Since 2004, this week has represented the longest week of my year. Yeah, it sounds strange but bear with me, 8 years ago today my mother celebrated her 50th birthday and then left this world 4 days later. For the first few years after her death I would spend this week holding back the tears and trying to stay sane. Yet in the past year I have noticed a slow change, no longer do the tears flow quite so steadily during this time period, don’t get me wrong they still show up but the pain at the core of my being has loosened. To quote a friend of mine last night who knew my mother, mourning turns to memories.
I realize as cliché as it sounds while time doesn’t necessarily heal wounds, it does indeed lessen them. The world and my world have both moved on in the past 8 years but my Mom’s spirit still resides in me and even more in my kids. I am learning that while death closes many doors, it opens others. My daughter will never know her Grandma (actually she knows no Grandma’s since they all checked out before she arrived) but her ways of being are so reminiscent of my own Mom that as I shared with my brother last night, it’s as if Ma came back as my daughter….who knows.
Anyway I will do what I have done since her 50th birthday when she was not well enough to do it herself, I will open a bottle of red and raise a glass to my Mom….the best mother, friend and confidant a girl could have. Instead of tears, I will look back on all the good times and a few of the not so good ones too. Death does not stop love nor does it end the parent-child relationship as I have learned, it merely changes it. One of the last lucid things my Mom said to me was in response to a question I asked her, I suspect she knew her time was coming to a close and she told me to think and find the answer. It seemed harsh at the time, but it now makes sense, when I am in a jam, I do just that and generally the answer will find me.
To quote my brother, our clan flag is at half-mast this week but there is no sorrow, death is simply part of the journey. Some of us are blessed with long years, others not, but the number of years is irrelevant because love is more than time or even a physical body.