Baby steps, but another milestone

I hit another milestone today – I shopped in one of mom’s favorite stores for the first time in more than two years. And, it didn’t feel strange. I felt like it was almost a celebration of mom because she always enjoyed shopping there.

I continue at that crossroad where when I think of mom I no longer think of loss and gloom as I did in the past. I continue to be able to think of her with smiles, chuckles and reminders of the fun times we had, even when she might not have been having a great day.

I do miss her of course. Every day. And so sorry she can’t hold, kiss, coo or smother her first great-grandchild with her love. Mom, no need to worry. I’m doing that for both of us.

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Omens

Tomorrow marks nine months since mom’s passing. I think I have slowly been receiving omens that it’s time for me to move on.

I have a tendency to latch on to things. I’m very sentimental and particularly so when these things belonged to mom.

First, the basket I used in the ladies room at the museum for D’s wedding went missing. No one can find it. It really wasn’t anything special except that it was mom’s.

Then I lost my keys a couple of weeks ago. I was using mom’s Eiffel Tower key chain since she moved here in 2007. I lost the keys/key chain because I had to separate it from my car key since I was turning in my leased car. I’m still looking for it.

I almost had the urge last week to go to mom’s favorite discount clothing store. This was the first time since last fall that the thought even crossed my mind but I still couldn’t do it.

I did indulge in a canister of one of mom’s favorite cookies that I’ve had for months since cleaning out her apartment. No, it wasn’t her beloved Pepperidge Farm Milanos but the brand’s Pirouttes rolled wafer cookies. I had eyed them for a while in the cabinet and I finally caved. And while eating one after another I could hear mom telling me to stop eating them.

As we come to mom’s unveiling the day after Thanksgiving, our first Thanksgiving without her,  I think I’ve been getting signals that I need to move on. And I know I must, and I know I have come a long, long way in my grieving process, but…

It’s just so hard. I miss her so.

When does it get better? A little bit at a time

I just got off the phone with T. and started to tear up.

I called to say hi and see how he and everyone is doing. He’s doing fine but says he misses mom so much. I could hear the pain in his voice.

And so, when he asks how I’m doing, I answer that I’m doing OK. ‘No, how are you really doing,” he asks again. “Really, I’m doing OK,” I tell him adding that I of course have ups and downs.

He asked if I was still in my grief counseling group. I told him no, that it ended, but I continue to seek counseling on an as-needed basis, and just met with Dr. R earlier this week.

He told me J. called him, which he so appreciated. He’s always had a special interest in him. He asked how all the kids and M. were doing and then said, “I don’t know what else to say.” I told him he doesn’t have to say anything. “I just wanted to call to say hi, see how you and everyone was doing and to hear his voice,” I told him.

There was a brief silence and I could tell he was hurting. And so was I. And we said good-bye.