In May 2017 I began finding daisies sprinkled throughout our property, daisies we did not plant. They were my mom’s favorite flower. I think she left them for me to remind me of the journey we took together, especially the lessons learned through her cancer and death. I’m sharing them now in the posts labeled “Daisy Chronicles.”
We are two days from the first day of school. Today a memory popped up on Facebook of the kids first day of school five years ago. That day happened exactly 2 months and five days after my mom died. My children look happy. They look normal.
Their joy is what kept me going during those months. It wasn’t so much that their joy lifted me. It was that I was determined not to ruin the pure joy they possessed, so I kept showing up fully even though so much of me just wanted to crawl back into bed forever.
That has changed over the last five years. I now feel their joy completely. I no longer fake happiness to avoid ruining my kids. I am happy all on my own.
But yesterday something happened that hasn’t occurred in 2 or 3 years. I came inside after dinner and went to the phone to call my mom.
For the first year after her death that happened constantly. It is in those moments where the real grief process happens. It is when you forget someone is gone and you are caught off guard by the fact that they just aren’t there and nothing you can do will change it.
I’m not sure why yesterday was the day I forgot my mom was gone. Probably because we had a really good day. It was normal-good. It was slow paced. The kids and I went for a walk. Then we cuddled under a blanket and watched a movie with popcorn. We grilled chicken and ate outside. Matt played football after dinner with the kids. Its the kind of day my mother would have loved. It was a day where I felt like I got the balance of being a “mom” and being “me” right.
I was clearing the dishes from outside and headed to the phone to call her. Then I remembered she was gone.
The zing of pain I used to feel when I did that the first year after her passing is gone. It still hurts a little but its different. Because almost instantly after I started to call her I realized it wasn’t because I wanted to tell her about my day. It was because I wanted to respond to the conversation she had already started with me. It was because she was right there with me. I could feel her so strongly that I simply wanted to hear the voice that matched the presence all around me.
I wonder if all those times I went to call her that first year weren’t actually because I forgot she was gone but really because she was right there beside me.