12 years ago

It is the anniversary of my mom's death once again. (You can read about years 10 and 11 as well.) What's going on with me this year? I guess a few things...

I've been volunteering for over a year at a non-profit where I facilitate a support group for middle school kids who have faced parent death. There are times when this is very rewarding. There are also times when this is very frustrating. They are, afterall, tweens. They talk and joke and get off topic and sometimes do everything in their power to avoid talking about the deeper issues even though everyone in the room (including me) has gone through the same thing. They don't know that I've lost both of my parents. It takes everything I have sometimes not to tell them (which would be a selfish act that is discouraged since we're here for them, not the other way around). It also takes everything I have not to preach to them. To tell them how it gets easier until one day when it's not. How milestones are different. How you will always miss them. How this is just a part of who you are. And how, I suspect, one day when it's more commonplace for your peers to have also lost a parent you will want to scream, "But it's different! You had yours for 40 years! I had mine for half that!"

Sometimes I look around the big closing circle, where everyone is joined together, and am overwhelmed that all of those kids are going through possibly the worst thing they will ever go through. They are so lucky to have this place. To have each other. I hope they have at least a little awareness of that.

I'm also obviously thinking about my mother more with all this wedding planning. I hope that wherever she is she can either somehow see and know what's going on or else have absolutely no knowledge of any of it (because the thought of not being at my wedding would kill her all over again). I know she would have been so happy and supportive and proud. She would have gone along with all of my ideas even if they were kooky because she'd want the day to be exactly as I envisioned it. She would have walked me down the aisle. She would have known The Fiance.

It all breaks my heart--again and again--even if I'm not aware that that's what's going on. It makes me a little more stressed than I would have been otherwise. I know that day will be the single hardest one without her so far, maybe ever. I know that almost everyone in that yet-to-be-discovered venue will be thinking of her, too. All wishing she were there. For her. For me.

So my request this year is for you to find me some good quote or poem or prose that could be read before the ceremony so that we can remember her and all the other missing guests that day.


Katie Lady said…
Oh, I'm crying over here now. Wishing I could give you a hug.

I think the best thing to find is something your mother would have enjoyed....a favorite author or poem or topic. You don't want it to be sad, but heart-warming, if that makes sense. It's a happy day, after all. But, you'll know it when you find it. Like I said, the 'easiest' answers are the best ones, and you'll know it when you find it.

I will be on the lookout for you, though.
Anonymous said…
There is a Navy tradition, at banquets or other large important events; they would set up a small table close to the table of honor. On the small table, they would place a full place setting, but the plate would be sprinkled with salt (to represent tears) and the cup would not be turned to accept champagne.
Although I have always thought it is a beautiful way to remember those that are not there, it might be a bit sad for a wedding. You could instead save her the seat at the service that she would have otherwise ocupied and place something in it that was important to you and your mother (her favorite flower, a book you loved, or something)
Sorry for the long comment
- Travis
Jennifer said…
I can relate, as today is the 3-year anniversary of my Daddy's death. I will keep my eyes and ears open for a quote or poem that might work for your special day. Thinking of you today!

Greenville, SC
Owl said…
You have to know that your mother is watching over you every second, especially during this wonderful event. She is at your side helping you make each and every decision. If you need help...all you have to do is ask her.

I think Travis's idea is awesome..for the service and maybe even a seat at the reception.

I, too, will see if I can help you find that special...poem or prose.

I love that you are doing that charity work. Even though I lost my dad at a later age...but my sister way too early...I wish I had found 'someone' to bond with who had a similar experience. Guess I still do at times.

Its a wonderful event in your life...let the poem/prose be happy. Wouldn't want your face to melt before the ceremony. Maybe have it read at the beginning of the reception...or her favorite song as your first dance.

Again...more 'ideas' for you to file away.

Love you.
Bubba's Sis said…
Sending you big hugs. I'll be on the lookout for something appropriate, too, but know that she WILL be there - in your heart. And I imagine she's looking down on you with great pride and love right now, too.
Patois said…
I was thinking along the same lines as Travis. And I don't think it would be too sad for a wedding. So many of you will be thinking of her and missing her. Bringing it out in the open, and letting people feel free to tell you how much she and you mean to them I would hope would make you feel so loved.

I had the pastor use my father's confirmation Bible and to note that he was using it to include my dad in the service.

Sorry for going on and on. I will be diligent about suggesting quotes.

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100 things--thankful

hey, would you like to see the nursery?