"She wasn't where she had been.
She wasn't where she was going...
but she was on her way.
And on her way she enjoyed
food that wasn't fast, friendships that held.
smiles that caught tears,
paths trudged and
And on her way she no
longer looked for
the answers, but held close
the two things she knew for sure.
One, if a day carried
strength in the morning,
peace in the evening,
and a little joy in between,
it was a good one...
and two, you can live
She was on her way.
That's how I feel today. Sunday marked a year since my mom died. I truly think that on Monday, I took a breath deeper than I have since that day...all the firsts are over. Part of me is sad...it means she's farther away, I'll only remember her less now...but a bigger part of me knows that I got thru this last year...I can get thru anything. Last year I made the decision to take my mom off life support (something that felt a lot like murder for a long time). I planned her funeral. I packed up all her things and gave them to goodwill. I sold her car. I got rid of her dog. I sold her house. I moved away from everything that's ever been home. And then I started over. As an only child...an only child with divorced parents...I think about how much of that I did alone. At the end of the day, it is just me. But the truth is, my grandparents provided so much emotional support. My aunt has seamlessly stepped into the kind of role my mom has always played. My best friend has stepped up in ways I couldn't have ever asked of or imagined her to. I am not alone. I lost myself this year in the chaos and the noise...I lost myself when I left everything I know. I lost myself when I lost my mom. But my aunt and my cousin and my grandparents and my best friend...held on to the pieces of me...and for the first time in a long time, I feel like I've begun to take them back and piece myself back together.
Anywhere...here's where I'm going with this thought. When my mom was in the hospital, one afternoon my grandma and I were back at the house looking for some insurance paperwork (her records were a MESS) and I found this letter in the bottom of her sock drawer. It was an "if you find this, I'm gone" kind of letter...which is weird since her death was so unexpected...sometimes I wonder if she knew... Anyway, up to this point I've focused on the I love you's and the you meant everything to me's...they keep me holding on. They remind me. Our family trip to the ocean this summer was so important to me because its the one thing she asked of us...if something happens, take everyone to the ocean, walk on the beach and remember the good times we had. I held on to that like a life raft...
She said something else in the letter though. I've not paid that much attention to this part until recently. It says "Please take care of yourself, Steph. I didn't do a very good job of that for myself." I can do that. Its tangible. And I am. I'm paying attention, I'm testing, I'm giving myself shots, my numbers are better, but more importantly, I'm caring again. and Caring feels good.
I have another thought...about testing and giving myself shots in public. But I work in 8 hours and I hate knowing I'm the manager everyone avoids. So. I'm going to bed for my staff's sake :p