As many of you have thoughtfully remembered and shared kind words with me, this is the week when Mom passed last year. I realized this week that I lived more years in the same home with her than I have lived without her; there were the 18 years growing up and then the 12 years she lived with Jerry and I after she became a widow. At her memorial service I shared many memories. In the year that she’s been gone, here’s what I have come to realize . . .
- I miss Mom more than I ever thought I would, and I miss her (and dad)most I think for my nieces, nephew and great nieces and nephew. I think of how proud she would be to know Charis started her residency, or that Erica graduated with her BSN. I think of the new great nieces/nephews to come who will never have the opportunity to have GG (Galavanting Grandma as she was known!) read them a story or crochet them a blanket.
- Mom often thought we (Jerry and me) were too busy in our lives, and sometimes she was right. In truth though, we slowed down more with her here. We made it a point most evenings to share dinner together and then spend an hour after dinner with her over Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. Now sometimes we aren’t even getting home to eat dinner until long after that time. I miss the intentionality of slowing down to sit with her.
- I am enjoying a “direct connect” with my sister. Yes, we always had that opportunity but too often connected through Mom. I am glad for the times Ginny and I get to talk and spend time together as we learn our new way.
- Mom helped Jerry and me a lot more than I gave her credit for. I tried to be conscious of her assistance and thank her, but knowing what I know now – I took a lot for granted. Even after a year I am still trying to get the rhythm of how to work full time, exercise, have a Quiet Time, grocery shop, cook, clean house, do laundry, spend time with my husband and assist him with his care needs, cultivate friendships, and on and on and on (not necessary in the order listed). Oh and did I mention sleep?
Most of all I’ve come to realize again how absolutely positively blessed I am to have been born to Bill & Betty Morris, to gain from their Godly heritage, to come to my career (and husband!) because they first instilled in me a love for people affected by disability. I would not trade the three weeks we got to serve and minister to Mom through hospice for anything. What precious memories I have from those times with Mom, and for our family and friends to be together. Yes there will still be times of grief, pain and loss, but more and more there are times of remembering, being grateful and finding joy in this journey.