I don’t know how long March 8th has been International Women’s Day (although I’m sure I could find it on Google) but I do know that March 8th has been my mom’s birthday for the last 55 years. Unfortunately, for the last two celebrations, my mom hasn’t been alive to celebrate.
Even though the year of “firsts” has come and gone, as each holiday/milestone approaches it still brings a lingering sense of anxiety and unease. Especially milestones that directly relate to my mom (specifically her birthday and death day).
Other milestones don’t come with a date and there’s no way to anticipate my mom’s absence until they arrive. These milestones include the exciting, jump-for-joy, and tears of happiness kind of moments.
Milestones. The things my mom always knew would happen but didn’t live to see on earth. Like when my brother got drafted by the Chicago White Sox last June. And when my sister got into med school last month. And when I was selected for a travel ambassadorship that has allowed me to continue pursuing my dream of being a professional travel blogger.
All things we might not have believed we could do if it wasn’t for her unwavering support and belief that we could and we would. These moments are bittersweet. It can make me angry, frustrated, and upset that she isn’t here to celebrate – to see all her hard work pay off. The big and the little things. All the carpools and the snacks and the homework help and the laundry and the big hugs and the laughter and the tears and the band-aids and the love. But I know she is proud of her babies.
I know it is a time to celebrate the 25 years I was fortunate enough to share with her and the life she gave me. I am thankful for all the gifts I got from her – no, not just the amazing wardrobe, but her compassion and confidence, her loyalty and love, her intelligence and work ethic, her patience, warmth, and strength. I am thankful that when I look down at my toes, I see her toes.
I am thankful for the loving family she and my dad created, for the love and support I am surrounded by because of her. Earlier this week I got a sign, which I believe to have been from my mom. But maybe I’ll share that in another “sign” related grief post.
I’m going to keep this one short and sweet, unlike my other lengthy grief blogs. Hopefully sweet like the chocolate cake my dad will be searching for and eating tonight in my mom’s honor. If anyone knows where to find the best chocolate cake in the greater Seattle area, please let me know! I hope everyone will take at least a bite of cake or something sweet in honor of my mom and the strong women in their lives – Happy International Women’s Day!