I’ve written a lot about my mom, Barbara, who passed away about 10 years ago. I think one of the hardest things about losing someone, especially someone as close as a parent, is that when it happens- it seems that there is this immediate cutoff point in time. From this point on, you’ll no longer have new memories with that person, never new stories, or adventures, or life together with them.
This is something I’ve really struggled with, especially on some of the biggest days of my life since – like our wedding day. But recently, and I’m not quite sure what brought this on, I’ve had an idea. Just because my mom is no longer here, that doesn’t mean there can’t be new memories. Every year, her birthday on August 17 passes me by, a solemn reminder of the days we would celebrate her life.
But just because she’s no longer physically here, do I really need to stop celebrating? Maybe it’s the perfect time to start again.
So I invite you to join me, those of you that knew Barbara, to celebrate her this Saturday, August 17 – a date that would have been her 65th birthday. Do something that reminds you of her. Make a trademark Barbara recipe like her toffee bars or heath bar cookies. Throw on several episodes of The Golden Girls and learn to quote Sophia’s lines by heart. Make dinner at home and say one of her favorite lines she used to quote to me, “The pizza man’s going to eat with those other families tonight!” Let me know what you end up doing if you do, whether here or on Facebook.
I love the thought of having a happy occasion to look forward to that involves my mom. This is now a moment in every year when I can make a big deal about her, remember the things she loved and the things I so loved about her. Suddenly, what used to be a sad thought – our future children never meeting their grandmother – becomes an amazing one that I am so excited to one day share: an annual celebration of the incredible woman they’ll be connected to forever.
If you didn’t know my mom, I invite you to celebrate someone you’ve lost. Pick a spot on the calendar, a birthday or special day each year, and look forward to that day. Spread the word and keep the people you care about alive in your everyday.
I’m so glad I’ve realized that there is no fixed point in time – there are new stories to tell and new ways to feel and share the love people bring into your life. Let the celebrations begin.
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