It has been almost a year since I have written in my blog. Trust me, it isn’t for a lack of material. This has been THE year of change for myself and my family. So much to write about, and yet I haven’t. I thought about it, but then I would move on to something else, figuring I would save it for a day when I had a ton of time to focus and spill it all out on the page.
This past week, I shared stories with a friend of mine. I am comfortable calling her my friend now. You don’t open your heart to someone unless you trust them, and we did that. She is more than I could ever define her on the surface. It was in our short moments of life that the writer in me awakened from my year-long hibernation. It wasn’t because her story was bigger than all that had happened to me. It wasn’t because her story was more important. It was because her story opened up other stories, like windows to a stately house that had been nailed shut and now begged to be opened….. to feel the wind sweep away the stale.
My friend lost her Dad the day after her 10th birthday. He had gone into the hospital. He promised her he would be home for her big day, and he wasn’t. The next day, he died. Every year, her big week rolls around. The emotion behind her eyes says more to me than any words that come out of her mouth. I can see it. She relives that birthday all over again. Every year. He doesn’t come home. She is grown, and a mother herself, and every year, she turns into that 10 year old child, waiting for her Dad.
My first inclination is to get up from my chair and go hug her……to hold her until she cries, because it’s important to feel what we need to feel in order to get better. I don’t do that. I see she cries. I don’t need to. It’s not the right time for that.
When you lose someone you love, that day takes on new meaning for you. People can tell you it’s been a long time and to get over it. People can tell you that you shouldn’t be that way. That’s great. Good for them, I say. It’s pretty difficult to tell someone to stop wanting that person to be with them. It’s pretty crazy to tell someone not to be angry at the person for going away. It’s pretty impossible to tell someone not to hurt when a huge piece of their heart has been removed.
I lost my mother too, but not at the age of 10. I can’t imagine what she goes through, but I imagine her mother was strong, because when I look at my friend, that is what I see. Strong, kind, a good mother. An immense heart for caring, and a tender soul that listens to me when I ramble on and on. Her Dad is proud and I tell her that. He knows her. He sees the incredible woman I am growing to cherish as part of my own life. If he had a choice, he would have been there to help her blow out the 10 candles on her cake.
I suggest that maybe…just maybe….. she try something. Maybe not this year. Maybe not next year. When she is ready. Maybe try making a happy memory on that day. A really good one. Living life as large as we can for those we loved who have moved on is the greatest gift we can give to them, and to ourselves, especially when there is nothing we can do to undo what has been done.