As of today, it’s been one month since my Momma left this earth. Up to now, I’ve counted in days. From here on out, I’ll probably continue to mark it in months, then it’ll be years, and, if I live that long, decades. But I will always count how long it’s been.
I’ve had a lot of conversations with God and with myself, trying to come to grips with all of these feelings. I’m not stupid…I know I’m not the first girl to lose her mom and I won’t be the last, I daresay. But there’s just something about a girl losing her mom…her longest-time best friend.
Now before I get into the things I’ve noticed since her death, I want to clarify something. My mom wasn’t perfect. None of us are. Granted, when someone passes, we tend to only remember the very good and best things about them…and there’s nothing wrong with that. Think on those things (Philippians 4:8).
But I want to be careful not to look back on my mother’s life as if she were a saint. She was wonderful, but she was flawed just like all of the rest of us. There were some not-so-great habits and attitudes and choices that my mother made during her life that I want to work on avoiding in my own life, being careful to break any harmful chains and cycles that were created and practiced so that those habits, attitudes and choices aren’t passed on to following generations. I would hope that we would all do that anyways…before the end comes.
One thing I’ve noticed (besides the incessant need to text her, call her and ask her advice on pretty much anything), upon her death, I almost immediately started feeling as if I was aging faster. As I’ve aged from child to teenager to young adult to full adult…to whatever I am now…I have always felt like I was still very young in regards to my parents. I am so blessed to still have my sweet Daddy…SO blessed. And with him, I still feel young. But I think there’s something that happens, with me anyways, when a parent dies. You start becoming all too aware of your own mortality. Again…this situation isn’t new and it’s not news to you…but it is indeed new to me.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve kinda had to become my own biggest fan…my own cheerleader, of sorts. It’s probably not true, but I get to feeling that no one will ever care about my accomplishments, my dreams, my goals, my fears as much as my mom. I know that others will be that to me to some degree, but there’s just something programmed into a mother’s hormones from the time we’re born causing them to love us completely.
I’ve noticed that everything…and I mean everything…has started to remind me of my mom, including my own self. So strange how, since Momma left us, she has started showing up all around me. There hasn’t been one night since that day that she hasn’t been a part of my dreams in one capacity or another. Sometimes we talk, and sometimes she’s just in the room. Every single song about “mommas” will remind me of her, of course. Certain old movies that I have on DVD remind me of her and what she loved as a young woman…mainly old musicals.
I’ve also come to realize that, even though it’s only been 31 days, I will always, always need my mom. I know that will never go away, because my own mother said that about her mother. So often Mom would say, “Man, I sure do need to talk to Mother today.” But I assume that I’ll become a little more accustomed to her not being here as time goes by. And in all truth, she’s closer than I think she is, because she is, and always will be, a part of me and who I am. But the grieving will remain, nevertheless.
How blessed I am to ache this much. As Winnie the Pooh has so often been quoted, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” Some women go their whole lives without having that kind of close relationship with a mom…and that makes me sad. And my prayer is that I can be that kind of mother to my son, and maybe I can be that kind of mother to someone totally unrelated to me that needs it very much.
So, as I continue to adjust to life without Leah Greenup, I will eventually cry less. And when I do cry, I will probably find myself saying with Dr. Seuss, “I won’t cry because it’s over. I will smile because it happened.”