Another year has passed and it's Feb 8th again. The anniversary of my (birth) mothers death. It always hits me hard that each year goes by faster than the last. That with each year, her face, her eyes, her voice, and her smell get so much further away from me. And yet, each passing year, is also a reminder of how quickly my own life is passing and how much closer I am getting to being just a photo and a memory that my own son might one day pull out once a year.
I can already see the winced faces and hear the "Oh, don't say that!" from various people in my life. But the fact is, it's true. The cycle of life is a very real thing that none of us get a free pass on. I just turned 43. My mother died at 32. Time isn't a guarantee. This is hard to think about, let alone accept. If you have an anxiety disorder or know someone who does, you know this very topic is a huge source and trigger. So much of my anxiety revolves around this fact and this particular unknown.
Maybe that's why I don't want people to tell me not to say what is true, just because it's uncomfortable. Not saying it, thinking it, or feeling it doesn't make it any less true. To that, they might say, "well no, but you shouldn't DWELL on it." Dwell. It's a funny word. You shouldn't dwell on it. You shouldn't focus on it. You certainly shouldn't obsess about it. Maybe that's true. But what about, finally, once and for all accepting it? Would that be okay? And in order to accept it don't you have to think about it? At least a little?
Yes. You do. So here I am, thinking about it and writing about it and daring to say that my mothers death at such a young age has affected me, and still ,to this day, at the ripe old age of 43 I'm still that scared little girl, so sad that she is gone forever, and so scared that it's going to happen to me.
I don't want it to happen to me. Who does, right? But given my condition I think it's time I find a way to be okay with it. And the only way I can think of to do that is to acknowledge it. To stop pretending that we're all going to live forever and that's it's not okay to talk about the fact that we're not. And then I can acknowledge that despite my fate, despite the fate of everyone, I am still here now. I'm still here with some issues and problems, but I'm also still here with dreams and ideas and a whole long list of things I still want to do. I can try to accept the fact that all of this will be over one day so long as I also try to make sure I'm having the most authentic and enjoyable journey that I can possibly have for me. My journey won't look like yours or his or hers and it really is time that I realize that and start to believe that it's okay. That, of course, requires a lot of letting go. Letting go of ideals, and old ideas, and thought patterns that were never even mine in the first place. It requires forgetting who I thought I was supposed to be and who I thought other people wanted me to be and remembering who I really am. What I really like and don't like. What makes me comfortable and what doesn't. Accepting anything is work and it doesn't have to be done all at once, but it does have to start somewhere.
Right now, today, it starts here.
I love you, mommy.