~A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith*
It is easier almost a year later. I can talk about my mom--to some people, in some ways--and I can hear my son reference Grammie Joy without crying. Some days pass when I don't miss her. Some days it's the only thing I really do. I can talk about things she did, or liked, or memories I made with her, but I can't talk about how I miss her--what 4 o'clock in the afternoon is like when I can't call her on the phone--what it is like to have a segment of my soul locked up and unable to be expressed to anyone, because it was a part I shared only with my mom.
I think maybe soon only tenderness will remain-- with fewer stabs. I know that this is only a brief interlude before I see her again--my hope and faith remain. I know that soon I will be able to meet new people--or respond to a how are you--without pushing back my initial thought of "My mom is dead." I know my first mental image of her will dissolve back into a beautiful and lively one, and not the last one. I have faith, but this is still a hard road. Just like parenting, the days are long, but the years are short.
*soon after mom died, this book was cheap on my nook, and a part of my brain dinged: mom had liked this book. I bought it, and as I read, I became convinced she had-- the protagonist loved libraries, just like my mom--she even had the same birthday--and then when her adored father died, it felt like reading the book was a gift from my mom--to have hope--to process--to imagine her reading it as a young girl.