One year ago today, my mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor. At the time of this writing, 365 days ago, I was reassuring our children that grandma probably had a stroke and would most likely be just fine. But, as I calmed their fears, the tell-tale storm clouds of horror started to build in my sky. We didn’t know it was cancer. We didn’t know it would take her life 108 days later.
108 days. We didn’t know.
No matter what kind of relationship you have with your mom, something hollows out when you bury her. There’s an unnamed emptiness that can’t be filled again. And it will never feel right. Not on this side, anyway.
But we have to go on, even when we don’t want to. We have to drag ourselves out of bed and cook dinner. We have to exercise and eat well. We must keep going because no matter the trial or suffering, healing is found in moving forward. It comes to us in the small steps of living.
As I watched our boys test for their black belts last weekend, I felt the most joy I’ve felt since my mom was diagnosed with cancer. There were glimpses of time when I actually forgot my mom wasn’t there. Moments when I was simply happy and light-hearted and proud. Moments when I was fully present. And it was good.
This weekend taught me something important about grief. It taught me that it’s ok if it doesn’t feel right all the time because a good, content life isn’t about making everything right; it’s about being able to hold both tragedy and blessing in the same hand.
And whether for joy or pain, some moments are meant to take you. So, let them have their way.
Here’s to moving forward…