, but it still manages to find a way to remind me. But I’m ok. I am still able to dust myself off, and take another step forward.
I still believe that everything happens for a reason. Except this. Maybe she had completed everything she was meant to do. But she was still ours. Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Aunt, Grandmother, Friend … and gosh, I wish we had more time.
So today, 10 years later, I just say Thank You to the woman who made the most significant impact on me. Thank you for still figuring out ways to teach me.
I love you Mom.