Today would have been my mom’s 78th birthday. She passed two weeks to the day after her 72nd birthday, yet some days it still hurts like it was yesterday. Certain holidays were really hard when she first passed, like Thanksgiving, one of her favorites, Christmas, and Mother’s Day was horrible. But as time goes on the pain eases—just a little.
What’s funny is I usually shed tears on the days leading up to these special days, but on the days themselves I find myself feeling very pensive and a little empty. I’m starting to understand or believe anyway that a piece of you literally dies with a person you love and it leaves a hole inside that nothing ever seems to be able to fill—not fond memories, not a lingering scent, not even when you see the dearly departed in dreams.
You don’t anticipate the emptiness. You know that you’ll miss this person, but you cannot possibly anticipate how hollow you feel. But it does make you realize how much you have the capacity to love another human being. And that when they go away, you realize that you’ve loved them so whole-ly that when they leave you, a piece of you goes with them. It’s agony and beauty all at the same time.
But I can honestly say, I am greater for having experienced the love for her and from her. It was such a gift—and still continues to be. And it almost—almost—makes the agony worth it.
I miss you more than words can ever convey, mom. Happy Birthday, my love! I hope you’re celebrating with angels and all our loved ones who are there with you. I’m so glad that you were born and that I had just a little time to get to know you. Thank you for teaching me how to love so profoundly and with my whole heart. I love you.