I am good at what I call the “numbers game.” It’s funny because I suck at math and barely made it through my required high school classes and my one college math course. But when it comes to dates, phone numbers, the day I met someone, birthdays, anniversaries, or how long it has been since something happened I can tell you, sometimes down to the exact day. For example, exactly 4 years and 6 months ago today my mom was still with us, and it was on that day that I had my last real conversation with her – November 14, 2008. Sadly, I became really good at this numbers game after my mom died.
Last night I was talking to my dad. I had been thinking earlier in the day about my parents, my grandparents, my kids, and basically how much time we had had together. I was nearly 31 years old when I lost my first grandparent. But my son was only 9 and my daughter was 2 when their beloved grandmother died. My mom was 62 years old when she lost her mother; I was 39. My grandparents had been married for over 63 years when my grandfather died, and my parents had been married for 43 years when my mom died. I could go on, but I’ll stop there.
The numbers game. Maybe not the healthiest or sanest thing for me to do, but I can’t help it. Sometimes certain numbers and dates just run through my mind. But with this game of dates, numbers, and, ultimately, time comes anger, sadness, and grief. I look at my kids and see how much they have grown and matured since my mom died. I think of all the family get togethers and fun times she has missed with us. I think of how my kids were robbed of time with a wonderful grandmother. I think of how my mom should still be here with us, celebrating her 70th birthday this year. I will always believe that my mom was taken from her family way too early. Even my daughter says at times that it’s not fair that she didn’t really get any time with Grandmom, and that breaks my heart. My mom was always so full of life, and there was so much she wanted to do with life and her family, but then pancreatic cancer came and destroyed so many dreams and memories that could have been.
Things have gotten easier in terms of my mom’s death. The ever-present cloud of grief has drifted away, leaving me to feel at peace. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t wish my mom were still here with her family, or that I don’t miss her. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my mom in some way, and there will always be a place in my heart for her.
I love you, Mom.