Mom gave this book to me in 1999...
My "It's a Wonderful Life" obsession remains...
THREE months ago today my wonderful Mom left this earth. The more time that passes the more in complete and utter SHOCK I feel. When I reflect back on all I have done, all I have seen.....all the tears, rage and sorrow in these three months without her....well, I don't know what to say. I sometimes feel like all the life, all the joy, all the goodness of who I was has been sucked right out of me. I'm not always a broken down crying wretch.
Sure, I've laughed, had good times, moved on to some degree just out of simple necessity. But I sense this shadow around the edges of every damn thing. That little reminder memory that in one second casts a darkness on all that should be bright.
I wrapped all the kids Christmas presents on Monday. I should say I forced myself to complete the task. Just get it done. A year ago around Lauren's birthday my mom and my aunt and I sat in my closet and drank champagne and listened to music and wrapped all the gifts together. When life presented us with a task, we pulled out the champ and put some music on and got down to business. And we always shared a lot of laughs.
I will never tire of seeing Mom's handwriting. She made awesome T's.
When I was hauling my ass back and forth, in and out of the crawl space to retrieve all the hidden gifts, I realized there was quite possibly many years where my mom sure as hell didn't feel like putting up a tree, wrapping gifts and filling our stockings. (My sister enjoyed all the little items in her stocking to be WRAPPED as well and my mom obliged! Years later she discontinued this practice and told my sister to deal with it!) Dad died in November and a few weeks later Mom somehow managed to go through the motions of the holiday. How in the heck did she do it?
In the same way my sister and I are doing it. In the same way we get up every morning and put one foot in front of the other. I look at my face in the mirror and wonder who it is I see. Who is this skinny-faced, puffy eyed with bags underneath, patchy haired woman? Where did her old self go? Who will she become?
I once was talking to Mom about the Godfather DVD collection she purchased hubs (that year after Dad died) for Christmas and she adamantly denied ever buying him any such thing! I distinctly told her about the coupon she had and exactly which store she went to to buy it. She hadn't a clue. That's a classic case of going through the motions.
Some days I feel strong. I feel so capable. Others days it is more of a sleep walking journey to do what I have to do to take care of everything it is that I am in charge of. When I told hubs that I feel like the life has been sucked out of me he said that when someone dies you don't lose your power you simply take on the strength of the other person.
That may be true. Heck, anything can be true right now.
Survival is brutal sometimes.
I have two good, look forward to them every year, kinda parties in the next couple of days and then I'm going on an overnight to the city with my BF for her birthday. We have a killer hotel booked. We have an awesome dinner and Sunday brunch planned. I plan to eat and drink and laugh my face off. I plan to suck the marrow out of the bone. I plan to breathe in and out. I plan to wear an awesome outfit with some ridiculous shoes that I can barely walk in. I plan to just BE happy. To MAKE happy happen. To feel the joy return to my body. I'm going to manufacture fun people. I'm going to make it happen. In the great spirit of my Mom. Just about the funnest person I ever knew.
(I wish I knew the year this photo was taken....gonna have to ask Grams about this)Left to right: My Mom, Terry, her Father (my Grandfather) Henry, her Sister (my Aunt) Sandy and her Mother (my Grandmother) Regina.
Just look at my Mom's sassy pose and her face! I'm not sure anyone looks exactly happy in this photo. My Grandfather is the only one smiling with some teeth showing. Frankly my Grandmother looks exhausted. (she probably was, aren't all mothers at this time of year?!) I do love the way my Mom looks. I'd love to know what everyone was thinking and who took this photo. That's some classic tinsel on the tree too. If this was in color I can guarantee my Mom was wearing red lipstick.
I'm adding that to my list for this weekend too.