April 13, 2010

New Normal

Saturday marked five months since my mom's death. It is hard to believe it has been that long. It is even more difficult to absorb how much happened in such a short time span. As I look at the last five months through more rational eyes I can see so many gifts. I am able to see the positive more each day and less of the negative.

The truth for me is that the first three months following her death and the loss of my job, I was far from logical. I don't even remember everything that happened during some of those days. I still have memories about her funeral that hit me as if they are new. I assume that is the protection the body offers from having to feel the intensity of the pain all at once.

Things are becoming different now and I am living, one day at a time, with a very new normal. I spent the past weekend at my house. I haven't done that much in over two years. I spent as much time with my mom as I could since she was diagnosed with cancer in January 2007.....time I value more and more each day....time I wouldn't trade for anything in the world. I guess it is the small stuff I miss the most. I miss her sense of humor and her tolerance of mine!
This weekend I am making a "memory lane" kind of journey toward Memphis, Tennessee with some family members. It is a route I took several times with mom. When I was very young, the same year Elvis died, in fact, my parents took us to Graceland. Years later, after my dad was gone, my mom and three of my aunts drove through Memphis on our way to visit another aunt in Kentucky. We spent the night there and made some great memories.

One of the funniest memories I have of that trip (and there were many) actually didn't happen until I arrived home. When I travel I mail a post card to myself from the places I visit. I don't write anything on them....but this time...when I looked at my postcard from a town we stopped in Arkansas my mom had written on it "wish you were here"! I still have that card. And I still laugh every time I look at it. Those are the small things. The things she did everyday to brighten my life.

She was amazing. She still is amazing. And I am so grateful for the time we spent together. I think out of everything I walk away with is that lesson. Live for today. Love for today and don't let a day go by without doing something you want to do. I wonder how many weekends and holidays I would have missed had I just done what was easier by staying home, avoiding the travel or the truth, and not been with her.

Finding gifts in grief.

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