Almost a Year…

It has been almost one year since my mom passed away.  In some ways, it feels like it was only yesterday that my world changed forever while in other ways, it feels like the days have dragged on.

The pain of losing my mother has not gone away or diminished at all.  I still get very vivid dreams about the night I lost her and the dreams bring back the feelings I had in the 48 hours following (in which I did not sleep at all).  While I was hoping the pain would go away, it seems I will just have to learn to live with it.

But the loss of my mom also brought about a lot of positive things too – I received a crash course in adulthood, covering everything from responsibility, perseverance, determination, the power of loved ones, and having faith in even the darkest hours.  My mom’s passing helped me get my priorities in order and learn to focus on what is truly important.  I’ve grown as a person and I think I’ve become someone my mom would be really proud of.

I still get reminded of mom every day and for the most part, these reminders make me smile.  For example, on Sunday mornings, I go to a bagel shop for breakfast and I can’t help but smile when I see the salt bagel because it was Mom’s favorite.  Every month or so, Mom would get an insatiable craving for all things salty – and salt bagels were one of the ways she satisfied that craving.  I can’t play a game of checkers without thinking about Mom because she loved to play checkers with my little cousin that lived in our building.  I can’t go to a certain hair salon without thinking of her because that was where we used to often go.

There is also an intersection in town that I can’t help but laugh when I pass by.  When I was about 15, Mom rented a car because we had a family party that was a bit of a distance away and our car wasn’t in good enough condition to drive the distance.  The day after the family party, Mom agreed to take me out driving.  It was early on a Sunday morning and the roads were pretty clear.  I was incredibly nervous since this was my first time driving a car and Mom’s nerves only added to my own.  While Mom and I were at a stoplight, I decided to turn my head and look out of my window to see how close to the yellow line I was.  As I turned my head, I hit it really hard against the window.  We both burst out laughing and of course, that is when the light turned green.  As our laughter subsided, Mom made me pull over and told me I was not ready to drive yet.

When I watch the news, I notice myself wishing Mom was around.  We would always discuss current events and debate political topics.  She was fun to debate with because her passion was just as high as mine.  Since she always had her nose in a book, she knew a lot about historical and political topics – which only made her an even better partner in a debate.  Her passion for politics and history helped to shape my own passions.  I don’t believe I will ever find as great of a debate partner as her.

Mom’s laughter was infectious and she was incredibly witty.  Her mind seemed to always be moving at lightning speeds as if she was always two steps ahead of everyone else.  She was quick and sharp with each response.  She would often get the people around her to laugh until we had tears and we literally on the floor with rib pain from laughing so hard.  She never seemed to miss an opportunity to laugh.

Her laughter is probably what I miss the most.

Mom was always the adventurous risk taker with a rebellious streak while I was always the cautious rule follower.  I remember one such event of walking to the grocery store with Mom and we bought more groceries than we could carry.  So we pushed the shopping cart home.  Mom laughed at how exhilarated I felt for doing something that was wrong.

Losing a loved one changes a person.  The aftermath of a loss undoubtedly shapes the future.  Think of the great losses our ancestors must have faced – those stories serve as reminders that loss is a part of life.  While we should never forget those who leave us, we have to learn to redefine our lives and push onward.  When I come close to getting lost in my grief, I remember that if my ancestors never pushed onward, I would not be here today.

Rest in Peace Momma

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17 responses to “Almost a Year…

  1. Beautifully said. I am sure your Mom is proud of you. Thanks for sharing.
    Tina Sansone´s last blog post ..RootsTech

  2. Thanks for sharing Elyse! I’m sure your Mom is proud of you and I can relate to what you say! Keep her alive in your heart! :-)
    Ken Spangler´s last blog post ..GADD

  3. Elyse, this was so beautiful. A reminder not only about losing a loved one, but the struggles we all face in life and how we should keep moving forward. Remember the people we lost, the hard times we have had, and shape that into something good.
    Jen Holik-Urban´s last blog post ..Treasure Chest Thursday – Probate File John Holik

  4. Elyse.. what a beautiful testimony to who your mother was in your life and how she continues to inspire you. thank you for sharing – I love the photos too.. so very nice.


  5. Beautiful Elyse! I can only hope that some day I inspire such love and respect.
    Donna Peterson´s last blog post ..Geneablogers Tech Tuesday – Toys To Play With

  6. Hugs to you. I think you’ve handled this tough year beautifully, and I agree that your mom would be very proud of you.

  7. Your words brought the life and beauty of your Momma straight to my heart. What an amazing woman and how proud she would surely be of all that you are accomplishing. Tears in my eyes, but this post is what blogging is all about. Thank you for sharing her story.

  8. This is a lovely tribute, Elyse. I know she was a special woman because she raised such a wonderful daughter.
    Amy Coffin´s last blog post ..2011 RootsTech Update 7

  9. A wonderful tribute to someone who obviously instilled good values in you.
    Thomas MacEntee´s last blog post ..Genealogy Blogging Beat – Thursday- February 17- 2011

  10. What wonderful memories you have. She surely is smiling down as she continues to watch over you. Thanks for sharing the stories and the beautiful pictures.

  11. In some ways, I consider myself to be very lucky: My ancestors suffered indescribable losses on a regular basis. Child birth was sometimes fatal for women and infant mortality rates were incredibly high. There were epidemics and pandemics and little access to healthcare. It was normalcy for families to lose children and for wives to die in childbirth. A simple broken leg could mean death. So while the loss of my mom has been heartbreaking for me, I am so fortunate to not suffer the losses that my ancestors suffered.

  12. A beautiful tribute; your mother raised you well and left something very wonderful behind in this world.
    Greta Koehl´s last blog post ..Week 7 of 52- Toys

  13. Oh, Elyse, this is such a beautiful tribute to your mom! I remember so clearly this time last year… My prayers are with you now, as they were then. Stay strong, and keep the faith. You have truly honored your mother, today.


  14. Tears fall down my cheek, gentle thoughts scatter in bits and bytes to offer silent hugs. Loss teaches us a lot. And happy are those who can share the lessons with such compelling grace. Take care.

  15. I don’t think the missing ever fades (at least it hasn’t for me), but time does allow us to focus on the gifts our mothers gave us. I suspect you can still carry on a rousing discussion with her in your head, and that you’ll hear her voice forever when certain topics arise. You’ve done her proud here and in the day to day living this last year.
    Susan´s last blog post ..A Study in Contrasts – Wordless Wednesday

  16. Time does not erase the sadness and pain of losing parents, but the raw pain will ease. My mama passed almost 13 years ago. Yesterday was her birthday and the 28th will be the anniversary of her death. I think of her every day with sweet thoughts. But for the first year I could not go down the cookie aisle with out crying. She loved her oreos.
    God bless you and your mama. Grace

  17. Only a year ago is hardly any time at all. It is family loss which has been a great factor in pursuing my ancestry and making myself the ‘record keeper’ for my family history. For it is this way that we can keep past loved ones alive.

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