I've learned so much about life and death through the experience of losing mom. I know that a 6 month mark probably isn't as significant as what a year marker will be, but 6 months without my mom has been so hard. Experts say that the first year is the hardest....ask me in 5 years and I'll tell you if I agree or not. Because since i'm still in the first year, I can only say it is really awful. There are events or thoughts or places or things or sounds that remind me of mom every day.Sometimes those memories make me laugh. Sometimes they make me cry. In 6 months time, I've experienced my first mothers day without mom, my first birthday, and their anniversary....we haven't even hit the more common family holidays yet that I know will be tough. I've not had a day yet where I haven't wanted to share something with mom. 6 months without my mom has felt like a lifetime in some aspects. A lot of life has gone on...I've changed jobs, Elizabeth changed schools, Joseph lost his first tooth, I'm organizing a 5K....and yet I think sometimes of all the life that's yet to be lived. I have a lot of memories with mom-that's really an understatement. It's strange making new ones without her. It's unreal to be organizing an event in her memory.I miss her with every heartbeat. I'm not sure when that ache will go away. I try to explain it to others...I'm not sad for my mom. Her last weeks were really horrible. In fact, I was thinking about it today. The last 24 hours of mom's life were awful. I am so thankful that I got to be there with her. But I am thankful that I know that she rests in a better place. She was in no condition any more to be here. The sadness comes with figuring out a new normal. Figuring out who I call when I am sad or ecstatic or just need a friend. Figuring out child care. Figuring out how to be more of an adult, I guess. That sounds silly....i"ve been a mom myself for 9 years. But there's something about a mom that one can always possess that childlikeness. Now i'm the adult in new ways. I've had to grow up in new ways. It's not always so easy.
I've learned a lot about myself and about who I am through this. Mom was always really good about encouraging me and about telling me good things about myself and telling me to stop being so hard on me. She never told me fluff that wasn't true (like.."oh, you're the smartest one in the class"...or things that were overkill nice statements) she would tell me things like achieving my dreams were possible. And that I was a good mom . And that I was beautiful. Things I tend to be hard on myself with. Not having mom there to whisper those things when I need/want to hear them has been a new journey for me. And it's a journey that will continue. But I have full confidence that as I walk through each step of this process, I will continue to grow and to learn. And it's strange how even through her death, her life still speaks volumes to me.
Saturday I will run a half marathon. That has been a journey this time around, too. I won't PR at this race, and that's ok. I will finish it, though. And I will finish it well. that journey has been challenging, as I had set out to do a full this time around. As I came to a conclusion of not being ready, I learned new things about myself yet again. These 6 months of training....and grieving...have been exhausting. But I am ready to run with a new excitement on Saturday. I cannot wait!! Not having mom will be hard. In fact, dad is watching the kids so Michael and I can go to this alone. And I am sure there will be emotions that come along with this finish. But I am ready. And I cannot wait to cross that start line early Saturday morning. I have a renewed passion for it that comes with this particular race. And the full will come eventually.
In the last 6 months, I've changed jobs, and that has been a really positive thing for me. I have made new friends, and really, I laugh a lot at my job, which is fun. Changing jobs was also a growth process for me. Not because what I am doing is so different from what I did before, but more so because I left a comfort zone of where I'd been for so long. And that has brought me to new realizations of myself as well. Some of which I continue to be processing. I am thankful for the change.
So...6 months ago my life took a drastic change. I miss my mom as if it happened yesterday. And I know I still have a ways to go through the grief process.... but I'm learning....and that's part of what life is about.
I close with this verse that has been strong on my mind and heart this week. Whether it's because of my race or because I needed the boost of encouragement in this time of missing mom, it has been a good reminder for me.
"but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
so, tomorrow, and onto my race on Saturday, and each day that I will have to face a new first without mom, I will keep taking it one day at a time.