Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What is your February 24th?

Let me just start and say, I hope you don't have one. I hope a day doesn't exist like this for you. I hope you don't have to dread the month, the week, the day, the hour, like I do every February 24th. Eleven years later, this day still leaves me lost. Do I take off work, sit around, cry, and let myself feel? Do I work and become preoccupied in everything but the events of that day? Do I try to write down everything I remember about my mom, as I've done so many times; fearful as the years pass, the memories become less vivid? I've tried all of these things, and the one person I want to be around, maybe the only one, is my dad. I feel like out of anyone, he gets how I feel. He understands the depth of my grief, and the stages I've gone through, easing my way to acceptance, one day. We handle our emotions very similarly. If I know he is okay, so I am, and vice versa. I am grateful how our relationship has grown since 2003. He went to wedding appointments with me when Josh was working, gave me advice on invitations, has helped me set up my classroom, has been a listening ear…has learned to play "mom" on so many occasions. I appreciate him, and value how he has stepped in at times where I'm sure he was literally freaking out…"Dad, so I haven't got my period yet after breastfeeding"….. conversations that years ago would seem ridiculous to have with your dad, but have changed to, it would be ridiculous not to have them with him. He is very kind with notes and being thoughtful. This note was attached to a Grove City gift card he gave me for my 30th bday:
I choose to be happy, and try to be positive, even though some days it's hard, and can be forced depending on the situation. I no longer had my mom with me after the age of 19. I am so grateful for the relationship we had, and I do believe she is always watching over me. The emptiness, the void though, is ever so present as it was the day my dad gave me the heartbreaking news, that would change me as a child, wife, mother, teacher, person. I look at people who have both parents, and from the outside don't seem like they have a care in the world, but you know what… you don't know what someone is going through. J.M. Barrie — 'Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.' Maybe they have both of their parents, but their marriage is falling apart. Maybe they have a solid marriage, have never experienced loss, but they are fighting depression. You just don't know…. Something that provides daily comfort to me is: Matthew 5:4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." I wish I could just cover myself in that scripture with the biggest sleeve ever. Maybe someday, for now, I meditate on it, especially this week every year. I like to think that my mom would look something like this holding Samuel, and in September, my new baby. I love you mom.

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