Happy 67th birthday. I miss you, so I thought I’d take to my blog, my space where I get to write my feelings and release them, because, well, it helps me heal and helps me grieve. Today is different though; today I want to celebrate you.
I often think of when you would yell for me from the first floor all the way up to the third floor:
Lauren! Let’s go get something to eat!
I can still hear your voice in my head. I was in my early to mid-twenties, living at home. Sometimes, when I was feeling a little crabby, I didn’t feel like going but somehow I always went because that was our thing. We’d drink wine, catch up and always have a good laugh. We were friends. We’d even hit up Nordstrom for a top or two. You spoiled me. I would do anything to hear you ask me to go to dinner with you once more. I have so much I want to tell and say to you.
One of my favorite memories I have of you before you got sick was when that goddamned squirrel snuck into the house. Oh my gosh, we laughed so hard, we cried. Not to mention, we were so frightened at the same time because he was legit trying to kill us both – we called him “Little Ninja Squirrel”. Together though, we did it. We released him back into the wild and, of course, we sat on the front porch laughing for hours (and days to come) afterward. That will go down as one of my favorite memories I have with you. It was pure chaos and utter joy. I think that was the hardest we ever laughed together. Well, that and the time you had me pull Michelle’s waterbed mattress (which was still filled with some water) up from the basement. You wanted nothing more than to have that mattress out of the house. So, I gathered every ounce of strength I had within me and pulled that damned thing up, one stair at a time. You cheered me on from the top of the stairs. We were both so shocked that I got it to the top that we had to stop and rest from laughing so hard. We did that well. Laughing was our thing.
Well, mom, it’s officially fall. Better yet, October – our favorite month. My obsession with autumn and Halloween is all thanks to you. I feel you during this time of the year. The smells and colors of fall instantly make me think of you. You made fall so special for us, especially when my birthday rolled around, being an October baby and all. I would look forward to my homemade dirt cake and pumpkin cakes every year. They were the best. Along with dessert, you would make us any meal we wanted for our big day; you made our birthdays so special. Thank you.
Oh! And all the spooky things we did during this time of year! How about that creepy, little pet cemetery you would take us too?! It’s no wonder I find solace in graveyards. It’s all your fault. I easily recall begging you, legit pleading with you, to crawl into the attic and drag out our giant Halloween box the moment the clock struck midnight on October 1st. No matter how tired you were, you’d bring it out for us and let us try on masks and costumes for hours. Life was so simple back then. So celebratory.
Speaking of being an October baby. At 35, I think people have finally stopped talking about how the first four years of my life I would only speak to you and Grandma. I have no explanation for why I was like that – but I am okay with it. We were buddies.
I want you to know that Anthony and I are going on wonderfully. He makes me laugh every day of my life and, I know for a fact, he would get that amazing June laugh out of you too. You would love him so much. I’ll never forget when you told me that he was going to marry me…you were right. I remember dancing with you the night before our wedding, that moment will forever be in my heart. I have a photo I look at every so often of us on the dance floor with Andrea – your smile in that photo is everything to me.
There are so many moments and memories from when you became sick that make my heart break into so many pieces it seems almost impossible to put back together. But, it’s memories like these that help repair it…to some degree. This disease, this terrible, horrible illness, may have taken the woman, mother, and friend you once were to me, but it will never, not in a million years, when all is said and done, take away the bond, love, and friendship that we had. And still have. It’s just different now.
I know you can sense all the love around you. And, worry not, I am living fall to the absolute fullest. Thank you for instilling in me such beautiful traditions and cozy vibes. You were a good mom. And you still are. It’s just different now.
I love you,