It's that time again. April. April 30th to be specific. Mom's birthday. She'd be 67 today.
I miss her.
Usually, at this point in the year, I start to dive deep into the darkness of mourning and depression. It took me a long time to figure out that April, May and June were taboo until therapy has taught me the meaning of the "Hat Trick" and how to start coping.
The "Hat Trick". I've mentioned on my other blogs about it. April - her birthday, May - Mother's Day, June - The anniversary of her passing. It has debilitated me long enough. It has sent me into a tailspin for 19 full years. It has made me contemplate ending it myself for many, many years.
And it returned every April. Without fail. Subconsciously at first...then I began putting the pieces together.
But this year is different.
This year, I intend to celebrate and embrace her, not mourn her. I've mourned long enough. I have suffered her loss with every new event - boyfriends, marriage, the birth of my daughter, anniversaries, birthdays...I have had enough mourning for a whole lifetime. After all, she's been gone more than half of my life this year. 19 years. I'm 36. Almost 2 decades gone. God I miss her.
17 is a terrible time to lose your mother. And after all these years, I am finally learning that I have survived terrible losses and events in my life...and emerged stronger and smarter.
Going through it all, I never realized how strong I was becoming. But today, on her birthday, I can honestly admit what I see. She actually set out to do what she wanted to do. She wanted to make me a strong and independent woman. And while I may not agree with her technique, (that's a joke) I can finally appreciate what I've been through.
I can embrace my loss in a way I never have before. I can take my loss and use it to give me strength and courage to get through anything. It is my badge of honor, my tribute to her. I can see her in me and myself in my daughter, that gives me strength. Hope everlasting.
Finally, I can say. "I love you mom" without feeling anger, fear and emptiness in my soul. Finally, I can use this newfound courage for good.
Finally, I can celebrate her birthday as a joyful memory and wish her a happy birthday with all my heart. Yes, I'm crying as I type this. Yes, it was many, many years of therapy and medication to come to this crossroads. Yes, I was very fearful that if I stopped mourning and began accepting her death that I would officially lose her for good. Finality. It's what I feared most.
But I know now that the finality is only physical. My heart still feels her near me, still feels her embrace me when I need her love. I can still feel her watching over me, protecting me. And I can finally be okay with it. No I'll never be 'over' it, no I'll never forget her love and her soul. But I can be 'okay'.
The season has come to embrace her as is. As the part of my heart that no one can ever take away. This mourning, has made me realize I have entered a new phase in my life.
And I want to thank her for helping me find this peace. I have been waiting for a long time and working diligently to find it. I would have never found it without my mother's love, guiding me to this peace.
Peace of mind that she is with me always. I'm sure that was her dream.
Happy Birthday Mom. I love you and miss you.