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!