Yesterday would have been my Mom’s 70th birthday, if she hadn’t gone to heaven 15 years ago. All these years later, I wonder what she would be like now. I think about what kind of mother-in-law she would have been and about how much she would have loved her grand children. But I can’t live for what can’t happen and for the way life didn’t turn out.
Our family is now in our seventh year of celebrating Mom’s birthday. Instead of mourning the fact that she isn’t with us anymore, we celebrate that she lived a beautiful life. Our party has evolved over the years to cake, handmade cards, and releasing balloons to heaven. The girls have loved it every year, which makes me look forward to it.
This year has been different. A week or two before this past Mother’s Day, I was in the store looking to buy 4 Mother’s Day cards. The fact that I have so many wonderful family members and friends to help guide the girls and I is never lost on me. I am truly blessed. But this time as I looked at the cards for mothers and mother figures, a profound sense of loss came over me. It took my breath away in the middle of the grocery store and I had to leave. This kind of sadness hadn’t happened to me in several years.
The last few months have also found me missing Mom more. Our future fostering plans are ones I would love her input on. My scary health issues are ones she would definitely understand. Milestones the girls go through make me want to call her until I realize I can’t. It has been enough to make me ugly cry.
This year, more than other years, I have realized that grief is not linear. There is never a time you are over it. It comes in waves and can seem to come out of nowhere. Just when you think you are better and past it, a fresh thought or memory or situation can send you back to where you came from. The good thing is that at this point, you know you can get through it. When grief first hits, you wonder how you will ever go on. Then days and months pass, and you are living still. Life may be different, but there is still air in your lungs and your heart beats in your chest.
So, even though I didn’t feel like celebrating last night as much as I usually do, we had our little party. First up was the cake. The girls reenacted the picture I took of them from the first party, six years ago. They are still cute!
Then we took the balloons outside and set them free. No matter how many times we have done this, it still makes me happy to dream that they get to her in heaven. I can picture the delight on her face when these balloons arrive from her family!
The girls made cards too. It was a fun little party that did my heart good. Getting out of the depths and forcing myself to smile led to actual smiling. If this idea sounds like something that might help ease your sadness even a little, I urge you to try it. Cake and balloons do wonders!
Linking with Holley Gerth