It’s been 7 years and 7 months since she passed away from lung cancer. And I still. Miss. Her.
I think of her when I buy new sheets and hear her voice in my head, saying “always buy high thread counts.”
I think of her when I buy “half & half” creamer for coffee as a treat and how she poured this over our cereal growing up, like all good moms from Nebraska do.
I think of her when I read Luke’s writings for school, and how she always proof-read and edited my papers.
I think of her when I tuck Kate in and she asks me to rub her back. My mom always rubbed my back at night, until she fell asleep and then I would shake her arm over and over to remind her she wasn’t done.
I think of her when I am curled up on the big chair in our garage/playroom. She used to cozy up in this cream-colored lounger when she lived with us her final summer.
I think of her every time I put my cookies in the freezer.
I think of her when I wash her quilts she left me.
I think of her when I see some of her clothes in the way back of my closet, and I still try to smell her. I try to breathe her in.
I think of her when one of my kids has a very special moment, like when Luke had his first piano recital. She would have been so teary-eyed proud to see him play with such rhythm and natural talent.
I think of her as Ryan grows and finally reaches milestones. They were roommates for a summer. Ryan in his crib and Mom in her hospital bed. Ryan began to crawl that summer, and she slowly became immobile.
That summer. That intense summer. The last summer. (A post for another day…)
This is why I avoid the Mother’s Day aisles at Target, Rite-Aid, and CVS, etc. It reminds me she is gone. I can’t buy HER a card. Or gift. Or call her when I need cooking advice or parenting advice, or ANY ADVICE. Or when I want to tell her that Kate was so giddy about losing her first tooth.
I read a quote somewhere once and have shared it many times to others who have lost a loved one. It said, “There is no deadline for grieving.” And there isn’t. I still grieve the loss for me, and for my children. It hurts less than it did 7 years ago, that is true.
YET…I don’t think we ever really outgrow the need for a mother, and the precious gift of her loving, wise presence.