It hasn't quite been a year. But for the 55 days of 2012 my mom was alive, she wasn't really. She couldn't move, speak, eat, communicate in any way except moving her eyes. So it's been a year, really.
I've learned, discovered, fought, failed, won, and lost a lot in the past year without my mom.
I've learned that you never know how strong you are till being strong is the only choice you have.
I've discovered that no matter how prepared you think you are to lose your parent, even at such a young age, even after wishing their suffering will end, that all that preparedness you thought you had disappears into nothing when you actually lose that parent.
I've fought with myself. I've fought my tears at time, fought my emotions at times. I've fought with the idea of just breaking down and being alone, because I know that my mom wouldn't want that for me.
I've won by keeping her memory alive. I've won by talking to her every day, by knowing that though I lost her in my life, I gained an angel to watch over me and my kids.
I've lost her advice. I've lost calling her to tell her about the adorable thing PJ or Maggie did. I've lost calling her when something happens and I'm not quite sure what to do. I've lost the excited phone call when the Bears made a big play, or the phone call at 12:01 on NYE wishing me a happy new year.
I've learned that I've never truly experienced heartbreak before. I know that I will likely experience true heartbreak again in my life, but there is nothing like losing your mother.
In this year, as well as last year since she was so ill, so many things happened without my mom.
PJ's third birthday.
Memorial Day BBQ.
4th of July (one of her favorite holidays)
Maggie's second birthday
Christmas (her FAVORITE holiday)
These are just the significant ones. These don't include any of the small, everyday, insignificant things. I missed shopping trips and lunches. I missed my daily email, text or phone call. I missed her excited voice when she got the BEST christmas gift for me. The light in her eyes when she saw her grandkids. That I never got to feel her hug me. That my kids never did. That they won't remember her.
As we enter 2013, the pain is still there. It has not faded, or lessened. My heart still breaks, my eyes still cry, and I still sometimes, forget for just a moment, that she's gone. I hold on to those fleeting moments.
She'd want me to be happy. She'd want me to go on living my life, being the best wife, mother, friend and daughter I can be. And for her, I will. For the woman who gave me life, the woman who would have given anything for me, I will give her my happiness. I will grieve her absence of my life every day till my life is over, but I will also cherish every moment.
I love you Mommy. Happy New Year.