My mom passed away one year ago today.
I cannot believe that it has been that long and then again it seems like forever ago.
I am choosing to celebrate today.
My mom turns one today in "forever years".
On Sunday we (along with my brother's family) went to my hometown and went to church with my dad and then out to eat.
We placed the flowers in the church in honor of my mother.
It was so nice to have all of her friends come up to hug me and express how much they miss her.
I am glad to get the year behind me.
It was an entire year of "firsts".
It was a year of not being sure exactly what to do on those days.
It was a year of feeling guilty if I didn't do anything on those days.
Not having my mom has been hard.
I thought that the holidays were going to be awful, but honestly they were not.
The hardest times were the regular days.
I cannot tell you how many times I, out of habit, looked for her while shopping at the mall.
We always went there every time she came to visit.
I cannot tell you how many times I reached for the phone to call and just say hi or ask her a question.
I can remember two of my hardest days:
One day was when I did not think about her the moment I woke up.
I didn't think about her until late in the morning and that crushed me.
I felt she was slipping away, not on my mind, and that scared me.
I didn't want to move on and her to become a memory.
I wanted her to remain a part of my life.
The other hard moment was back during the summer.
It was after I had gone to pack up my mother's clothing and I brought them to my house in plastic bags.
We stacked up the bags in our garage until we took them to the battered women's shelter the next week.
That evening I went for a walk and when I came back I rounded the corner and was hit in the heart at the sight of my mother's things.
I was so saddened that my mom's life was deduced to being stacked in the garage in garbage bags.
At the moment, I felt that was all I had left of her.
It is the little things I do not want to forget:
how soft her cheek was when I kissed her hello and good-bye,
the pink frosty nail color she always wore,
the sound of her clearing her throat every time she answered the phone, the way she pronounced "Italian" and couldn't say "oxygen", the way she folded my towels wrong, the sound of her digging through her purse, the way she pushed her food around on her plate and how slowly she ate, the way she said "hmmm", her finger over her lip, the fact she didn't wear enough mascara, her back seat driving, how she always had a tissue in her pocket, her potato salad, the sound of her walking up the stairs, her toes, the methodical way she signed her name, the way she could never master a camera, her quiet laugh, the way she unwrapped a piece of chewing gum and how the way she chewed gum drove me crazy, how still she sat in church, her bad dream she repetitively had, her bug mole... and many many more
I often think about how it would be if we could get letters from heaven, even just one a year.... or even just one. How great would that be? I heard somewhere just a few weeks ago that every time we think of our loved ones that have passed way, at that exact very moment, they are thinking of us too.
She thinks about me a lot.