Monday, June 15, 2009

the little things

It's after midnight now, so I guess that means that "yesterday" was the day that would have marked my mom and dad's 34th anniversary. It's a strange thing to think about.

I have done the math over and over in my head trying to figure out how it was only 4 years ago that mom was so healthy and we were celebrating their 30th in the basement of Trinity Church. But I'm sure of it. Lillian was about nine months old. And now she's 4 years and about nine months old. So it has to be right.

And that's what scares me. I feel like I'm supposed to feel like it was 'just yesterday' that she was here and healthy. But it doesn't.

it feels like forever ago.

I'm so scared that I'm forgetting things. I know it happens with time. Most people who have lost loved ones say that.

Sometimes it's hard for me to imagine her voice even. Something I thought I'd never forget. My mother's voice. But when I try to remember things, just from my own memory, not photos or videos or anything, it's so hard. And then I hear myself say something to Lillian, and it jolts me. It sounds so much like my mom's voice that I feel like I'm her. And Lillian is me. It sounds EXACTLY the same. And the tears catch me off guard.

But when I'm just sitting here, wanting to remember, it doesn't come so easily.

Lots of things are reminding me of her lately though. It's random things. Like the smell of coffee grounds in trash can. It stinks, but I like it. And the shape of my blush in its compact. It's almost gone. So the center is completely empty, and it's just pinkness rounded in the corners, ya know? And I have to look twice every time I put it on, to make sure it's mine, and it's not in a huge pink Mary Kay compact like I expect it to be.

Some things I do intentionally to remember her. She had this picture hanging in our house in Maurice. It's a drawing maybe. Not a painting. But it's this ovular drawing of a mother holding her little daughter, snuggled up on her chest. And the picture is framed in an old ugly frame. But I've always loved that picture. I felt like it was me and her, even though the girl looks nothing like I did.

So when we moved into the house that my dad still lives in now, I found it hung up in the basement one day. And I ran upstairs and asked my mom (before she ever was sick) if I could have it when she passed away. She went down and got it for me. :) I don't remember when I actually took possession of it. I didn't have anywhere to put it at the time. But I know that when we moved into this house I hung it up in the room that was waiting for our baby. I had a hunch the baby would be a girl, and I wanted that picture in there.

Anyway, it's a lovely picture in a very ugly frame thing. I've always wanted to try to cut the picture into a square and get it reframed, but never wanted to cut into something that I treasured so much. So I just hung the ugly one up all this time.

But recently I've been browsing craigslist. And I found an entry called "beautiful mother/daughter picture" and thought, 'hm. what it if would be the same one....wouldn't that be weird?' and sure enough. there it was. I immediately contacted the lady and told her the story and how bad I wanted it. She was so happy it was going to someone like me. :) so for ten bucks, I bought the picture, tore open the framing, and cut it up. And it looks so good. it's not perfect. but I don't care. It's the picture I love, without the ugly frame. (okay so it wasn't really that bad, I think I just don't like ovals, so that always bugged me. but it was obviously not so ugly that I didn't still love it. maybe I should just say that it wasn't really my taste, as opposed to being ugly.)

but I love it now. and I love that it makes me think of my mom EVERY time I look at it. but it kind of shows her personality, which is something I'll never forget. Who she is, what she stood for, her kind heart, her contagious smile, her love of people, her love of the Lord, the things that made her HER....I'll never forget those. I can't. It's what made me ME.

I just wish I could remember more of the little things....


Angela Kim said...

beautiful post, dear sister.
i LOVED the part about the blush. that is so funny, that something like that would make us think of mom. and i was right there yesterday--wondering HOW in the world it was only 4 years ago that we were celebrating their 30th anniversary...i kept thinking it had to be longer ago, but it couldn't possibly be. It feels like a lifetime has happened in these 4 years. I suppose it has been "lifetimes" in many ways. I love it when mom's voice comes out of you or me or any of us. I love it when we're reminded of the little things. and the big things. love you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Andrea!
I just wanted to leave a little note for you about what my grief therapist told me after Joshua died. She said to keep a journal and anytime you have a memory write it down. Then when you are missing that person you can go back and read it. I've found that a lot of things I have written down come flooding back because I hadn't thought of them in a while and it has really helped me.

Take Care,
Jessica Seeton

Renee said...

This was a very sweet post. :) I love the picture.

Jantina said...

I worry about forgetting all the time. And I think that is what makes your Grandma Sharon days so special. You have family and others in your life who purpose with you to remember - even admidst the sadness - you remember and celebrate. That is such a great thing! I often wish I had had more time with my son so I could know the things he liked instead of knowing the things I think he liked :) And recently, with Matt's dad passing - we have been talking about doing a weekend celebration of him for us (thanks for the idea!!!! I tell everyone about it.)

But I also know that even when it feels like forgetting... it usually means I am remembering in a different way. When the thought of a loved one brings more smiles than tears.

And even as I write that I firmly believe that I will be 90 someday still grieving the loss of my son. Notice I didn't say I wouldn't live life or have a great life, but I think I will still be grieving his loss. Only people who have lost those closest to them understand the difference :)

I don't remember what it felt like to hold my son. I can't tell you the difference between holding him or my other two girls. I can tell you the smell of berry tylenol reminds me of him and only him. But although I can't remember the feel of him in my arms... I remember clear as day his smile, his voice. Just like how you remember your mom and always will.

You will always remember her. You are a part of her legacy. So even when it feels like you can't recall the memories like you want... by living and sharing, you are remembering her.

Wanda said...

Happy 6th anniversary Steve & Andrea! Hope you have a special day celebrating Fathers Day and your anniversary!
Thank you for sharing about your mom...I guess sometimes I feel like it was just yesterday, because she still seems like she is here with me in my heart, but then there are days it seems like so long ago that I've talked to her. That is so true that you see yourself in your mom and as you get older, you will see more things that you do and say that are like her..I see my mom in myself so many ways now as I'm older. I will miss not growing old with my sister would be so different now and that makes me so sad...but lets all keep remembering Sharon and keeping her alive in our memories always...I love you...Wanda