Two years ago Sunday my mother exited this earth.
I’d be a fool to not recognize all the growing I’ve done in this time and all the ways my family has been blessed despite this heartbreak, but…I MISS HER. I make up fantasies about her, making her into something she never had a chance to be: a terrific grandma to my two kids who helped with things like doctor’s appointments and validating I wasn’t crazy for being terrified of Kindergarten registration. A mom who said “good job” when I felt like I was going to fall over from exhaustion if I had to school one more bathtime. A friend who took me for nail appointments as a treat–just because.
Who knows if these things would have been? I’d like to believe so. While sad and bittersweet, imagining these things sometimes makes me feel warm inside–and loved. And that’s the thing of it–I don’t know what additional years to my mom’s life would have held exactly, but I do know one thing for certain: she was my best cheerleader. She was the one who ALWAYS said “Go you!”. She thought I was cool for just being me. She got me in so many ways the rest of the world did not.
And now she’s gone.
So it’s kind of lonely up in here. Lonely in that the rest of the world moves on, “forgets” in a sense, as it should. Don’t get me wrong; I count the blessing of my bangin’ Dead Parent Support Group (read: two dear pals who unfortunately understand my sadness too well as we kick back over margaritas) And I have a husband who loves me so much, and friends, and…
While other friends, teachers, grandmas, life partners, and mother-in-laws may appropriately find their way into the lives of those who loved her, I will never have another mother.
There is one soul who shares this truth with me: my sister. Through all of this, she has become My Family. She can never and should never replace my mother, but she is my safe space on this earth. In one recent moment, when my world felt a little too lonely and scary, I called her and said, “I need to know”.
“Need to know what?”, she asked.
“Need to know that even when life doesn’t make sense, is insanely busy, and things are horribly inconvenient, you will still be there. You will have our back. Always.”
“There would never be another way”.
So on this March 2 when emotions rage from all directions and I find it an accomplishment to even remember where my toothbrush is, I just want to hang with her, my “Need to Know”.
Because of all the legacies my mother left on this earth, my sister is the one for which I’m most grateful.