Today is Sunday. I am sitting in the kitchen at my mom's house. This weekend we had my great niece's here for a sleepover with my sonshine for his 9th birthday. We didn't plan a party with his classmates this year because of the uncertainty that was happening during the time we usually do our party planning. We decided that we would have a party in Central Texas and invite "the girls" to spend the night. When mom was in the hospital we talked about maybe renting a hotel with an indoor pool to stay in but after she passed away having the party at her house seemed perfect. And it was.
Each time we are here there is a feeling that she is with us. I am not sure if that keeps me from moving forward or if it keeps moving forward less painful. But I think we all enjoyed it. My sister helped so much. She is always helpful with the kids. She thinks of creative and special ways to make events even more memorable. She is someone constant in my life. I can tell her when I am sad and she understands. She can also laugh with me when it is appropriate.
This weekend was a little bit of laughter and a little bit of tears. Knowing mom won't be with us as we celebrate any future birthdays is difficult. She had never missed one before. But sitting at her kitchen table last night laughing like we always have was perfect. Our oldest great niece was sitting with us. She played "cool" music for us on her IPOD and tried to teach us new dances. I laughed so hard my side ached! Looking at her sitting with the grown ups now instead of being in the other room playing with the kids reminded me that time moves forward. She is growing up, she is moving into a role I was once in and my sister and I are moving into new roles.
Even my aunt and uncle came to the party. It crossed my mind that it had been the first time they had been to mom's house since she passed away. My brother and sister in law came, too. My nephew sent his regrets that he couldn't come because he had some other obligations. Just hearing that he thought enough about coming to his 9 year old cousins birthday when he is a 20 year old college guy shows me his commitment to family. Having family around is something perpetual. Regardless of who those family members are, I know there will always be family.