The snow was up to the tip top of my Bogs. It tumbled into my boots. My socks slipped down, bunching up under my heels. My feet were wet and cold as I marched (nearly crawling at times) under a glistening path of bent over birch trees with dogs 1,2 & 3. My son close behind, we took in the radiating shades of orange and pink as the sun slowly went down. He rolled his eyes as I stopped, trying to capture on my phone the brightest, the richest and most stunning spot in the sky. It’s where my mom is. Where she’s bursting with light and joy. Where she’s watching us, smiling down and sending us the same.
2018 was a tough year. I lost my mom. We knew it was coming. Her breast cancer returned three years ago and simply, stubbornly (ah, so much like her) it just wouldn’t go away. We were given a one year mark which she breezed past. Never stopping. Her unyielding positive energy, her zest for life and her kind kind heart living each day to the absolute fullest.
We went on trips to Boston, to Canada, to Portland as travel grew more tiring. We ate room service in bathrobes and went to fancy salons. We talked about life. We talked about death.
Mamma was at peace with what was to come. Her faith and her belief in the good of the universe gently putting to rest the fear so many face. We navigated the unknown as a unit. We cried tears of gratitude. I cried tears of anger. Of my fear of being without her. Of grief of her leaving us alone.
So many words were spoken and so many more said in silence. Memories flooded my parents house. My brother and I. My dad. My mom. We laughed. We teased and we loved. We lived effortlessly – navigating the final days as we did our first.
Today as I felt the cold snow in my boots, seeking mom’s rays of light, I was brought back to my childhood. When I would leave the sledding hill as soon as the cold seeped through. Preferring to be home with soup and a book. Home where the warmth spread not just from those old clanging radiators, but from the golden glow of my mother’s ever present smile.
I looked up at that most vibrant sight in the sky. And as I have since the moment she left me, I turned my face up and closed my eyes. I thanked God for blessing me with such extraordinary family. With my life. I told my mom I loved her. I put my shoulders back, my chin up and smiling from the inside out, I marched on.
Here’s to a new year of moving forward.