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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hard Goodbyes.

2007 can go down in the history books and the memories of my mind as the year that was. Yes, the year that was.

The year that just about everything that could happen in a year did and somehow we're still here and still sane. (I think.)

I'm not going to go backwards and review the year and all the happenings, both good, bad, excitingly wonderful and devastating, because if you know me, or if you've been reading along here, you've seen and heard most all of it.

Amidst all the craziness of having a family, most of the things we ran into this last year were normal things that just come with the territory. Kids are kids, and with that comes busyness, school events, sports, sickness and injuries. Normal life.

Losing my mom though, that wasn't normal. It was hard. And I shouldn't be using the word was, because it IS hard.

In general when someone asks how I am, I tell them I'm alright, because I am really alright. I miss my mom and worry about my dad and sometimes feel overly overwhelmed but I'm doing alright.

The visitation and the funeral were emotional and hard, seeing, talking to people, about something as personal as my mom. I thought I was doing pretty good, trying to keep myself together as much as I could with my dad.

The funeral was such another story. The moment I set foot in the church I knew I would break at any moment. The moment finally came as pictures of my mom flashed throughout the foyer and my uncle came to give me a hug. Uncle Richard stood holding me and reassuring me that it would be ok and I wouldn't let go.

Even a 25 year old wife, mom and stepmom wants her mom.

The day my mom died J and I stopped to see T and M at their mom's house that evening. Unfortunately, because I apparently have no data privacy even though all three kids have enough data privacy to lock up Fort Knox, the school had already given both kids the news. Yet, I knew they'd have questions and I wanted to be able to answer them.

One of M's questions was if I ever got to say goodbye. And I told her that yes, because we knew she was sick we made sure we said all the things we needed to before she died. We left nothing unsaid and nothing undone between us. We said our I love you's, we said our goodbyes. Having this conversation with a six year old while trying to remain in control of my own emotions was anything but easy.

Lots of well wishers and those offering condolences have repeatedly said that the last seven months must have been so hard. They try to remind me that my mother is at peace, that she's no longer in pain. Yes, they are right, she is at peace, she's no longer in pain, and yes the last seven months were hard. But the last seven months were nothing compared to the feelings you have after someones gone. Especially your mother.

For the last seven months we knew that this illness would take her life. We knew that she would die. We didn't know what that would look like or how that would feel until it was here. And even though we knew she would be leaving us, we still had her.

Seeing her in the hospital in pain was hard. Knowing it was the end was hard. Watching my father's heart break before my eyes, that was hard. But, the hardest part of all is after her death, after the visitation, the funeral. After all the thank you's are sent and the out of town guests gone, when you get back to 'real' life. After the sympathy cards and flowers stop coming and you hear your dad's voice on the phone wondering how we're going to do this.

This real life thing.

This real life that you're not sure how to navigate anymore now that the tears aren't as fresh and you're not sure what normal is anymore. The real life where you're used to calling your mom five to ten times a day about anything and everything. When I want to tell her about H getting naked every time he sees his new potty chair or about M writing all of her own thank you notes this Christmas or T wanting to take guitar lessons. Or even asking her if she thinks I can handle another baby or if I should be done and just raise the ones we've got.

The real life where my dad had the love of his life right by his side and now he needs to figure out what he wants, what he needs and who he is without her.

The real life thing where it's time to take my dad's Christmas tree down and holding each ornament that holds such meaning for us. These are the ones mom made. These are the ones we made for mom. These are the ones mom got from...

So 2007, it was the year that was. And while the date on the calendar will soon be changing to a new year, and I'm feeling ok, yet still at a loss, I know that this will take time to heal. Like I said just last week, drawing closer to my dad and helping him seems to help my healing, so I'll continue on.

I may not say much more about this. Because this is raw, this is real. This is me.

This is me, figuring it all out as I go.

One moment at a time. And even realizing that even amidst the grieving, there is joy, especially with three kids around.

Goodbye 2007. May 2008 bring peace, comfort, joy and more reason to smile.

20 month old H, one of our three big reasons to smile and find joy in the everyday. He's lovin' his trucks these days.

Sorrow may last for the night,but joy comes with the morning.
Psalm 30:5


Anonymous Dadio said...

Your thoughts are encouraging. Oh how we will miss her. As she has asked "Miss me but let me go"

Love to all

December 31, 2007 at 9:33 AM  
Blogger The Lindahl News said...

A year like no other has passed. Here's to a better 2008.

(By the way, I enjoyed see H enfolded by a lovely quilt. Does that quilt have a story? Fun to see your little man sleeping with a truck next to him!)

January 1, 2008 at 12:34 PM  

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