It’s been 8 months since I last held your hand…8 months since I last heard your laugh or saw your smile. When you attended your doctor’s appointment a year ago today for bloodwork we didn’t know how much the results of that appointment were going to change the course of our lives. We didn’t know that the months ahead were going to be filled with fear, sadness, anger, uncertainty, and eventually loss. Over a short few months since that appointment I watched you fight through pain, sickness, and exhaustion trying your hardest to not show your grandchildren the pain you were feeling because you didn’t want to scare them. I saw you push aside your sadness, hoping no one would see it, because you didn’t know if it would be the last time you held, kissed, and heard the voices of those you loved. I watched you fight with every part of your being.
As I sit here in my bed looking back at the year that has passed, and all that I watched you go through, I see you and I see just how strong you were. As I look back, I see now what you taught me that in the moments of sadness and anger I couldn’t quite understand. I see now that you taught me how to be strong in the midst of fear. As I watched you fight through your cancer not letting it crush your hope, in those moments you taught me how to be hopeful even when there seemed to be very little. As I watched you lean into your faith and trust in God that his plan would be your will you taught me how to trust deeper in his plan. As I watched you put your pride aside as your children had to care for you in your last months of life you taught me how be more honest. As I watched you take your last few breathes and hugged my children close you taught me how to let you go.
Over the past 8 months as you’ve watched over us from heaven you’ve taught me how to live without you. It’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. And honestly I never thought I’d have to do it this soon. I’ve changed as I’ve had to learn how to live without you being by my side. I never thought I would have to go through my life at 39 years old and with two young children without you enjoying these moments alongside us. I always thought you’d be here with me to watch them grow. Living through loss and grief has made me learn that tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone. Losing you has taught me how to be a stronger mother because I’ve had to teach my children about death, grief, loss, and pain. You’ve taught me how to be brave and chase my dreams so I don’t leave this world with regrets. Losing you has taught me that we can’t live this life waiting for tomorrow and we need to tell those we love that we love them every day because we don’t know if we’ll be able to tell them tomorrow.
Mom, I want you to know that losing you has taught me how to heal. It’s taught me how to have a new relationship with you and my faith. I’ve learned how to have a deeper spiritual connection with the Lord. I’ve learned how to teach my children about faith, spiritual guidance, and being open to the unexpected changes life brings us. Losing you has taught me how to accept help from others. It’s taught me how to be grateful to the blessings that I do have because that’s just what they are…blessings. Losing you has taught me how to appreciate the small moments in life.
A year ago today was the day that changed the course of my life and the day that began a battle that ended in losing you. The journey we went on together taught me many things about you and about myself…but ultimately…it taught me how to live without you…and I wish I didn’t have to learn that lesson…not yet.
I Miss You xoxo
(Originally posted in February 19, 2020)
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