As March approaches, I always feel somewhat reminiscent. I do not think that a single day will go by that I do not miss my mother. The feeling of loss and emptiness always seems to intensify as the anniversary of her death nears. I remember the day that I got the phone call that she had passed away. I remember exactly where I was at and the feelings that flooded my soul. It stopped me dead in my tracks.
The weeks that followed, I was numb. I went through the motions of life yet I was not living. It seemed that I survived for weeks without ever taking a breath. Suddenly, there were no opportunities for the conversations that I wished that I had with her, the hugs that I wished I could feel. Never again would I feel her squeeze my hand and hear her tell me that everything was going to be alright. I counted on her to be my rock. I took for granted that my mom would live forever- a regret that I carry with me like a weight heavier than anything I have ever attempted to carry.
I find that when life deals me heartache, I always seek refuge in the remembrance of the words that she might have spoken. The echo of her voice never grows faint. I am so thankful for the things in life that trigger memories of her and take me there to that safe place in my heart where I carry her. Her strength and wisdom were so great that they still provide me with solace long after her physical being has parted.
I cannot change the past. None of us can. We do have the opportunity to cherish each and every day and those that bless our lives in even the smallest of ways. We can make each moment count by being in it. We can take the time to live life with all of our senses. Realize that the time is now and that the little things really do matter. When I drift into memories of my mom, I remember her touch, her smile, her efforts, her wisdom, her strength, her faith in God. Oddly enough, not one of those cost a dime.
Her legacy is the family that she left behind. Her legacy is ME. She left me with great strength and wisdom to draw from for the remainder of my days. She believed in me when no one else did to include myself. She told me that I could do anything- determination was the key. She told me never to settle for less than I deserve. She told me to believe in others. Most importantly, she taught me to care and to care deeply by example.
As March approaches and new endeavors are fast approaching, I plan to listen with great care as I am certain that I will hear her cheering me on. The sound might be from falling rain or the wind rustling through the trees and it will come in a moment when my mind is completely quiet…and it will leave me with a peace that only comes from knowing that she is still HERE.