It’s been 11 months since my mom passed away. She was one of the most fun-loving and selfless people I ever knew. She was more than a parent. She was my mom. She was one of my best friends. Even though it’s been almost year, my grief hasn’t ended. It’s been a process, and a long one at that.
Mothers have a way of getting deep into our souls and comfort us even in our hardest times. They offer us the savvy advice, the gentle and comforting touch, the confidence and positivity when our world is crumbling around us (at least we think it is at the time). That was her- the strong, intelligent, funny, sensitive, and sweet woman that people wished they could call “mom.” It was this woman who I can thank for making me into the mother I am. And fortunately, for me, I expressed that to her before she got terminally ill.
When my mom was alive, she taught me many things. Besides my cooking and party-loving ways, she taught me to take pride in being a stay-at-home mom and caring for my home. Through her actions more than her words, she taught me not only how to love, but what love is. Whenever I choose to stay calm rather than scream, listen rather than talk, play with my kids rather than clean, offer to help rather than be helped, I picture my mom.
Now that she’s gone, I’ve learned how resilient I can be in the face of tragedy. This was a big surprise for me because in the past, just the thought of her passing would cause me to break into tears. I also learned that everything from perky boobs to life is temporary and impermanent, so enjoy them while they last while also respecting and understanding their end. A final thing I learned through this grieving process is that it is OK to be happy and have fun. For the first few months I felt a little guilt about moving on and having fun. I felt as though I should be dressed in black, sitting at home, and praying for her return. I guess in one sense there was a part of me that was doing this, but the other part of me felt my mom’s strength. The resilience she modeled for so many years as she weaved in and out of illnesses. Even in her absence I feel her, hear her, and feel her strength guiding me through my days. And for all of this I say, “Thank you mom.”