The name charms of my necklace slip off and instead I replace them with two open circles.
Remember. One says around in a circle.
Mother. The other.
I touch the silver circles to my chest and breathe in.
I long ago stopped switching out my children’s names charms with the circles. Too many questions, pauses and awkward silences when people would look and read what was written around my neck.
Was it more for their comfort? Or mine?
But Saturday morning as I was about to fasten my necklace, seeing the open circles stare up at me from my jewelry box reminded me of something I don’t need much reminding.
Today, Sunday, is two years.
Two years ago, in the early, early morning hours, the phone rang and I heard the words I didn’t think I’d hear that night.
We pulled H out of his crib in the wee hours of the night, bundled him in a blanket and drove the 30 minute drive in silence.
I would not cry.
I was sad. Overwhelmingly, unbelievably so. In a way I don’t think I’ve ever felt before.
We knew for months, weeks and days that the end was coming. We knew that short of a miracle my mom would die.
But there was this glimmer, this piece of me that hoped and prayed that she would get that miracle. That all of our prayers and hopes and dreams, the emails, the phone calls, the support around the country would not be in vain and God would show up and save the day.
It’s silly thinking really. As if God wasn’t there all along. He was. But I admit that I spent many moments later jealous of the miracles around me when He wouldn’t grant the one that I had spent many long nights on my knees begging for.
It is just not fair, God. I said more than I would like to admit.
And it’s not.
The grief and the sorrow is still there even if that doesn’t mean we sit and cry and wallow about. As a friend of mine has said before, it’s not because it’s all better, it’s just different.
My mom is missed in many ways because of who she was. And sometimes, like today, I miss who she wasn’t able to be and the things she wasn’t able to be part of because she’s gone.
I look at my dad who somedays still seems blindsided by this tragedy. This, this was not how it was supposed to be, I think that he thinks. Though he’s never said that. His love for my mom is the kind of love most people can only dream of. It is true and real. Even today, two years later.
We all have our moments and our days. And we still will.
Much of our lives have changed in the last two years. And I don’t have to review the calendar to tell you that. Life has changed and we are creating new memories and moving forward.
So many times I had taken family, and my parents for granted, in so many ways. And now I wonder or wish I could have my mom’s advice or that she could join in on whatever we are doing. I’ll always wish for that.
I’ll clutch the cool silver necklace to my chest and breathe in; Remember Mother. Somedays I’ll even close my eyes as though when I open them I’ll find it was all a terribly real-seeming dream and here we are in rewind.
But it is real and we are left with memories and letters and photos of years past and the gift, the precious gift, to remember.
“Our most basic instinct is not for survival, but for family. Most of us would give our own life for the survival of a family member, yet we lead our daily life too often as if we take our family for granted.” – Paul Pearshall