It’s been two years since I woke to a day without my mom. Two years since that jolt of knowing her journey here was over and the days of quietly holding her hand had ended.
It’s been two years, but my heart and head are still at odds.
I can’t believe she’s gone. I feel that reverberate in my bones then, close on its heels, Mom was finally released from her pain and is in heaven…it seems other people take comfort in that when their loved ones die, but I don’t feel overwhelming joy when I say it. Maybe that makes me a bad Christian. Maybe it makes me conflicted. Maybe it just means I miss my mom. Either way it leads me back to I can’t believe she’s gone.
Moments still take my breath away. That scene in the movie Wonder – the one where flashbacks with grandma reveal how close the granddaughter felt to her – knocked me off my feet. I found myself frozen in the theater, acutely aware of Bear beside me and the ache I feel when I think of her and my mom.
It’s been two years, but it feels like just yesterday.
I feel like there should be overture music here. Something with a driving rhythm – thumping drums, blaring horn section, maybe an underlying bass line. Perhaps the Death Star music would suffice.
For today is the day that T-man finally, conclusively, at long last officially becomes a teenager.
“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee…pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”
Okay, maybe equating parenting a teen with “the hour of our death” is a little harsh. Mark it up to poetic license on the eve of T-man’s thirteenth birthday.
I’ve read that Gotcha Day can be a hard concept for adoptees. The idea zeroes in on a narrative that says “we’re so lucky you joined our family [and therefore you are so lucky we came along]” and shies away from what might be difficult about this particular day. Skirting the pain of feeling abandoned by a first family, ignoring the possibility that a child might be torn between what is and what could have been.
I acknowledge this and honor the possibility that May 31 might stir conflicting feelings in your heart. So here, in my little corner of the world, I’d like to sing my praises for this day.
We dreamed of having children, and when we didn’t we waited for you.
We dreamed of being parents, and one day your birthmother trusted us to be your family.
We dreamed of being a mom and dad, and one day we were blessed to call you our son.
We dared to dream, and then you were there.
Today I’ll tell you I love you, each and every day. That I’m blessed to be your mom, and what a joy it is to watch you growing into a strong, smart, kind young man.
I’m having a wee bit of trouble wrapping my brain around the fact that Bear turns eleven today.
Bear was looking over the calendar this month when I heard her exclaim, “Blogiversary?! Mom, what’s that?”
That, my dear, is the two year mark for Riddle from the Middle. And yes, it’s definitely calendar worthy.
It’s been a remarkable ride, y’all. I know I bitch and moan about laundry and all the crazy (Why can’t Gracie eat the cheap pens?!), but even with all the ups and downs I feel more alive than ever. Answering the call to build RFTM makes my Top Ten Best Life Decisions list. Here are some of the things I’ve learned during my time with the blog.
Life is filled with firsts, and they usually pack a wallop.
First kiss. Oh, boy, that first kiss is a doozy. So much uncertainty and confusion wrapped up in an explosion of feelings and fireworks. So much opportunity for bumping noses and awkward misses. So much anxiety about bad breath and whether they like you back and if you’re any good at kissing at all. It’s one of those rites of passage…there’s nothing quite like the first first kiss.
No one’s ever prepared to lose their mother. Intellectually I understand nobody lives forever, but it’s one thing to know death is inevitable and another thing entirely to find myself walking the earth without the woman who’s loved me my whole life. It’s a permanent shift in the universe.
Here are some of the things I’ve learned in 365 days without my mom.
I’ve hit the Big 4-6 today. Past the decade midpoint. On the downhill slide to 50.
Woo hoo, people, it’s party time!
In honor of this momentous occasion, here are 46 tidbits for the day.