I said I wouldn't be happy.
I told myself I couldn't go on.
I've laughed, I've been happy, I made it a whole year without you.
^^ It's not a corny movie line; it's real. Yesterday I called you and when I heard the third ring I remembered -- nope, no one's home."Not a day goes by when I don't think of you."
My new apartment and my job are the only places I've been in a year that you haven't touched. I keep trying to imagine your input on my bedding and decorating choices, I want to pretend you're in my microscopic kitchen listening to me complain about the lack of counter space. I want so badly to have you elevate your poor swollen ankles on my couch while we talk about all the meaningful nothings. I miss the nothings more than the big stuff. I want to feel you play with my hair while we babble. I want all this more than I can say.
But I don't want you back. Everything I need to succeed in this life echos through my head in your voice. The things I used to roll my eyes at are the words I turn to when I know I need my Mama:
"Give yourself GRACE, Jenn."
"I'm your biggest CHEERLEADER."
"I am so PROUD of you."
"I don't get most of your jokes but I love to see you SMILE."
"Wisdom means nothing without KINDNESS." "Who loves you, BABY GIRL."
I watched your heart stop. I watched over thirty people nearly break their backs to try to bring you back to me. I washed your body and cleaned you up so your family wouldn't have to see how broken your body became. I heard your eulogy and refused to accept it. I kept my eyes on your casket as you were placed in the ground where I visit you every month, sometimes more.
Your body's dead but you left enough breadcrumbs behind for us to survive on little doses of you at a time. I see you in my hands, I hear you in my sister's voice, I catch your thoughts in my brother's words, and I see a bit of your worry in my father's advice.
^^ This will never be an insult to me. If I'm only a fraction of you I will count my life a success as I'm carried in feet first.
I miss you everyday -- some days more than others. I talk to you often -- not aloud (I don't want people thinking I'm crazy). I see your face every night before I shut off my light -- our picture sits on a shelf in my room. I feel your arms as I flip through my recipe cards (most of them in your handwriting).
I miss you more than words can say.
I'm more grateful than I can ever express.
You knew how much I love you.
I'm glad you don't know how much I ache for you.
"I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
My MAMA you'll be."