Today is the day I never saw coming. Today is the day I celebrate my Mother’s birthday — without her here.
It has been nearly six months since she left this world for her Heavenly Home — and it has been nearly six months since part of my heart shattered so fully that it will never heal back together the same way again. They say grief gets easier over time, but I am not there yet. There will always be a void.
I can imagine the first anniversary of a loved one's passing is the toughest. That anniversary (March 21, 2017) hasn't come yet for me, but I can say without a doubt that the birthday of a fallen loved one — that first one without them there — it’s one of the most painful realities to acknowledge and bear.
Today, I am haunted by old memories and by the realization that making new memories, those with her here by my side, will never be. I’ll never get to sing “Happy Birthday” to her in person again. I won’t be shopping for the perfect gift or watching her eyes sparkle when I surprise her. The days of cherished time together are over.
I can't dwell on the fact that there will be no more blowing out of the birthday candles, and I can't long on the fact that I didn't get to say my proper goodbyes. But what I can focus right now are the good times. And boy were there a lot of good times together.
Two years ago, I surprised her with a floatplane trip to the Taku Lodge here in Southeast Alaska. It was a picture perfect day with exploring glaciers by air, getting up close and personal with black bears, and feasting on wild Alaska salmon. But the best part of all was making memories that last a lifetime. Here’s a video from our trip that Momma termed “the best trip of my life.” The best part is at the 4:49 mark!
This is what life is about, folks. Making memories and loving one another. One day at a time. Because you never know when it will be your last. Make it count.