One year has passed since you’ve been gone. How is that possible? How is it possible that I’ve survived this year without you? I know that sounds melodramatic, but I know you’d approve of me saying that this past year has been the worst fucking 12 months ever. You used to tell me to use curse words sparingly but appropriately. How was that?!
A friend of mine who lost her mom about a year before I lost you told me that she thought as time went on, it became more difficult for her to not have her mom around. Now I know what she meant. I’m not sure why people think your grief lessens, because even though that raw pain may be diminished, the grief of not being able to share life’s moments — both good and bad — does not go away.
On the one hand, I am thankful you are not here to see what your grandson has endured this past year. Had you yourself been battling your illness, I know it would have crushed you to not be by our side during this time. On the other hand, oh how I wish I could talk to you, how you could see and hear how strong and brave Little Dude has been through his treatments, and how your other grandchildren have been progressing with their school, sports, and activities.
The sucky part is missing you so much that there are moments when that ache starts in my chest and shoots up my constricting throat, all the way to my burning eyes. I let the sadness fall over me and then I regroup, because I know I have to. I have you to thank for that, truly. You were tough — never with me, but with any obstacles that came your way. Be it work-related or advocating for your kids (remember that C-minus I unfairly received on a paper and you went to bat for me?), you never backed down from any challenge ever. I now know you’ve handed that trait down to me and I’m grateful for it, especially during these more recent months.
I hope you know how many people miss you so very much. Oh Boy Dad and I went out to dinner for Valentine’s Day this past February and he remarked how much he missed you. Of course I broke down crying and our romantic night out turned into a bit of a crying-fest, but it was a good cry. It felt good to know that you were loved by so many.
Aside from the “big” things I miss telling you, it’s also the little things. We recently bought some new area rugs for our bedroom, which has had bare hardwood floors for the 11 years we’ve lived here. A trivial purchase and yet, I wished I could share it with you, mainly because I knew you’d care, just the way you cared about everything in my life.
But, getting back to this very difficult year. Losing you was brutal, but then to be hit with another blow (Little Dude’s diagnosis) a mere two months later seemed cruel and unfair. Our family barely had time to grieve for you, and then we were forced to focus on a challenge in a way we’ve never had to before. You’d be proud of how we’ve managed. And you would be so touched by how our friends have rallied around us. I think some of my friends recognized what an emotional rock you were for me and they have tried their best to fill the wide chasm I feel without you here. I keep having the impulse to pick up the phone and tell you about the many acts of kindness that we’ve received from caring friends and neighbors. I bet you would tell me to write a blog post about it. Don’t worry, I already did.
And yes, I miss you reading my blog. You were a faithful fan, who always emailed me your reaction privately, rather than commenting on the blog itself. You were always helping me come up with new blog topics, too. I hope you don’t mind being the center of attention with this one, especially since you always disliked being in the spotlight.
How do I end this letter when I never want to stop talking to you, even if you can’t answer me back? Perhaps this will be one of many. I am a writer after all, and no one encouraged that more than you. So my dear (as you would always say to me), I am signing off for now, but I’ll never stop conveying my thoughts to you whether it’s through my writing or some other way.
Happy Mother’s Day to the best mom ever…and in case you were wondering, no I’m definitely NOT cooking on Mother’s Day! I know that news will make you as happy as it makes me….xoxo
P.S. We found your unfinished needlepoint and the nice ladies at the local needlepoint store helped make it beautiful and complete. We are going to hang it in Little Dude’s room.
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