December 24, 1977 is the day I lost my mother. I had been at a birthday party the day before and remember my father telling me that mom didn't feel well and went to bed early. And she didn't wake up.
That's right. December 24. Christmas Eve Day. This is typically a day to be with family, celebrate, remember good times. And I struggle every year with how I'm going to feel during "The Holiday Season."
Many of you who will read this did not know me when I lost my mom. You may have known my father. And you may have met me after both my parents passed away. I have nothing but wonderful memories of my parents - my father was the best Parent EVER - he had to be both Mom and Dad for a long while. And even though I had a stepmother for a short amount of time, who is still a very strong presence in my life, I often think about how my life would be different if my mother were still alive.
Yes, sometimes I get very sad. Often when I meet new people, and the holidays roll around, I have to explain that sometimes I'm very down during the holidays. Sometimes I feel sorry for myself and I pout. But sometimes I can think of good things and my spirits are uplifted. I can't explain at all what it feels like to lose a parent at age 9...nor can I explain how I make myself feel better.
But this year...I wanted to take time to honor my mom. I want to remember her positively and be grateful for the life she gave me. I want to approach the day of her death with an open heart and embrace the wonderful family I have now, and how she was part of that. And always will be part of that.