My daughter, Olivia, and I spent a day celebrating HER!
May 12th would have been her 90th birthday and Friday was the two-year anniversary of her heavenly flight…
In the worst part of Covid, in a hospital room, without her family around her bed singing her into God’s presence, which is how I always thought it would happen. I trust the angels did what we could not… gently and lovingly crossed her over when her earthly body had given all it had and God called her name.
It seems an eternity since I’ve shared a phone call, held her hand, kissed her cheeks and felt the comfort of her presence. Time multiplies in her absence instead of adding.
I still allow my heart to grieve and my eyes to leak. Mom would want me to count my blessings instead of sadness. Most of the time I do. Occasionally, the normalcy of sharing life with her becomes foreign, noticing so evidently her absence. I’m overtaken. We walked six decades together; it’s so different without her. I give myself space and time to acknowledge.
I carry her love with me. She poured it into me in countless ways, filling me up and spilling over. No time, distance, separation can steal or diminish it. Her love lives in my heart. It fills so many spaces and influences me still; safely stored and cherished.
Last year and this, Olivia and I set apart a day to be together and do what Mom/Nanny would do.
Being together is most important. Mom loved being with her family. She made, sought, and took advantage of every opportunity. She was always up for a visit or trip (during her healthy days). Calls and e-mails filled the gaps.
We HAD to have coffee! I had hot coffee, her morning ritual. Liv had iced coffee Mom’s favorite drink when we were out. I can’t count the number of times she’d say, “Do you wanna stop for an iced coffee?” We had a frequented spot. Liv even ordered her fav flavor… French vanilla.
Shopping. There had to be shopping! She taught me young the joy of “looking to see what they have.” We looked through a home decor store, which was still one place Mom wanted to “look” even in a wheelchair. We went through a clothing establishment too, her other favorite.
We chose a movie! Mom didn’t frequent movies in her later years, but she introduced me to the big screen. Early. Rodgers and Hammerstein were the earliest I can remember. We went to drive-ins too, as a family. Liv and I chose the new “Downton Abbey” showing! Enjoyed every minute.
Last, we went out to eat. Mom enjoyed having lunch out with her girls at any opportunity. We went Coastal. She loved seafood. A fabulous Salmon salad filled the bill. The company was most important and sweetest, just as Mom would have it and have enjoyed it!!!
We stayed up talking till our eyes were heavy, like we would have done if she were with us.
It felt right to have a Mom/Nanny day… celebrating who she was and setting aside time to do what she would love if she were still with us.
A LITTLE BRAG: For Mother’s Day, Olivia gave me a lavish gift to carry with me containing my mother’s words. I’ve heard no one else say this the same way. When she was leaving or hanging up on the phone, Mom would close with “Love You Much”. I can hear her inflection without trying!
I hadn’t thought about it much lately, but when I opened the gift… “Mom” rolled off my lips. It instantly touched my deep places. Liv had it engraved on a bracelet. Her affirming words on my wrist are a wonderful reminder.
How have you celebrated loved ones?
What do you do to remember their love?