in loving memory of my mom 1945-2010
Last year on August 29, 2010 my mom died of breast cancer.
Thereafter, my year became defined by this date. One month, two months, first Christmas, first birthday, and so on. Every significant date on my calendar was preceded by apprehension of not having my Mom here with us...with my children...with me.
I miss her terribly and sometimes wonder how someone so vibrant and full of love can be gone. What seemed unbearable has slowly become more normal. I have come to learn that the pain of loss doesn't leave you, but that your life has a new type of normal.
Recently, I made a pillow for my daughter. I have one for my son too. It was a special gift that my mother had wanted to create for their birthdays. Before she died she described her gift to me. In June, I gave the pillow, made with love, to my daughter for her birthday as my mom had wished. It’s very simple – a cupcake hand-stitched on a pillow with her name, but every stitch I made represented the love my mom had for her family and her desire to leave that love behind in a tangible form. The desire to make something that will be here when we are gone is, I believe, part of human nature.
Although there is a special significance to having tangible heirlooms from our loved ones, what I have come to witness is that the real gift that a person leaves this world is love. It might sound cliche, but it is true. I see my mom everyday in my children. In their contagious laughter, their artistic talents, the way they connect with others, always the diplomat. I could go on. She is everywhere.
Today on this anniversary I feel sad, but that is ok. I also feel a sense of relief that I have gotten through this year of firsts. It has been a year of incredible loss but it has also become a year of much joy and reason to celebrate. Funny how life is like that...
So when I miss her, which is often, I hug those I love, and be thankful. My mom loved a good hug.