The year of firsts…

Missing from family dinners

Missing from family birthday celebrations

Missing from Thanksgiving

Missing from Christmas

Missing from school concerts

No birthday cards

No anniversary cards

No phone calls

No text messages

No email messages

No card games

No back-to-school shopping trip

No family trips

No hugs

No “I love you”

This past year was a year of firsts without my mom. The first of her being gone from family and school events, of not feeling her arms around me as we hugged in greeting or before we parted. There were no conversations, weekly phone calls, no card games, or an overabundance of presents during the holidays. And the Easter Bunny is also gone. For 15 years, my mom was the Easter Bunny – customizing baskets for the kids each year.

They always say the year of firsts is hard. And it is, but it is much more than missing her at events. It is missing being able to talk with her about whatever is going on in our lives or asking her a question or simply missing knowing that she is there when you need her.

They say time heals all wounds, but it takes a lot of time to adjust to losing someone. You never get over losing them. You just learn to live with them. You cry. You laugh. You lash out. You remember and you cry some more. And you just keep going.

I often think of my mom while I’m making dinner or while driving to the grocery store. These thoughts come out of nowhere. Sometimes, it can be happy thoughts and memories. Other times, I remember her in the hospital and I’m wishing things had gone a different way. And some thoughts bring tears as I suddenly miss her so much.

She may be gone but she certainly isn’t forgotten. The kids and I often mention her in conversations, remembering the things she did, remembering the good times and even speculating at what she would do or say in our current activities.

Today is the first anniversary of when she left us. And while I and my family will be sad today as we visit her grave, it is also a day to remember her and appreciate all the time we had when she was alive, to remember those good times. And for just a moment or two, I’m sure we will feel closer to her as we remember the love. Then then we move onto the second year of being without her hugs, her smile and her presence.

We miss you, mom/Gramme/Joan!

Z is for Zoot #AtoZChallenge

For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I have chosen the theme of dragons as characters. Whether they appear in film, TV, cartoons or literature, these dragons may be the star of the show or just a supporting character.

Z is for Zoot, one of the main dragons from my fantasy trilogy, The Elemental. I started this challenge with another dragon (Aura) and only thought it fitting to end the challenge with my very first dragon character.

Zoot is a large black dragon with wings and four legs. His hide is soft, and he (and the other dragons) all can speak telepathically. Zoot is a sarcastic, matter of fact, and often grumbles when asked to do something. But he is also dedicated and trustworthy.  

He meets Lina, the protagonist of the trilogy, at the end of the first book when she saves him from a hunter’s trap. He later returns the favor, rescuing her and her companions for a cliff. Realizing she has elemental magic and could be the one predicted to save the Land, he agrees to help her. He and the other dragons spend months helping Lina and her companions as they race across the Land to save it from an evil magician.  

V is for Viserion #AtoZChallenge

For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I have chosen the theme of dragons as characters. Whether they appear in film, TV, cartoons or literature, these dragons may be the star of the show or just a supporting character.

V is for Viserion, one of the dragons from TV seriers, Game of Thrones. He is one of three dragons born. The other two are Drogon and Rhaegal. He is named after Daenerys Targaryen’s elder brother Viservs.

Viserion has cream and gold-colored scales and red-orange wings. He has green eyes. He is calmer than his brother Drogon and is loyal to Daenerys. Being a large dragon, Viserion is strong, can fly fast and can breathe fire.

The Night King kills Viserion with an ice spear. Later his corpse is resurrected, and he becomes an ice dragon with blue glowing eyes, paler blueish scales and able to breathe blue fire. He is controlled by the Night King’s magic. He is killed in a battle with his brothers and dies when the Night King is killed.

If you missed my other AtoZ Challenge posts::

A is for Aura

B is for Blazey

C is for Canth

D is for Draco

E is for Elliott

F is for Fafnir

G is for Gwythaints

H is for Haku

I is for the Ice Dragon

J is for Jabberwocky

K is for Kalessin

L is for Ladon

M is for Mushu

N is for Norbert

O is for Orm Ember

P is for Puff the Magic Dragon

Q is for Queen of Dragons

R is for Ruth

S is for Smaug

T is for Toothless

U is for Urnikh #AtoZChallenge

For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I have chosen the theme of dragons as characters. Whether they appear in film, TV, cartoons or literature, these dragons may be the star of the show or just a supporting character.

U is for Urnikh, the dragon from the 1995’s short story, The Dragon on the Bookshelf, by Harlan Ellison and Robert Silverberg. It also appeared in Ellison’s 1997 short story collection Slippage.

Urnikh is a young, small dragon who is very dedicated to Margaret, a woman who he loves and thinks is beautiful. He panics when he can’t find her as he knows a dimensional rift is growing larger and threatening the Earth. While it is Urnikh who was sent to stop the rift, he spends too much of his time looking for Margaret.

If you love this image, you can purchase it on Etsy.

T is for Toothless #AtoZChallenge

For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I have chosen the theme of dragons as characters. Whether they appear in film, TV, cartoons or literature, these dragons may be the star of the show or just a supporting character.

(I’m behind by a few days but hoping to catch up.)

T is for Toothless from DreamWorks’ How to Train your Dragon franchise. He is the only Night Fury in the franchise. He is jet black with green eyes. Toothless can narrow his pupils to slits like a cat when he is threatened or angry. Other times when he is happy, his pupils dilate and become more dog-like. He is a winged dragon with a set of tail fins that aid in steering and stability. In the first movie, his left tail fin is damaged by at trap set by Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, the main protagonist of the series. It is later replaced by a mechanical fin that Hiccup constructs. His name comes from his ability to retract his teeth.  

Toothless is playful, inquisitive, and intelligent. He has a dry sense of humor. Even though they start off as not liking each other, Toothless and Hiccup form a tight friendship. Their friendship is what ends the war between Vikings and dragons. Toothless goes on to become the king of dragons, the alpha to all the other dragons, and leads the dragons to the Hidden World, the ancestral home of all dragons.

If you missed my other AtoZ Challenge posts::

A is for Aura

B is for Blazey

C is for Canth

D is for Draco

E is for Elliott

F is for Fafnir

G is for Gwythaints

H is for Haku

I is for the Ice Dragon

J is for Jabberwocky

K is for Kalessin

L is for Ladon

M is for Mushu

N is for Norbert

O is for Orm Ember

P is for Puff the Magic Dragon

Q is for Queen of Dragons

R is for Ruth

S is for Smaug