While I was mulling over a topic for this week's blog, a friend reminded me, "Valentine's Day is coming up."
Instant emotional connection: my mother's birthday is? was? February 12th. Next Saturday night. The same day as Abraham Lincoln, for those old enough to remember when we celebrated Abraham Lincoln and George Washington's birthdays separately instead of as "Presidents Day."
Tears sprang to my eyes. I want to cry. I still do. Because this is the first year Mom is celebrating her birthday in heaven. This is the start of the season . . . God be thanked, only a month. . .of those awful anniversaries:
- February 12th - Mom's birthday
- February 22nd - 1st anniversary of Mom's death
- March 13th - 3rd anniversary of Jolene's death
- March 16th - would have been Jolene's 27th birthday.
Life, for the most part, goes on. So much has changed. I am a grandma twice over, a full time writer, and Oklahoma begins to feel like home.
And yet . . .
I am still that person, the one started this blog in the aftermath of the worst loss of my life. I still experience times like this, where even the mention of the date makes me want to sob. I suspect I always will. When I think of what I wish I had done differently. When I miss Mom and Jolene fiercely it's a physical pain.
How little I appreciated the gift we had. . .the years the three of us spent together, our little trio of three generations, the joys of times shared. I treated those times as they would last forever. Now I want to go back and savor every moment. But of course I can't.
On the first anniversary of Jolene's death, God put me with a group of writers. Last year, the Saturday after Mom died on Monday, I spoke to my local group. This year, I will on retreat with a group of writers when the anniversary of Mom's death rolls around. I guess God knows the people I most need to hold me up in times of grief--my writing family.
So I know, although at the moment my heart is heavy, joy will return. God has given me peace and will carry me through this time of remembering.
P.S. Today is Super Bowl Sunday. I remember getting a bunch of snacks and watching the game with Jolene when she was in middle school . . . I suspect I'll be inundated with memories over these next few weeks.