Thursday, December 4, 2008

twelve. II

I remember the doctor telling us that "we have a girl". I know the exact moment I heard you cry. Your first smile, your first laughter and your first word. I remember the day you first crawled away from me and when you first stood. I'm sure your many firsts to come will dim some of these memories for me. You will grow and time will move faster every year.

But for all the days and years to come the one thing I will never ever forget is the first time you looked in my eyes.

My sweet girl, happy first birthday.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I wasn't going to write about today because I didn't want to burst into tears. Especially right now. Make-up and hair just so. I'm going to a fancy mall this afternoon and I want to look like a person, not an exhausted mommy.

But from the moment I woke up this morning I just couldn't get it out of my head. 12 years. My mother has been gone for 12 years.

For some reason I just cant wrap my head around that. It feels like I lost her yesterday.

It will always feel like yesterday.

But 12 years? It's not as profound as 10, not as emotional as 3.

No where near as devastating as 30 will be. When I will officially be the oldest she ever was.

12 seems to suggest a kind of acceptance of the years passing. A finality that only time can provide. It reminds me that no matter how much I would like to do otherwise, I measure my life in terms of years without her.

I still dream of her. Its not like it used to be though, the moment of pure elation upon seeing her; "OH! You're not dead!". Still smelling her in those foggy seconds between sleep and awake. The crushing blow of realization upon waking.

Now I feel almost a sense of trepidation upon meeting her. She's not supposed to be there, in the kitchen by the sink. This is my fathers house now. I feel as if I'm meeting an old friend and I don't know where to begin. My mind always snapping back to my father; wondering where he is.

Long before her death my mother told me that if ever one of them were to die, I should pray it was her. That for security, for safety, my brother and I needed my father.

I'm not sure if she really believed that to be true or the trauma of loosing her own father at 15 was so deeply set that she could not imagine that option for her children.

When my father was diagnosed with cancer, erm 12 years ago, I could see it in her eyes. If it was up to her, she would be the one to leave us.

Even then I saw her in my minds eye. Making a deal with God. Her bargain still rings in my head. Little more then a month from his diagnosis; she was gone.

I remember being little and finding my mother crying in her room over her father. It was ingrained in me so young to fear the loss of a parent. I don't wish that for my daughter, but how am I to avoid it? When with each passing year I take her hand to help light the candle in my mothers memory...and the next day light her birthday candle in celebration.

For now I know this, I miss my mother every day of my life.

But never more then today when I lost her.

And never more then tomorrow when I became her.