Today would have been my mom’s 84th birthday. She will have been gone 10 years this October. Strange how the time slides by, but it all seems so fresh yet.
Because of the joyfully chaotic summer we’re having, I probably wouldn’t have stopped to think about what today was…is…for me. Until I saw an acquaintance post about her first beautiful little granddaughter, born earlier today.
The way my mind works, a lot of life is tied together in ways no one else might perceive but me (cause, you know, it’s MY life…). Seeing the preciousness of another generation started caused me to think about the generation now passing slowly away, relationship by stoic relationship.
My mom missed so much in the last ten years. When she passed, MY baby was only five…she had just started kindergarten. These last ten years have been filled with growth, and change…so much change it all sets my head swimming when I try and sit down to chronicle it all.
Just over the last five years, I’ve graduated three of my four, and sent them (or soon to be sending them) off to college. Most days, it seems like I just made that trip myself…remember how embarrassingly emotional my mom would get each time I left for my college life. I couldn’t wait to get back to my friends, my hectic schedule, new experiences and fun things. She would mourn every time for me.
I get that now. No, not quite to the extent that she did. But I was the first to break the college ceiling in my family. I knew the good things that awaited my kids.
My mom only knew I was gone. Moving on with the processing of growing up. And while she was always supportive and loving through it all…I can say she hated it.
Now, I’m the one who seems to constantly be saying goodbye.
This day has been like so many recently…full to overflowing with activity and emotions. It’s only fitting I have a few quiet minutes at the end of it to reflect about things my mom has taught me since she’s been gone.
One of the most prominent is to not mourn in the moment. There will be plenty of time for sadness and nostalgia once the kids move out and on. While it’s tough, I try desperately to live thoroughly beautiful little glimpses of life with them when they ARE near. Sometimes I fail…but I cling to the “wins,” cause I know those will keep me going when the days are dark and the “demons”seem to be winning.
And…I also remember something great my mom taught me: look forward to the times you all Are together! We are fast approaching a time when, for a brief week or is, they’ll all be under my roof. I’m trying to “live in the moment,” but I gotta tell you…I savor the thought of seeing all of them laughing and talking and just sitting in my living room like one savors a remarkably good meal.
So…happy birthday, Mom. See? I’m still learning from you, even after all these years. I’m pretty sure that process will never truly end.