It has been eight years since my mom died. In previous years, the weeks leading up to this date are generally filled with anxiety and dread. My mood darkens and I turn inward and keep the sadness to myself. I think of all the should haves, could haves, and become rather selfish in my grief. Then, the anniversary of her death comes and of course, tears usually accompany this date. I miss her.
This year, though, I could look at the numbers 23 on a calendar and be okay. The thought of the date wasn't dreadful at all. It seemed more like a regular day. I could think about it and think of the anniversary and not instantly dissolve into a moody revelry. I could remember my mom and smile. It may be a slightly wet smile, but it is a smile nonetheless. I could talk about my mom and how long she's been gone and not tear up. Honestly, I like this approach better.
This year, I was able to remember my mom and think about how fortunate I was to have her. My mom was fun and knew how to laugh. She could be silly and spontaneously burst into silly songs. She also gave great hugs just when you needed it. She loved. She was beautiful. Although these sentences about her are in the past tense, I still feel that she is with me. I know I've mentioned her knack for finding four leaf clovers and following her death, I saw rainbows everywhere. Since then, whenever I see a patch of clovers or a rainbow, which I still see frequently, I have the feeling my mom is saying hello. It's weird, but it is comforting. I may no longer have her hugs or her laugh, but I do have her rainbows and clovers and that works for me. I love remembering my mom and on this day especially, my memories help me smile.