I woke up this morning to a gorgeous sunny, blue sky day. The breeze was blowing around the wind chimes hanging on my balcony; the very wind chimes my Mom made for me. The sound of the chimes clinking together is very comforting. For once in quite a long while, I felt a shred of peace and thankfulness to be alive. My first thought was how much my Mom would have loved a day like this. She was in her fullest glory and joy on days like this. She would be out in her beautiful garden picking the weeds, flitting about the house complaining it was not ever clean enough, making jewelry with her granddaughters or sunbathing on the patio. Since she died, I have oscillated between feeling numb or incredibly angry. There have been fleeting moments of happiness but I haven’t allowed myself to fully feel happiness for the fear it will be snatched away, like my Mom was. It will be a year in September and it really doesn’t feel any different than the early months following her death. Grief in no way works in stages. These “stage” characteristics are valid but grief does not happen in some step 1, step 2 sequential order. It is not something you simply check off that it’s done, all is well, no more grief here. It’s more like floating out in the ocean. At some times the water is decently calm and serene until I see a Mom with her daughter, or hear a song my Mom loved, or her birthday comes and goes like any other day. Then, well, a tidal wave that appears out of nowhere and stronger than the tidal wave before it swoops me up and crumbles me around. It’s overwhelming, exhausting, and heart breaking every time. Each wave is different. Each wave is yet to be seen.
However, on a day like this, a day my Mom should be experiencing, I was filled up with the energy to get out there and enjoy the heck out of this day. For her, for me. She is not here to experience each day anymore, that’s a fact. She would want me to live to the fullest, even though most of the time I feel half alive. So I loaded up my bike and hit the greenway to live this day for my Mom. In a way, making the most of each day, the best I can, is honoring her life and her memory. I would be doing a disservice to her spirit, to mine, to those spirits who have passed on, and those yet to be born if i did not take advantage of this opportunity I do have to experience life.
We cannot see all of the waves that are coming. Even if a wave comes through that seems familiar, and perhaps we have some skills to ride it, every wave is one that has never happened before. Days like today feel like a long sigh of relief after 2 years of holding my breath. I am grateful days like this are coming along more frequently but I cannot get down on myself for the days in which I am not able to fully appreciate and truly live. For now, living for my Mom is the best I can do. It’s something. With the hope that some day soon I will be living for me again.
Well I’m on my way
I don’t know where I’m going
I’m on my way I’m taking my time
But I don’t know where
Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard- Paul Simon