It's been three months since you went home. I know it's a blink of an eye where you are, for me it has felt interminable. Incapable of being terminated (obviously) and unending (at least until I get to join you). If that's three months, what will 6 months be? One year? Two years? After...
Saturday, too, marks 6 years since Nan passed away. Perhaps it is that milestone, mixed with your recent loss that is the source of my melancholy because there really is no other word for it. It's not just a sadness, it permeates. It embarrasses me a bit, too because it is so strong right now and I feel like I should be stronger. I don't want to talk about it too much, I don't want to sound whiny. I've said it dozens of times and I'm sure I'll say it dozens more - I'm not the first person to lose my mother and I won't be the last.
Yet. You were MY mother and I lost YOU. At least here. And I know - I get to see you again and you are with Jesus. All of that brings me peace and comfort. It really, really does. But...and there is always the but. I think about you at least two thousand times a day. Some days 3000. Since there are only 1,440 minutes in a 24 hour period, what does that tell you?
That peace and comfort? While being the only thing that keeps me from falling into some abyss, it doesn't always remedy the grief immediately.
For instance, it doesn't help when I'm reading two recipes for baked beans and neither one of them sounds quite like Nana's, I can't find Nana's recipe and I just want to ask you if you have it somewhere.
It doesn't help when one of the guys at work says or does something funny - or stupid - or worse - and we can't head out to Olive Garden to giggle our way into being late back from lunch.
It doesn't help when I realize that one month from now would be the time for our annual trek to Leavenworth, stopping at The Alps to pick up Bavarian creme for Uncle John and then meandering through town for an entire Saturday, eating lunch at whichever random restaurant we wanted to try and dinner at The Bear.
It doesn't help when I go through Christopher's pictures from France & England and know (with a knowing that aches) that you would have absolutely loved to pour over those pictures, detail by detail, with Christopher. Asking him about each place - what it looked like, smelled like, what the people were like.
It doesn't help when I pass your picture 10 times a day at the office. They hung it on the side of the refrigerator until someone bought a frame. Every time I'd get a glass of water, I'd see you up there. The guys were supposed to be buying a frame. I gave up today and went shopping. It helps in fighting the tears when I'm at the fridge.
It doesn't help when L and I try to communicate at work. She doesn't always understand me. You did. Sometimes we didn't even have to talk in complete sentences. I miss that a lot, several times a day.
It doesn't help when I'm out shopping and I see something I think one of the girls might like but I don't know if they have it already. I go to call you and...
That Friday, that day when I tried to tell you just how big a part of me you are. Did you grasp it at all? Because, honestly? I don't think I did you justice. I don't think even I realized just how much a part of me you were. If I had had any idea I was going to be this turned upside down, I don't think our conversation that last day would have gone quite the same. The words "excruciating pain" would have been an understatement.
Mom, people tell me it gets easier. I love you more than I can ever say and I don't mean any disrespect when I say this but I really hope they're right. I'm not a very patient person, though and I'm also intensely selfish so I want to feel better NOW. What I want is to always experience sweet memories, not this overwhelming wave of aching pain that washes over me whenever I see your picture or your handwriting or whatever else happens to come my way in reminding me you're not here.
However did you survive losing Nan? What was your secret? What did you do? Did you have a favorite memory? See...questions only you can answer. And yet...you can't. Now I know why people say 'Come, Lord Jesus, Come.' He is the joy and you... well... you are the added benefit.
I love you, Mom. More than I ever got to tell you. And I miss you. More than you ever imagined I would.