The first year

If there is a heaven, then my mom is there catching up with her family and friends of days gone by. Her heaven is a house on the seashore where she awakes every morning to the sound of gulls and crashing waves.

Her mornings are filled with freshly cooked bacon, walks on the beach and swims in crystal turquoise waters. Sometimes she floats. Sometimes she snorkels. Sometimes she wades up and down the shore casting out her fishing pole hoping for a bite. Sometimes she lays in the warm sand, working on her favorite word search puzzle soaking up the perfect sunshine without a care in the world.

Her friends and family come to visit and they feast on meals made of old family recipes chatting about the good old days over sweet cups of piping hot cafe con leche. The sound of dominoes clicking and sliding against the table can be heard until the wee hours of the night as they enjoy the long lost company of one another.

Sometimes days are filled with trips to her favorite places, driving around in a red convertible to the songs of Donna Summer. Mom, in her happiest place, shopping at big retail stores, crunching on bags of freshly popped popcorn and sipping ice cold cups of Coca Cola as she pushes her cart along the aisles.

When the days get cooler, her heaven is a campground where her and her mom sneak away for cozy mountain trips. Conversations about life and family fill their days as they sit by warm campfires under millions of stars.

And on silent nights, when the heavens are calm, my mom sleeps and dreams of us, just as we sleep and dream of her here on Earth. She sees our successes, listens to our worries, and laughs with us during our craziest of times.

And on those very peaceful nights where we are lucky enough to meet, we reunite in those dreams, talking about life and creating memories that no photograph can capture.

The most difficult year of my life has been the first year without my mother. This year has shaken me to my bones, and has taught me how to live life, even though a part I had for 32 years of my life is now gone. I want to express my gratitude and thanks to all of my family, friends, co-workers, blog readers, and even strangers who have given me their words of encouragement or kindness over the past year. All of you have strengthened me and shown me how to live on.

I especially want to thank Brian. You’ve wiped my tears, and held me close. You’ve been there for every moment reassuring me that we will be OK. Thank you for your unconditional love and patience. It means more than you’ll ever know.

Miss you terribly, Mom.

Love, Stephanie


12 thoughts on “The first year

  1. Beautiful, Steph. Your mom’s heaven sounds pretty wonderful. I know this year has been hard for you. Take peace in knowing that with every day that passes, it gets just a little bit less painful.Remembering the wonderful, happy memories is what she wants you to do, and to share them and pass them on. Hugs and love to you, my sweet friend…

  2. This is a very touching post. May 4th will be the one year anniversary of my little brother’s death and I’ve been thinking about how to spend the day. Your post inspires me to keep it beautiful. Thank you. 🙂

    • Wow. I’ll be thinking of you on the 4th. The best way I’ve found to keep my mom’s memory alive has always been in a positive life. The only time I focus on the “why and how” she passed is when I’m advocating for breast cancer through Team Judy efforts. Always stay positive and hopeful. <3

  3. I swear you always hit my emotions button – I see the love you have for your mom and can’t imagine her being any other way than jumping up and down saying “look how awesome my daughter is” to all of her friends up there – you’re awesome

  4. I am so very sorry for your loss. Yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of the day I lost my dad, so I know the sadness you feel. Your mom’s heaven seems wonderful, and I like to think that my dad is also doing the things he loves. I’m sending big hugs your way.

  5. I’m sitting here bawling because my heart breaks at what we have both been through. If there is a heaven, my mom is visiting yours at that beach house because I think they would have gotten along and had a chat about “their girls.” I’m truly blessed to “know” you, Steph. People come into our lives for a reason, I do believe, and maybe you and I are mean to know one another for some reason – maybe for getting through this. I’m thinking of you, friend.

    • That thought brings a smile to my face. Brian lost his dad a couple of years ago and said the same thing. Although his dad and my mom never got to meet, they’re meeting up there now, looking down at us with happiness. I know the connections we make here on earth reflect in the afterlife. I’m so happy to “know” you as well. 🙂

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