I remember that day. I remember leaving work and going to be with my sister. Talking with the Dr. the and pulmonologist and then finally with a nurse who was very kind but also completely honest with us, and then coming to the realization that I was going to have to say goodbye to my mom, and soon.
I remember it like it was yesterday, instead of a year ago.
Firsts without those we love are always hard. These past few weeks have been especially difficult. I had my first birthday without mom here. It was a lovely day. I don't dread birthdays as some do so I woke happy and even took a little bit of extra time getting ready for the day.
As I went in to work and sat down at my desk the realization that there would be no phone call with my mom on the other end, cheerfully wishing me happy birthday, no birthday card, hit me. Mom loved cards. She loved reading through all the cards and finding the one that was just right for the occasion and for the person. There would be no perfect card from mom today. And the tears came.
Not long after that I got a text from McKenna telling me that I NEEDED to come home for lunch. I told her okay. When I got home that afternoon there was a sweet surprise waiting for me.
I have no idea who the sweet soul is that did that for me. But whoever you are, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. McKenna told me that a lady and brought them by but she didn't know who it was. They were dropped off not long after my morning cry. People are good and kind.
The Fourth of July was difficult because that was mom's favorite holiday. She loved to have her family around her laughing and singing and enjoying life. I think that those days were some of her most treasured times. I know that they are some of mine.
This year I tried to keep the traditions going. It wasn't easy but I'm glad I did it. And I will continue to do them for her and for my family near and far.
Mom will have been gone for a year tomorrow.
I love her. I miss her. I could use her wisdom in my life so much right now. I could use her prayers. And I could most definitely use a hug.
But mom kept moving forward even when things were exceptionally difficult. When mom was pregnant with me (and I am the seventh of eight kids) my dad was in a pretty scary gas explosion that burned his face and his hands badly. I can't imagine how terrifying that must have been for my mom. And yet she did what she had to do and kept going. Usually with a smile on her face.
I tell you this, and I know it is true...
She is still moving forward.
She still prays for me.
I get hugs from her in my dreams.
She and dad and my sister, Pam, and my grandparents are all doing their very best to help all of us that they love so very much, as best they can from the other side. They are close. I can feel them.
So I will keep moving forward.
And I will do my best to remember her and honor her with my life, my actions and my smile.
Which in all honesty... I got from her.
Love you mom.
Always and Forever.