This is hard to write. I’ve put it off, and put if off, . . . but now maybe I can write this.
I lost my mother 11 weeks ago tonight. It seems like forever since I talked to her. But it still hurts like it was yesterday that I lost her.
My sister and I have been going through her estate, dividing up this, giving that away, trying to sell the other. Typical things. We’ve cried over memories, and we’ve laughed over memories. We have remembered things we had forgotten.
Through it all, I still expect to hear her tell me to, “Get out of that! You know you aren’t supposed to be in that,” because you never knew where she had hidden Christmas gifts……..and she had usually forgotten what and where things were hidden, too.
I still reach for the phone to update her on why my routine doctor’s appointment results were. Or to tell her a funny story about her grandchildren.
Thanksgiving is going to be bad. Her family always got together Thanksgiving instead of Christmas. There are just too many of us to get together for both. It would be exhausting, so they picked Thanksgiving. I don’t think I can go to my Aunt’s house this year and look at the chair my mother always sat in when she was there. I can’t bear any well-meaning “How are your holding up?” questions that day. I just can’t. So I’ll go to my in-laws and pretend everything is okay. But Thanksgiving is going to be bad.
Christmas is going to be worse. You see, that was her favorite holiday. She had an entire walk-in closet full of Christmas decorations. Tree ornaments, mantle decorations, floor statues of snowmen and Santa and Mrs. Claus, wreaths, etc. We even found 3 Christmas trees of varying sizes. Not to mention the other Christmas decorations we have unearthed in other closets. Her favorite holiday. And she won’t be here. My children won’t get to call Nana and tell her what Santa brought them. We won’t get to visit her and eat spaghetti (because we were sick of all the turkey we’d been eating since November). I won’t get to hear her child-like glee when she purchased and received yet another Christmas decoration. She was a child at Christmas as much as my children are. She loved it. I just want to get through it this year. For myself. For my family. For my children. I will smile and laugh and pretend, because that is what I need to do. I may not feel the Christmas Spirit this year, but I can’t take it away from everyone else.
Just as I recover from Christmas will be her birthday. She would have been 66. So young. Too young. I can’t think about all of the things she’ll miss. It’ll break me right now.
She was my best friend. We went through a really rough patch when I was in my teens and early 20s. But we made up. We overcame. She was actually my Friend. My Best Friend. For several years, she was my only friend.
And I miss her.