I miss you. Nine years ago today, as you lay dying, we had our last conversation. Even though you had basically been unconscious and uncommunicative with morphine for those last few days, I placed my head next to yours on your hospital bed and I grabbed your hand and I whispered to you these words: I am strong because of you. It’s okay for you to go now. You don’t have to hold on any longer. You have taught me how to love and how to be a mother and even though I am crying and heartbroken, I will be the best mother I can possibly be to your beloved grandchildren that you adore.
And then I felt your hand nudge mine. A gentle yet firm nudge that let me know you heard me. And I just kept saying I love you. I am strong. You can let go. Over and over.
Those last moments with you have become embedded into the very core of my soul. Just like the abundance of moments we shared for 38 years together as mother and daughter and the dearest of friends.
My grief for you has become a part of me. It can be expansive – filling every part of me and then it can flatten down into a smaller part- like a big balloon that is filled with air and then deflates and takes up less space but is still a balloon.
I hope you know how much I have leaned on you these last couple of years. I have a feeling that you do know. Your love and laughter and peacefulness continues to be the soothing balm it always was and I can feel your presence guiding me throughout my most challenging days. A part of me is glad that you don’t have to see me with MS. And other parts of me so wish that you were here. Not a day goes by that I don’t reflect on the power of your influence and the compassion you effortlessly poured into me and our family.
And guess what? I love you. And I am still strong. And O and J love you and have become these amazing people. I know you already know this. And that you are smiling. And laughing in that boisterous way that is uniquely yours.
The balloon is really full at this time and I need to have a cleansing cry and look at old pictures now. I’m already wearing one of your comfy shirts.