My first holiday without Mom

Some days I feel like I’m really going to be ok…that I’m making some kind of progress through this grieving process and really getting myself back together. I laugh, smile, and feel genuinely happy. Then out of the blue…there comes a day like this one, when I wrote the paragraphs that follow…through tears and so much sadness…on Easter Sunday. My first holiday without Mom to share it with in some way. I could clean up what I wrote, I thought, make it not sound like one big sad, rambling run-on sentence…but my goal with this blog is to honestly connect with anyone taking the time to read it, and to share who I am with you, run-on sentences, tears and all. So here goes…a not so great day in my new journey…
It’s Easter Sunday. My first major holiday without my Mom, and thankfully I am off from work because I woke up today a complete emotional mess. I had nightmares all night, and woke up just overwhelmed remembering this time last year…just one year ago…when I took vacation to go back home to surprise Mom out of the blue for the holiday. We wound up having a wonderful dinner together with my fiance’s niece and her husband…Mom eating lasagna for the first time (she had convinced herself forever that she’d hate it)…and then actually LOVING it…looking at their wedding memory book giving Mom a chance to see the rest of my fiance’s family she hadn’t met yet…laughing…making a memory I will have now forever…just a happy day filled with love and laughter. I flew in on Easter and stayed the whole week. It was, looking back, the last happy times we had together in our old house, our last really great time together before Cancer bullied its way in, bringing with it surgery and chemo, little by little stealing essentially everything that Mom had come to love about life…until it took its final fatal shot three months ago.
I’ve cried so much today…didn’t leave the house at all…could not imagine going out seeing happy families enjoying the holiday together while all of my immediate family is gone. So I hid out…fed the jays and chickadees and squirrels in our front yard…soaked up some sun…enjoyed the peace and quiet. And cried. A lot. And remembered. Remembered some of the memories that honestly sometimes feel like they happened to someone else now because everything about that life I had before when my Mom was alive is over, gone. All I have left are the memories…simple, silly little things sometimes, but so precious.
Pizza Sundays…Bay Park Fish lunches…panko crusted fish and chips…fresh caught. Trips to Keils…Applebees dinners or lunches…drives by La Jolla beaches or Mission Bay…the water, the sun, the boats and oh how we loved the spinnaker sails when we saw them.
Trips to bookstores and libraries…especially libraries when I was a kid growing up…pick anything don’t just look at the kids’ books, she said, and always keep reading, learning…thank you Mom for my love of books and writing.
Thank you Mom also for taking me to the beach, the ocean, when I was just a baby just a few days old. From that I connected the salty sea smell, the crashing waves, the warm sand, the cool water, with love and safety. Even now everything about being near the ocean, the water, calms me, makes me happy, and gives me a peace like no other. Thank you Mom for that. Thank you for so many wonderful memories that now comfort me in your absence. In my head I knew someday this time was ahead…moving through the rest of my life without my Mom…my heart just never wanted to believe it would ever really come.
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2 Responses to My first holiday without Mom

  1. Wow! Thank you for sharing such a heart-felt story. I still have my mom, but she was diagnosed with severe dementia at a young age a few years ago, so she is very different than she was. I am grateful to still have her and know that my time is even more limited now so I try to make the most of it. Stories like this one help me remember that when I feel sad.


    • Treasure every minute because before you know it, honestly, the time is all gone. One day, soon I think, I will share my Mom’s passing and that whole completely unexpected road once I can actually put it into words and write it without crying the entire time…I thought I would have so much more time with my Mom…oh the plans we had. And then cancer came in and changed the script. Way shortened it. But, I am grateful I was given time, a few weeks, to spend with her and share love, memories, a last holiday season we shared in the hospital being creative…and to say goodbye. I am glad you still have your Mom…even with the dementia, mine had that too so I know your pain, just enjoy the time to talk to her, hug her, tell her you love her. Those are what matters in the end…the love, the words, it all comes down to that. You think it’s a gift you’re giving them when you do it…care for them, tell them how much you love them, etc…but on the flip side (sorry for sounding so callous, I hope you know what I mean)…it’s a gift that comes back to you…and gives you more peace than you can imagine at a time when you need it the most. Don’t be sad…it’s hard I know but try…just hug your Mom when you can…tell her you love her…and just talk to her, whatever that is…you will hold that in your heart forever. Thank you again for liking my little blog…the most important thing about my blog to me is that I connect with others and offer something that helps in any way…or is interesting or :::gasp::: maybe even life changing if I could get that lucky. I just love meeting new people, especially most of all people who love doing what I do…blogging, sharing, connecting…perfection! 🙂 — cherryb


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