Monday is my 38th birthday. Tuesday is 19 years since my mom killed herself. Since my mom died I have always had my 38th birthday in view… it would be the birthday to mark the time I’ve lived as many years without my mom as I lived with her. I remember in the first few months after her death thinking about turning 38 and it being a significant year.
If I am honest, I’ll admit the last few months I have been dreading this day. I’ve thought about the blog I would write… how my mom had a profound impact on my life but she has missed so much of who I really am… how she will never know my amazing husband and son… how she never got to see me as a mom… but something happened the last few days. While my heart will always grieve at this time of year and while there will always be a hole in my heart, I’m genuinely happy with my life.
I look back on the last 19 years and am proud of how far I’ve come. Somehow in the mountain of grief and sometimes despair, I found my way back to living not just surviving. I realized along the path that although my mom can never be replaced, it in no way means I can’t find goodness and happiness once again.
In the first 19 years of my life my mom taught me so many things. Most importantly she taught me how to love others, work hard, and laugh. It is these lessons that guided me as I had to learn to live life all over again without her.
So on Monday and Tuesday, while I will miss her, I choose to celebrate the life I have not the life I lost when she died.