Five Years and a bit more

When I talk about my parents dying, I tend to group them together. ‘My parents died’. Not as accurate, but its a lot quicker to say when anyone asks. The truth is, there was a fifteen day period where my Dad had passed and my Mom was still alive. I didn’t appreciate that at the time. I didn’t appreciate that my Mom fought for each and every day past August 31st. I can’t imagine what it must have felt like to be at peace with your impending passing, only to have that peace harshly and suddenly ripped away from you. My mom lived those two extra weeks for us, my brother and I. She lived as long as she could to make sure that her children were taken care of.
My Mom really wanted to live to see my brother graduate high school.

My Mom and I had a very complicated relationships, as most mothers and daughters do. We loved each other, but we didn’t understand each other. We were different people. I had always hoped that I would grow closer to Mom as I grew up. I pictured her cheering for me at college graduation, smiling through tears from the front row at my wedding, in the delivery room with me when I gave birth to my child. I saw all of that so clearly. I saw myself coming to understand her as I grew up and became a wife and mother. I imagined I would call her up for advice. I imagined my parents being frequent and willing babysitters to their grandchildren. All of that is gone now. I can still have those things, but I can’t have her with me like I always pictured.

That’s something they don’t tell you about losing a loved one. You don’t just lose them once. You lose them again and again every time something happens that they would have been there for.

Paris july 2012 177
This looks like an album photo and that is why I chose it. My shoes cannot be forgiven.
There’s a quote from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone about Lily Potter dying to protect Harry. I had just reread the book and felt this quote came back to me at the right time. The quote is:

“… to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.”

My Mom’s gifts to me are still being discovered. I remember her saying, “I’m your biggest supporter”. I still feel that support, even five years after she’s been gone. But, a girl will always need her Mom. No one can make you feel loved like a mother. No love rivals a mother’s love. My Mom loved me enough to live fifteen days past death. I love her enough to make every year without her a year I make her proud.