Yesterday marked seven years since we tragically lost my mom. It's a story I plan to write out someday. Someday but not today. I never know what kind of emotions this time of year will bring. Most years it has been filled with pain ranging from intense heartache to just some tears. Most years included anger. Lots of it. Anger at the world and anyone in my path really. This year I knew I couldn't go on.
I couldn't go on with that anger inside. For years, I had been praying. Praying for a sign. Praying for peace. Praying for answers. Praying for what I should do. And you know what? Those prayers were always answered. I just never wanted to listen. They were always answered loud and clear with almost an audible voice saying "You just let go." I all but told that voice to eff off. Every time. I didn't want to let go. I didn't want to give up on preserving my mom's memory with every ounce of my being. If I didn't hold on, who was going to? If I listened to this voice and let go, I knew it was over. It was done. But deep down I knew that was the only way this angry burden was going to leave. It was the only way I was going to find peace.
This year was different.
This year, I asked others to pray for me. I emailed my friends, because emailing is just easier for me to clearly communicate without bawling my face off in front of others, and I voiced that I needed them. I told them I knew I needed to let go. I knew I needed to move on. I told them there was nothing they could do for me but pray that I was able to take the steps needed to let go of this anger. So they did. My closest friends rallied around me and prayed. Of course an email like that with so much emotion was granted with some amazing replies. One in particular from someone whose mom is also gone reminded me that our mothers live on inside of us. That our children will always know their grandmothers because we are them. We make them alive with the traditions we share, the stories we tell, and the love that we give. That reply reminded me to bring my mom to life in new ways for myself and for those around me. It was what I needed to hear and am grateful for my friends.
A quote that makes me think of my mom is "Have a great day, unless you made other plans!" I always looked at her like she had three heads when she said it. "I don't get it," my teenage, bratty self would reply. I was always kind of joking but kind of serious with my reply. "Unless you made other plans?! What?!" (I was such a brat...) But of course now I am so much older and wiser, that this phrase makes complete sense now.
Let's face it. Life can be downright shitty sometimes. Life can give us many reasons to give up, not be thankful, be angry, and lose hope. Life doesn't feel fair. It can feel like the world is against us. It's tough to be tough. No one said it was easy. But every morning, God is giving us another opportunity to stop and listen to the prayers that have been answered. Sometimes we can't go it alone. Sometimes we need set our pride aside and lean on others. Each day that we wake up and the sun rises, we are given a chance to have a great day...unless you made other plans.
So this November I am coming to you with a heart at much more peace. Tears are still shed. Sadness is still present. My mom will forever be missed. But I have a new perspective on how I am going to make the holidays magical for myself and my son. I am filled with excitement for the new traditions my little family will begin. Next year could bring a new wave of emotions, but for today? I'm making it great.