Ten Years Gone


I have lots of favorite days every year. Rachel’s birthday, Jake’s return from summer break, 46118 Christmas… They’re all beautiful days for me every year.
Today is always the worst.
My mom died on October 1, 2005.
Rachel and I bought a car that day. It’s the first and only new car either of us have ever owned. We drove to my parents’ house where Rachel, my dad and I talked about the car, discussed my new job at Brebeuf and had as normal a conversation as is possible when someone is dying of cancer in the big bedroom.
My dad and I spent part of the afternoon in that bedroom talking about our plans for the next stage of Mom’s care. We came to some decisions and made sure Mom was warm; shared some laughs and tears and rubbed Mom’s feet and arms; we talked about how well we could manage to continue making good choices for her and discussed how we could take care of each other.
A couple hours later, Dad called to tell me Mom was dead. My initial thought was confusion; I didn’t know what he meant. When he repeated himself (I’m so sorry I needed him to say it a second time…), I squealed. I groaned. I uttered a primal, urgent sound that I’ve never heard before or since. It was the sound of my soul being sucked out of my body.
I was on autopilot as I drove back to Mills Road and I sped as though I could somehow manage to hold on to something of my mother if I just arrived quickly enough.
The last thing I clearly remember from that entire day was thinking how mad Mom would be if I killed myself driving recklessly on 465.
I think I slowed down.
In the intervening decade, I’ve lived a wonderful life. The gifts of love I’ve received have blessed me beyond measure. The heartbreaks of living have reminded me how much I continue to love the people in my life.
And every single day, I miss my mommy.
Today is always the worst.

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