I hadn't really thought about it until today, but it's now been five years since my mother passed away. It was bittersweet at the time. I had watched her fight and suffer for so long, I was relieved for her to be done with the battle at last. However, she was only 44, and I was only 24.
I am learning that even though you depend on your parents the most when you are a child, you still very much need them when you are an adult. The rest of my family has tried to fill the gap the best they can. My dad is still around, and I have a step-mother who is readily there for me when I need. There isn't any replacement for your own mother though. Especially when you are a mother yourself.
I've had friends lose a parent in the past few years, and they turn to me for wisdom. I do what I can for them, but really, there is no wisdom here. I will say this. It *does* get better. Eventually. The pain isn't so constant, and you learn to not think about them every waking hour any more. You move on. Not completely though. It's funny now, how five years later, something can happen, and the pain comes rushing back in so fast it takes my breath away. Times when the kids do something funny, or have a doctor's appointment. My mom always wanted to hear about that. I called her every day, and if I didn't, she would call me. She loved her grandkids, and wanted to hear everything. So, at times like when Hannah cut her bangs off, just like my sister did when she was little, it hurts to know that I can't pick up the phone to tell my mom about it.
There is also a noticeable absence when I think about the kids. I get sad for them, that their grandmother isn't here to watch them grow up. When she died, Logan was only six months old. Hannah wasn't even a blip on the radar yet. Lindsay was pretty small, so she doesn't remember her, but Ryan was old enough, he does have a few memories. Some days I get to thinking about the what-could-have-beens. Wondering if she would think Hannah looks as much like me as I think she does. Wondering what it would be like to have her as yet another cheerleader for Logan as he attends all his therapies. What she would have thought of the bossy, yet sweet, piano playing princess Lindsay is turning out to be. How she would be so proud of Ryan, who started off in the NICU with a very uncertain future. She was there every step of the way with us, and I think about how happy she would be about the young man he is turning into.
I am a person of faith. My mother was as well. I believe I will see her again, and that my children will too. That some day is floating out there on the horizon, and I do take comfort in it.
I still wish she was here now though.