Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Happy Birthday Mom

I have been dreading this day for awhile. 

That sounds cold and callous.  I don't mean it that way.  It's just that certain days make you face certain truths.  And reaching Mom's birthday is just another reminder that she is no longer aging- that she is no longer here. 

I've always wondered how people continue after a loved one has died.  How do you fill that hole?  How often are you bombarded with thoughts of them?  How painful is every reminder?  Sadly I now know those answers.  Don't like them, but I know them.

It is so bizarre.  The person who knew me best and longest suddenly no longer there to confide in.  When things happen in my life I still find myself wanting to call her, and bawling when I realize I can't.  I ache to ask her advice about my children, my calling at church, and the dental work I recently had done that I swear they messed up.  She's gone.  All that information is lost.  And it sucks.  I can't remember our last real conversation before the drugs put her in a stupor, or the last time she said I love you.  I do remember her asking me not to leave the night before she died, and I cherish it.  I guess I'm lucky that while I don't remember everything, we didn't leave anything unsaid, so I know it, regardless.

I still have the last birthday gift she gave me- a gift card to Amazon for music downloads.  I haven't been able to use it; have plenty of music I'd like to add to my library- just can't bring myself to add another period to the end of her life. I ended up with her phone so that I could shut off its service.  I should use it- I absolutely hate my phone.  Still it sits there on my bookshelf unused.  I have cleaned out my texts numerous times since March- and yet hers are still there.  There's nothing special about them- no loving sentiments or last minute advice.  But they're from her, and things from her are becoming rare. 

I seem to struggle more on Sundays.  I don't know if it's the organ music at church, or music in general, or just the closeness of the Spirit, that make me miss her so much.  She used to call sometimes after church and we would discuss some doctrine she learned about that day.  I miss the exchange of ideas- especially her wanting to discuss them with me.  She always made me feel special.

The worse thing is that life HAS moved on.  It hurts so much to admit it.  It should have stopped, but it didn't.  I was 13 weeks pregnant when she died; now I'm 32 weeks.  Grace turned 9, Violet turned 2, and Liliana will soon be 7.  Moira has finally reached the sweet part of being four.   I don't cry as much.  I don't always think about her.  Part of me has accepted her absence, and I hate it.  I know it's natural.  I know it's important for my mental health.  Yet, I feel like such a traitor.  And then I hear her in my head telling me that that is nonsense, and that she wants me to be happy, not cry over her all day.  Practical advice, yes, and still I know that my blogging has suffered for this very reason.  I hate being reminded that life has gone on without her- that good things still happen.

I love you Mom.  Always have, always will.  I will try to honor you by living my life the best way possible.  I can't see you, but I know you are looking down from above- as if you could ever stay out of your kids' lives, haha.  I miss you with a ache that I can't describe, but I respect you enough to not throw away my life to dwell on it.  After all, "I learned at my mother's knee.."

Happy birthday Mom.


Allison said...

So beautiful Shawna!

Mrs Abbott said...

Lovely! Just lovely!

Linda :) said...


Thanks for sharing these thoughts. It was 27 1/2 years ago that my father passed away and I still miss him, talk to him and reflect on his blessings in my life.

Your mother is proud of you! AND she is watching over you.

Love - Linda Edmonds