Moving across country from two of her sons and their families was difficult on many levels. She loves those boys and their kids. Her grandchildren are the stars of her sometimes dark nights. The sound of their voices and the smiles when they see her are just about the most magical things she’d ever seen. She also has a son and a daughter in Tennessee. That daughter has two more of her precious granddaughters. Her family now was, at best, 10 hours away and at worst 18 hours away. The boys who always came when something needed fixed and Dad needed help weren't available anymore. The Sunday afternoon visits or meeting for dinner after work, not going to happen now. Missing these people was inevitable. It was also harder than either of them had anticipated.
The move was preceded by two enormous losses. Four months prior her beloved mother had passed quickly in her arms. After five years of being her mother’s taxi and main source of human contact and five weeks of living together, her life felt very empty. The full price offer on that home came just a little over a month after the funeral.
|Momma 90th birthday 2012|
The house was sold. A new house had been purchased in Florida. The retirement she and her husband had planned for over 30 years was in motion. They and their two furbabies would be moving without Momma. This was not how they pictured things. But it was how they would now proceed.
Just four days before they were scheduled to move one of the furbabies, their 13 year old Bichon, Sadie, passed away. Things had to keep moving now and the heavy hearts and the sadness of these two losses were part of the process. Together, in love and in life, they continued to that dream.
Two months after the move her husband’s oldest brother died. Not unexpected, he was a cancer patient and they all knew time was not on his side. A trip back north was in order. The plus of this trip was seeing the six grandchildren who still live there. The loss was softened somewhat with this blessing. The sisters and bothers all being together and talking, hugging and telling stories all helped the healing process. And in just a few days back to Florida they drove with their 14, almost 15, year old furbaby and carried on refreshed with the visit.
Now two months later. It’s the first Mother’s Day without her mother. It’s the first Mother’s Day without her boys and grand babies. It’s her first Mother’s Day without her sister and brother because they all celebrated it with their mom on Saturday before and then she would spend Sunday with her mom, as well. Often just the three of them. Momma, Husband and Her. The boys often came on Saturday to see everyone. It’s her first Mother’s Day alone with her man. This holiday has always been her favorite because of the special attention to her Momma and then her delight in being a mom herself.
|Mal and Bri|
|Momma and I a long time ago|
|John, Madee and Jack|
|Me, Momma, Mike, Pat|
|Jayne and Momma|
|Chloe, Hailee and Gma Jo|
The plan, at this point, is to try to ignore the date. Knowing it is a special day in her past and will never be the same, her thoughts are “don’t have it at all;” because doing nothing feels easier than anything she can think to do. A long drive maybe to just not be in the house. Nothing spectacular, just a change of scenery and the company of the man she loves.
|25th Anniversary Mikey and Me|
Plan 2, a full day at the beach. Her favorite place to be and no expectation of anything, but sun and water and sand. A cool drink and a light lunch. Then a quick drive thru’ dinner on the way home to the furbaby.
With either plan, she will have to accept a new normal. She will have to realize she chose this, in part, by moving so far from her loves. She will also have to accept that she is no longer a daughter.
It was the beach. It was a good day with morning tears. Texts and phone calls from all the kids and the sister. Each call had a few tears. It couldn't be any different. It was another of those firsts. Another almost impossible day that wasn't terrible all day. It just had terrible moments of heartache. The kind that goes with change and with loss.
It's a new life with new normals. She has this, most of the time. And she loses it sometimes. But that's okay. It's the price of loving someone so very much.
Of course, she is me. Obviously. I'll get a handle on it, soon.