Mom died on Saturday, February 11, 2012. By day, that's a year ago yesterday. By date, it's a year ago tomorrow. In future years, I'll almost certainly think of it by the date, but because both feel significant to me now, I'm splitting the difference and writing about it today.
To no one's surprise, I still miss her. I have to assume--and hope, really--that I always do. She was my parent, the one constant in my youth. Whatever else she did wrong, she was always there.
What does surprise me is the way the pangs of loss hit me. I can now go a few days at a time without thinking about the fact that she is dead; that ability to forget and move on is natural and good. (I would have guessed a year ago that I'd heal faster. Shows what I know.) Most of the time, when the loss washes over me, it is mild, a pain slowly receding. Every now and then, though, in a conversation or sometimes completely unbidden by anything external, it will hit me like a punch to the stomach, a breath-stealing blow that leaves me stunned.
I know I no longer have a mother, but like a little kid, sometimes I just really, really, really wish I did.
A line that has run continuously through my head for the last few days and that I used in a small toast at dinner with friends last night, sums up the lesson I am currently trying to take from Mom's death.
Let us cherish those we love, for we will never have as much of them as we want.
My advice to you, and to myself, on a winter Sunday, on the middle of the two anniversaries of my mother's death.