It's been 18 years now since my Mother passed from this life to the next. On most days, the only way you can tell that I ever knew her is by the lasting impressions her fierce love made on me. That love wasn't altogether perfect, BTW. Any Mother (and later Grandmother) that would taunt their child (and grandchild) when she absolutely destroyed them playing Checkers, has some issues. But I think I can speak for my family when I say that we know beyond a doubt that we were loved by her.
Today would have been her 89th birthday.
And I miss her.
It's not as bad as it was early on, when the sting of the immense loss was still so fresh. Those days of picking up the phone to call her and then realizing that it would be fruitless are long gone. Now my grief has a softer tone to it. Songs bring her immediately to memory. Bunny's piano recital last weekend was filled with songs from the 30's and 40's that my Mother used to sing at the drop of a hat. Every now and then we come across a picture of her, and I'm transported back in time. It's seldom I go to McDonalds, see a Milky Way candy bar, or refill a coffee cup I used before that I don't think of her little quirks and thank God that I had her as long as I did. Tears well up sometimes, like now, but far more often I feel a deep joy at having been loved by her, and having loved her.
And I do thank God upon every remembrance of her.
She'd like that a lot.
I think that's a good form of grief.
So Happy Birthday Mom. Save me a seat in the choir. I'm not in a hurry, though. :)