This time of year is always hard for me. Years ago, today, my mom lost her battle with breast cancer. I can remember every detail of that day as if it were yesterday. The fear on my father and siblings’ faces, were almost unbearable. I can describe it only as the worst heartbreak, ever. Life as I knew it, would never be the same.

Grief is a peculiar emotion. It affects everyone differently. For me, I can honestly say that I was the epitome of a lost soul for a very long time.  My husband and I live next door to my parents (believe it or not, it was my husband’s idea). It took a long time for me to get used to no longer waking up and running next door in my pajamas to grab a cup of coffee with my mom. Having the comfort of being able to pick up the phone to call my mother when I had something to tell her… Would never happen again.  I can remember calling her cell phone just to hear her voice message, until finally, that was turned off. On the outside, I really tried to remain strong.  On the inside, I was crumbling.

The good thing about being an eternal optimist is that I knew this feeling would go away slowly.  I just had to let time take its course. I forced myself to do things, spending a lot of time with my mom’s sisters. With both aunts having such close striking resemblances to my mother, they kept my mom close to me on so many levels.  When I talk to my Aunt Maureen on the phone, she sounds like my mom. When my Aunt Jean gets excited about cooking something new, I swear she is a dead ringer for my mom.  I don’t know whether or not my lovely aunts are aware of how much they helped me through some of my darkest days.

As time passed, I soon enjoyed the reminders of my mom.  I finally accepted she was gone.

With acceptance of my mom’s passing, came acceptance of change. Family traditions were no longer. My siblings were growing up, and moving out. My dad was keeping busy with hobbies, and even thinking about dating again. When my mom was sick, she specifically told me that she didn’t want my dad alone, and that she was okay with him meeting someone else. At the time, I was certain that I would never be comfortable with my dad dating. However, a few years later when my dad was finally ready to date, I was truly happy for him. You see, when you love someone, you want what’s best for them. Being alone, was not what was best for my dad! He went on a few dates, but nothing came about. Until one day, he introduced me to his new “friend”, Kathy.  She is beautiful, kind, and she loves wine! But most important, I see that she makes my dad happy. Kathy is widowed as well, so they have a connection that only the other truly understands.  She was just what my dad needed.

So rather than sulking today, I’ve decided to celebrate finally moving on.

I am certain that this is just what my mom would have wanted.