They always warn you about the firsts after someone dies.
The first holiday. Thanksgiving. Christmas. Mothers Day. The first birthday. The anniversary.
I miss my mom on her birthday today. She would have been 88.
My mom was named Dorothy.
We lost her last August 2nd. She was 87. At 4 AM she woke up talking, smiling and singing at the skilled nursing care facility where she lived. She entered eternity at 4:20 AM.
It felt so surreal driving to the nursing home after her passing to see her one last time.
Mom loved cake. Every birthday possible (and every one while I lived near) I took her the biggest birthday cake possible so that she could share it with friends. My mom loved to give and I guess I got that from her. We took multiple wrapped gifts to her every year. Today I feel so grateful I was able to spoil her. She deserved it more than any person I have ever known.
So today I felt the tug to go back to the cemetery. It was my first time since the day she was buried. I wanted to take poinsettias like I gave her every year. I wanted to say Happy Birthday mom. And to say goodbye again. Only there is no final goodbye when someone dies. You keep saying goodbye over and over. Just when you think you can’t feel any more sad, it knocks you over like a wave you didn’t see coming.
I stood at the headstone. I sang Happy Birthday to her. It felt silly but it made me smile at the thought that she would appreciate being remembered. Strange that I feel very grateful that we had her as long as we did.
Then I drove past her last home and wished I could stop by for coffee and birthday cake with her today. Happy Birthday mom.