She’s been gone almost a year

One year ago today, I packed up most of my son’s baby bottles and went to bed thinking I would need to get up a little early to call my dad and wish him a happy birthday, then update Mom on the baby’s newest accomplishments (including successfully eating pasta with no reaction – I still remember what I had on my list of things to tell her).

Instead, my sister called me in the dark hours of the morning to tell me that Mom had passed.

I never got to talk to her again. I never got to see her again. She was supposed to come back from the Philippines and stay here for a year. She was supposed to cook for my older niece’s 7th birthday party. She was supposed to help me with The Boy’s first birthday party. She was supposed to see her youngest brother’s daughters graduate from their respective colleges over the summer. We were going to celebrate Christmas together – our entire family – for the first time in more than a decade, and it was going to be her first Christmas with all her grandchildren. My sister and I were supposed to throw a big 40th wedding anniversary for my parents last weekend.

I’m feeling very sad. No, “sad” doesn’t begin to explain it.

She’s been gone almost a year and I’m still processing pieces of it. To be fair, I’ve purposely kept myself busy. It’s hard not to, with work and The Boy and, well, just life in general. There’s always something I need to do, whether it’s laundry or dishes or running errands… I haven’t let myself really give in and grieve. On the flip side, though, if I didn’t have The Boy and work and other things to keep me going, I’m not entirely sure what my mental state would have been like when I came back from the Philippines last year. I think I would have crawled into bed as soon as I got home and spiralled into a dangerously severe state of depression.

Mom was one of my good friends. It took us years to get there, but our relationship reached a level where I could (and often did) talk to her about everything. We’d talk about books, about current events, about religion and politics and everything between. Time zones apart – often even continents – we’d talk on the phone with little regard for the time, and I treasure those calls now.

She’s been gone almost a year and the pain is just as raw.

God, I miss you, Mom.

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