The Six Months

It is hard to believe that my mom has been gone for six months. There is not one day that I don’t think of her briefly or that I am reminded of her or my father in some way. I feel like I have been given little reminders of both of them in the last six months.

On the 7th of this month, I celebrated another birthday. Over the past few years, I have celebrated with Mom at her memory care unit. I would remind her that its my birthday and she would become sad because she forgot and I would try to make her happy with cupcakes, Snicker’s and coffee. The day before my birthday was the 6th month anniversary of her death. Boy, I miss her voice.

This was from my birthday last year, November 7th, 2014.

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When I was at Cub this week, I brought a bunch of change to put in their machine. Sitting right next to the coin exchange machine was a woman in her late eighties, may ninety or so. She sat on the bench with her legs crossed, perfect hair, a rain jacket on and small bags of groceries at her feet. I noticed how tiny she was and she sat very quiet with her hands crossed in her lap. She gave me the sweetest, kindest smile. As you can imagine, she reminded me of my mom. She watched me pour the change in and she asked me a few questions. Simple talk. She was my Mom probably seven years ago. Interested, kind, alert and such a mother. I so badly wanted to sit down with her, hug her and tell her how much she reminded me of my mom.  I also thought she probably thinks I’m a nut or a tiny bit crazy. I got in my car and thought…she was a little sign from Mom. I’m also proud that I didn’t cry when I was talking with her.

Do you remember that bird that kept tapping on mom’s window when she was dying? I have her bird feeder in our backyard, right outside our sunroom. I ran out of bird food and bought some new food for them. Guess what? No birds. I even moved the feeder to a tree in our front yard. Steve thought they didn’t like the food I bought so I went to the store again and bought new food. Again, no birds. I have moved the feeder to different spots and this week I noticed a cardinal just sitting on top of the feeder, not eating, just staring at me. I think the birds have flown away for the winter or I hope they are off flying with mom somewhere.

I haven’t been able to let go of her clothes yet. It sounds so silly not getting rid of them. I know they are just sitting in buckets waiting for someone to use them. I was talking with my friend at hockey and we were talking about her mom and I asked her if she needed any clothes. She does need some clothes and I realized that my mom would want her clothes used by someone who needs them; not to just sit in a bucket. I will keep some of my favorite items but it has taken me six months to realize I can let go of her clothes. My mom would want to help someone, that’s the way she was. A giver.

Grief is ever present but has lessened. It helps me to see my aunt, my mom’s sister, who is just a miniature version of my Mom. Emme interviewed her for a school project and I loved that my girls still have someone to talk to. I know that many of you have lost parents, grandparents, friends and loved ones. The loss of them is incredibly hard. I have a hard time when people say to remember all of the good times. I do remember the good times but I would much rather talk to her or hold her hand again. Just one more time.

Over the past six months my Mom has missed the start of school and hockey for the girls. She has missed Emme getting a special award from school and Sophia almost getting straight A’s in her first year of middle school, with the exception of a B in shop tech! (My dad is laughing somewhere!) She has missed my recent attempts at cooking, some winners, some losers. I’m trying to cook and bake more. (Somewhere she is laughing!) She has missed the frustration I sometimes have over things I can not control. She always said, “Let go and let God.” She has missed how hard Steve works and how much the girls adore him. He is coaching them in hockey and he needs to help the girls in math, since I can’t understand the new math. She has also missed my brother starting to feel better. She has missed a lot but somewhere, somehow…she knows. And I hope she knows how much I love and miss her.

Jodi