It’s been awhile since I have written a blog or much of anything, really. After my last piece recalling my siblings and my beautiful adventure to Cannon Beach, OR to celebrate my mother’s birthday and honor her wishes to have her ashes spread in the ocean by Haystack Rock, so much life has happened that I lost my footing in my wordsmith role. I changed careers, celebrated a birthday, recently secured a new residence that’s ready for move-in October 1st, and have been exceedingly busy trying to celebrate summer and a lot of newfound and much anticipated personal freedom.
In this jumble of greatness, though, I have missed my mom more than I can articulate. All I’ve wanted to do is share with her all that was transpiring, all that was concrete, and every single thing I was terrified of, elated for, and confused about. I just wanted to call her and stop by and go for a walk and enjoy a beer and do our traditions together… So many traditions together….
In the wake of a BIG summer, I hid behind many glorious new things and celebratory experiences to avoid the burning, nagging, dreadful reality that it has been a year since my mother left this earth. I recognized it, I acknowledged it, I did things to honor her, but the incessant pain deep within my soul has been unwavering. It’s been a little over a year since she passed and all I desperately want is to do all of the things with her. We have Lake Geneva to stay in, State Fair to attend, walks along the parkway to get in, and patios to sit on.
WE HAVE SHIT TO DO. And lo and behold, she isn’t here to do them with me. That laugh that I try SO HARD to still hear is getting further and further away from me, and the fear that I will lose the ability to recall it in all of its beautiful, boisterous essence is deafening. I NEED to hear her laugh and her voice. I need to hear her scream like a child on the way down the big yellow slide at State Fair. I need to hear her ask if they have “grapefruit beer” EVERY.SINGLE.PLACE.WE.GO. I need her to ride next to me on our next overnight in Lake Geneva and hear her snore while she sleeps, even when she swears she doesn’t. I NEED ALL OF THESE THINGS and yet all I have are memories.
Perhaps I still need her to know how sorry I am. For all of the things I couldn’t control, all of the things I would have done differently, and all of the things I wish I would have done. The guilt that accompanies grief is truly something else and I still can’t seem to shake it.
But I digress.
In my needs and desires to have her here, beside me, in physical form – albeit healthy, happy, and whole – I am not being greedy; in these desperate pleas for the opportunity to make more memories with her I am just being in grief. I am beyond grateful for the memories I have already made – from the countless ones that I forget I have until they blindside me from a secret hidden place to the ones that stand strong in the forefront of my mind that are the reason behind the daily tears – they are all there. They are all mine. They hurt and help and inspire and calm and ignite and induce joy and despair and all the other things memories do… I JUST WANT TO MAKE MORE.
MORE MEMORIES, PLEASE.
So I do. Or I try to with her heart in mine and her spirit by my side, I gather some of my favorite humans and I honor our traditions and I ride the slide at State Fair in between eating my mom’s favorite foods while washing them down with her favorite GRAPEFRUIT BEER and I spend days and nights in Lake Geneva, walking the same streets she and I did while stopping in her favorite stores and eating her favorite nachos.
I do these things to not lose the sound of her voice and laugh; I do these things to keep traditions alive while making new ones with other people I love dearly; I do these things to have something to look forward to when the waves of grief get seemingly too great for me to keep my head above them.
I do these things for more. More understanding. More healing. More compassion. More patience. More Love. And, you guessed it: MORE MEMORIES, PLEASE.
And how lucky am to do these things with some truly phenomenal friends and family? Infinitely. I am deliriously grateful for my tribe of undeniably remarkable human beings that share in this journey with me in any way that they can. They get me to talk, they honor my silence, they share in my joy and pain, and they laugh equally as loud as I (and my mother) do. I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to be on this journey with.
And although I would give anything to have my mom alive and well, to partake in all of our traditions and manifesting more things to remember, there is no doubt she walks beside me and this crew of spiritual gangsters rallying together in love, honor, and support in a bevy of beautiful ways, creating more memories. Please.
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Love your memories Amanda! They are part of you and the beautiful person your Mom loved and was so proud of!! Keep on building new memories. Love you girl!! Cyndi