During my time of avoidance we celebrated my mother's birthday. I was dreading it.
I love my mother more than I ever knew and I hate being reminded how much I miss her. It's this pain that is completely indescribable. It hurts Iike no other pain. It engulfs me in such sadness I'm left sobbing and shaking at everything that should have been and everything that isn't.
Unlike June 9th, April 20th isn't supposed to be a sorrow filled day. By its very definition, a birth day is always a celebration. That's where I struggle. I have an internal battle with my emotions, trying to be happy for the life my mom lived, celebrating her, keeping her day alive for my daughter, all the while I'm drowning in sorrow.
Somehow I managed. I'm quite sure my mom was proud of me. I had my moments, the night before her birthday and the night of, alone in my house drowning in my tears, unable to stop. But, I managed to keep the depressing feelings at bay during her day. My mother was the eternal family motivator/organizer. She kept us together and connected. I try really hard to keep that alive, though I'm often met with resistance from family members, I still try for Alice. This year I made arrangements for my sisters and our families to go to brunch together and visit a duck pond afterwards. In all honesty, it was nice. Alice picked out a balloon to take to the restaurant for her and her cousin, because no birthday celebration is complete without a balloon. It was my way of reminding Alice and my niece why we were gathering together, why this day was so special. The girls had a good time playing together, at brunch and at the duck pond.
Something happened at the duck pond. At the time I didn't think anything of it, only afterwards when I was reviewing the pictures I took did it hit me. When we ran out of bread to feed the ducks, the girls took to playing and climbing on the trees, and of course we started taking pictures. Sitting on the couch, looking at the pictures, it reminded me of being a child. My mom was never without her camera, and I remember this one photo shoot she did of us climbing trees. Now, my mom was far more overbearing, forcing us into bizarre poses and positions, often resulting in grumpy frowns. But that day, taking pictures of Alice and my niece in the tree, I got it. I got why my mom did what she did at that photo shoot. It's just what moms do. We love our babies so much we want to freeze every moment, never to be forgotten. If there was one thing I never doubted growing up, it was my mother's love for me. And I make it my mission every singe day of my life to show Alice how much I love her. I don't want a single day to go by where she doubts it.