Five years. How can it be five years since I last heard your voice and saw your smile. Five years since you last hugged me. Five years since I knelt by your bedside as you took your last breath.
Since then my life has been different. I've been different. Over time the pain has changed from a sharp and urgent stabbing to a chronic nagging ache. And losing you has left me changed.
I don't do some of the reflex actions any more. I no longer pick up the phone to call you. I no longer think "I should go over to Mom's".
But I still think of you all the time, every day. I think of you when there is jive music playing and I have to get up and grab one of my kids to dance with. I think of you when I 'm baking for my family and I remember how much time you spent baking such delicious treats for us, and how you loved doing it, because you loved us. I think of you when I'm giving advice or setting down rules for my "boys". You always made parenting look so easy. You never seemed to tire of your responsibilities. You were so quick with a word of encouragement. You were the one who always made me feel like I could do anything.
I guess we always know this time will come; this stage of life where we have to go on without our Mother to guide us. But I don't think we are ever really prepared for it. I know I wasn't. And yet, ready or not, here I am, and five years later I'm still figuring out how to be without my Mom.
I don't really know where I'm going with these thoughts. All I know is when I woke up today my first thought was of you. There are so many things I wish I could tell you. You'd be so proud of your daughters, sons-in-law, grand-kids and great grand-kids.
There have been some beautiful weddings I know you would have loved to have been at. There have been some sweet new wee ones born. I know how much you would have loved to have seen them. There have been graduations, job changes, Christmas concerts, people moving away, people moving back. It doesn't feel right that all this is happening without you here to witness it.
I guess what I'm saying is I miss you Mom. And I love you. Thank you for being everything a mother should be. And even though I could never be everything you were, at least I know what to strive for.