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It’s Been A Year

This year has gone by so fast.  Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, and maybe it’s because I had to just put my head down and push through it all.  The one year anniversary of mom’s “home-going” is here, and her absence is still very raw.  However, she would not want me to dwell on that.  She would want me to think about the good times, so here are a few good times that I remember.

Not long after a long stay in the ICU, we were talking about how I had been having a hard time cooking a roast.  I just couldn’t seem to make it work.  It was either too done or undercooked.  At that point she was living with us and was able to see, first hand, what I was doing wrong.  Her correction consisted of few words, but just the fact that she was sitting at the table, as I was preparing the roast for the slow cooker, made it seem like it would taste like hers.

There is one thing that she did not teach me to make: pumpkin rolls.  I knew it was a tedious process, and she always talked about showing me.  We just never did it.  The last two or three years were just a little too tough on her to add anything else to do around the holidays.  Can I just tell you that those pumpkin rolls were out of this world!  It was the kind of food that required getting there a little bit early just to sample… and hide away a few to take home, just in case they were gobbled up.  😉

I also remember the many Sunday afternoons that we would spend playing Scrabble.  My husband and I had recently married, and the two of them would challenge each other over words constantly.  We all laughed so much.

I cannot sugar coat this past year.  It has probably been the hardest year of my life.  There have been times that I questioned myself.  Did I do enough?  Did I understand her well enough?  Could I have done anything to make things better in the last few weeks?  There are times that I ache to just be near her, to hear her voice, to hold her again.

I know that she would have been on the sidelines just a few weeks ago when my son was playing in his first sport, and I can almost hear her laughter at the way that my daughter is trying to see just how far she can push things as a toddler. It’s been a year of moving forward, of finding a way to give words to what we have been through.  It has been a year of wishing that I had been journaling all along.  There is so much that I can’t remember.

Above all, this year has proved that she accomplished the greatest task that a man or woman could ever do.  She taught me to live.  She taught me that when life gets hard, just keep going.  She never quit.  I cannot name one time that she quit trying.  Even in the last few weeks, she was still fighting, still loving.  It is that courage and love that will be the legacy she leaves my children.  You see, they will learn about the love of family, and they will never be allowed to be quitters.

It’s been a year, and I pray that something we have been through has encouraged you to keep living and keep loving.

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