So I turned 41 last week. Had a great birthday week, actually. Lots of shout-outs on Facebook, cards, cupcakes, a great steak dinner, a happy hour the next day to celebrate along with a coworker (whose birthday was the day after mine). All in all, a good deal.
And then today rolls around: the eighth anniversary of my Mom's passing.
I felt a tad melancholy when I glanced at the clock on my phone at 10 AM*. But then I always feel a tad melancholy when I do that. My grief has certainly evolved from the times when I could not talk about it at all, despite all the pleasant and supportive urging from my wife. At the time, my Sister thought I wasn't really mourning Mom, or at least not mourning in the proper way. I'm usually much more effusive with my emotions, so my reticence was surprising to me. I think that part of me, the part I got from Mom, needed to hunker down and ride out the artillery barrage, just like in All Quiet on the Western Front. After a while, the ground no longer shook from the explosions of the falling shells.
Now I just miss her. I miss her council, her humor, her zest for life. I know I'll always carry those things within me and I use them most every day. That's the best thing I can do for her today. Especially today.
*We used to call each other at work at 10 AM every morning. Silly conversations mostly. But I miss them most of all.