twelve short months a go, i held my my mom's hand for the last time as her strong and courageous spirit departed from her cancer stricken body.
there were a lot of lasts that happened that day,
and a lot of firsts for me ever since;
365 days worth of firsts, to be exact.
the first time i woke up and realized she was gone.
her first birthday, a measly nine days later.
my first mother's day, thanksgiving, and christmas.
my first new years without a phone call from her at midnight.
the first time i wanted to call her, but couldn't.
the first time i really needed her.
the first time i was sick.
...and the list goes on.
suffice it to say, it's been a year of adjustment.
i once heard a grieving father draw a parallel between different weather patterns and the unpredictability of the grieving process, which resonated with me more than any other analogy i had heard before, or have heard since.
most days feel like winter, you see. you spend the little energy you have hoping for a snow day so you don't have to go outside and face the bitter cold. some days, you get your snow day; you cuddle up on the couch with some wine and a blanket, or, better yet, stay in bed, wrap yourself up in your covers, and distract yourself with some netflix.
but other days, you have no choice but to face the cold; you slowly get up, get dressed, shovel your driveway, scrape the ice off of your windshield, and face the day. the truth is, winter requires effort, and a whole lot of work.
but then there's the summer - the beaming hot sun and the pretty blue skies - both of which feel like a breath of fresh air to you, and something you don't take for granted.
these are the days where you jump out of bed, pack a lunch, and head to the beach with your friends. here, you tan, swim, laugh, and, maybe, if you're ambitious enough, throw a frisbee or two around.
but even on those days, the waves have their way of creeping up on you.
you notice a mother playing with her daughter. a friend says something that triggers you. your mind wanders during frisbee. whatever. SO MANY THINGS REMIND YOU OF HER.
and suddenly, right there in the sand, it feels like winter all over again.
the odd thing, though? as unpredictable as the waves can be, and as bitter as the winter can feel, you don't want a life free of either in fear that your memories will fade along with them.
the grief process is the weirdest thing! so is time; each day pulls me further and further away my mom's existence here on earth, yet has its way of gently pushing me closer to the hope i have of spending an eternity with her in heaven.
but for now, all i can do it try and keep my balance during the waves, do my best to brave the long winter months, and enjoy the sun when it decides to come out and shine.
miss you, mom. even though you're not with us anymore, you'll always be a part of my every day. xo