It is completely unfair that I had to lose my mom when I was 27 years old, but I still feel more fortunate than most people because I got to have her as my mom. She raised me with the most sincere type of love and nurturing. There was not a selfish or mean bone in her body. As I grew up, we became the closest of friends and we regularly enjoyed each other's sense of humor. Our conversations were always animated and interesting. We fun together doing pretty much anything, whether it was simply running errands or talking about a book that we had both read.
Needless to say, there is a huge hole in my heart, in my soul, and in my life that makes me feel perpetually lonely and sad. It is bittersweet, to have such a great thing and then for it to be gone. It is just a reminder for me to make the most of every moment that I have left with my loved ones.
1. Myrtle Beach, Mother's Day 2009. What I remember most about this trip was a lot of laughter and silliness. My mom had just been diagnosed the month before, but she was not going to let that get her down. She had such a beautiful spirit.
2. Ocean City, Mother's Day 2010. I was four months pregnant. My mom couldn't be any more excited about her new grandson on the way, and he was pretty much all we could talk about on that trip. I remember it being extremely windy while we ate dinner outside on the water.
3. At Ryan's birth, September 2010. What a blessing to have my mom there for the birth of my first child! She provided me with so much comfort. This was THE most special moment and I will treasure it forever.
4. At the hospital for chemo, March 2011. My mom, reading a book to Ryan, while I received my IV chemo treatments. I do consider this a wonderful memory, because my mom had a way of making even these times fun for me.
In one way, it feels like she is somehow still here. We live in the same area and regularly go to all of the same places that she and I went to throughout my whole life. Ryan still fits into some of the clothes that she bought him. I can feel happy that she is still a part of our lives, but these circumstances will not last forever. I dread how empty it will feel in the future. Sometimes it doesn't even seem possible that she existed here with us just a year ago.
What I miss the most are the "in between" moments, the memories that are starting to turn fuzzy in my mind. I desperately do not want to forget the little details of her. When I discover old pictures on my computer or in albums, it is reassuring to suddenly remember something that wasn't particularly memorable. Does that make any sense?
I miss my mom's unconditional support, her advice, and the way she could put a positive perspective on anything. When my heart is heavy, I talk to myself in her voice with what she would have said in that situation. I know it sounds weird, but I guess that it is the only way for me to still feel close to her.
Ryan recognizes Grandma Sue in photos. If you ask him about her, he will point to heaven and say that she lives up there. He also says that Grandma Sue used to "hold me when I was a baby". I wonder if there is any part of his subconscious mind that remember his first year of life and how attached he was to her then? She could comfort him and make him smile more than anyone else could.
I remember the day before my mom passed away, we listened to the song "I Can Only Imagine" and she gave a peaceful smile and said, "I like it." Those were some of her last words.
I can only imagine what it will be like when I walk by Your side
I can only imagine what my eyes will see when Your face is before me
Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus, or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in Your presence, or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine when that day comes and I find myself standing in the sun
I can only imagine what all I will do is forever, forever worship You
I can only imagine.