To Heaven and Back

One year without my best friend. It feels like an eternity, but also like just yesterday I was holding her hand.

We recently went on a family vacation and all I kept thinking of was what my mom would be doing and saying and laughing at and making jokes at. A new normal without her means trying to figure out how to do the things we did with her, without her. Trust me, it takes me forever to decide whether to buy clothes or shoes or purses without her input (my wallet may be a little happier though). I hate that though. I hate a life without her in it. So, I talk to my mom all the time and I see her little signs (and sometimes big signs).

Sometimes the days leading up to her passing come back. When I crawled into bed with her and we just talked and that was the last real conversation I had with her. There’s her shaking the bed guardrails and examining the remote like a toddler because she was confused. There were times when people, with the absolute best intentions, would ask me how she was doing and me wanting to scream “She’s dying!! What do you think?!” Holding her hands as they got colder. When she was no longer able to speak or interact. Just telling her over and over again “I love you.” The room getting really cold before she passed and knowing spirits what was coming. Holding her when she took her last breath. Then wanting the wheelchair and bed gone. Wanting the medicine bottles gone. Wanting the funeral and shiva to just be done with. Wanting it all to just stop. And then it did.

But, now I want everyone to talk about her. I want her name to be remembered. I know she does. There’s such a dark void because she was such a bright light, cliché I know, but it’s true. My mom lit up a room with her presence and now, because there’s so many days without her, I realize how much joy she brought to who she was with and to wherever she was. She was such a beautiful soul on this physical earth and Heaven is lucky to have her energy.

I know she is my mom, but I don’t know anyone who radiates the energy she did. Who so effortlessly was joyful and happy and spread light. I always knew she was peppy and loud, but as I grow I realize she was such a wonderful person. She was honest and truthful, but so caring and kind. She made people laugh just by being around her. She was the center of the conversation without making it about her or forcing it to be about her. People were drawn to my mom’s soul and I am so lucky that for 24 years, that soul was my mom. Cancer can’t take any of that away.

So when the not so great memories of her dying come back, I remember her laugh and her light and her joy. Her baking and cooking. Her love for getting flowers. Her perfectly painted nails that everyone always complimented even though she did them herself. I remember being little, sitting in the bathroom watching her putting on makeup before date night thinking how pretty she looked and how good she smelled. Her hugs.

Love you to Heaven and back, mom.

2 thoughts on “To Heaven and Back

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