It's been a really long time since I have written a blog or written my Morning Pages. In fact, it feels like it has been a really long time since my heart and my zest for life has shown its courage to once again, come out of hiding. The day my Mother died , December 10, 2015 was a day of exhilaration in the morning hours and a day of utter despair in the afternoon.
You see, I was given an incredible opportunity to speak in front of an audience of about 60 people for a major corporation in town regarding wardrobe styling for the workplace. I was thrilled beyond measure and scared to death at the same time. My Mother helped me in any way she could by giving me encouraging words each day leading up to the engagement and in fact, she helped me out financially as well when I was to come up with some cash for the outfit I was to wear .
My friends were going to be with me as models for various work attire, so I knew that my "sisterhood team" was there to support should I utterly fail miserably!
The day before the presentation I was in a meeting at a job I had just started and my Mom called to say, everything was all set - she had paid for my outfit and I didn't need to worry.
I thanked her , wanting to cry , knowing my Mom was always there to support and encourage me whenever I decided to climb another mountain in my life. I couldn't cry because I had to go back into a meeting, but my heart was content knowing my Mom, once again was by my side and my friends would be surrounding me.
As it turns out the presentation went really well and I felt at home on that stage in front of so many people. I was surprised and shocked at that fact , but somewhere deep in my heart, I knew I was destined to inspire others no matter what the topic.
I went to lunch with the executives from the company that hired me and was eager to call my Mom afterwards to let her know how it went.
The phone went to voicemail.
I thought, well, I will congratulate myself and go get a cup of coffee and a pastry heart from this little coffee shop that everyone raves about.
And so I sat there , waiting for my Mom to call me back. I knew she would have been proud of me and I so had wished she was in the audience to see what I had accomplished.
I drove home, returning the clothes from the models and got comfy on the couch to watch a Hallmark movie and relax a bit.
I still didn't hear back from my Mom , but I didn't worry too much as the last time I hounded her with phone calls to see if she was ok, she yelled at me and told me to stop worrying about her.
Well.. as it turns out.. I did get a phone call about an hour later. It wasn't my Mother. It was her husband , he too couldn't get in touch with her. He sent the neighbor to go check on her.
The second call from my Mother's husband came in not too long after the first one.
My Mother had died.
And in that very instant, I thought my heart would never be the same. The shock of that phone call sent me into action to gather my family.
I did what every family does, figure out the logistics of a wake etc.. But I was only going through the motions, knowing that inside my heart was broken in a thousand pieces and my life as I knew it had stopped.
We went through the weekend saying our goodbyes and on Tuesday, my house was empty . Not a sound could be heard except for the purring of my cats on my lap.
The months ahead found me cuddled on the couch in front of the television watching HallMark movies, day after day. Thank god I had a job to get to or I would have never left the house.
My writing stopped, my dreams stopped, my motivation and zest to climb mountains suddenly came to an abrupt halt. My best friend, the one who grounded me, the one who loved me unconditionally , the one who forced me not to work too much and smell the roses..had died.
I could barely muster the courage to decorate my Christmas tree that year. It ended up with only four ornaments on it. And the Thanksgiving decorations were still up.
The days went on and I forced myself to move on, despite my frozen heart. Again, I was so thankful for the job I had and the people there who were so sensitive to what I was feeling.
My writing called through whispers, my dreams called through pictures I saw on the internet, my Mother's voice called to me " honey, would you publish my work for me?" - those words spoken to me only a month or two before she died.
During the spring of this past year, I mustered the courage to start putting my Mom's books together. I had a lot of motivation to do it, then it suddenly stopped due to my fear of technology and wondering where I would get the cash to publish her work.
And so, I continued on , pouring my heart and soul into my job and my Airbnb business. My creativity once again, whispering to me..to come back.
Thanksgiving came this year , the first one without my Mother. It was a wonderful week, I was in the kitchen for the majority of the time, cooking up bread from scratch and several new recipes I wanted to try.I put a picture of my Mother in the window above my sink and looked at it often. My buddy, my friend, my confidant. I missed her so much and I wished my heart would thaw just a little bit .Her picture gave me comfort and a sense that she was with me in the kitchen, cheering me on, telling me "you can do this honey-I'm with you."
My niece and I managed to make the traditional family stuffing that is a recipe that has been handed down for generations and has never been written. Nervous that we wouldn't make it just like my Mom, we started putting in the spices gingerly at first and then we put it through the smell test just like she would do.
My brother and his wife surprised me and came home this year. I was so truly grateful that the house was full of family and that I wasn't alone. My Mom would have loved to be with all of us, as family was truly the heart of who she was.
We all knew what our thoughts were thinking and what our hearts were crying about. No one really talked about it too much, but our hearts knew.
The stuffing turned out to be a big success and the house was full of family and friends, delicious smells , way too many pies and so much love - my Mom would have been so happy. Her family was still together.
As I look back at this past year, I realize just how frozen I had become. Purposefully hiding myself in my house with my cats and my Airbnb guests, so that the familiarity of home would comfort me.
I had experienced the loss of romantic love many times in my life, I was strangely familiar with these emotions and feelings and knew how to pull myself through it. But this one, this loss, this heartache - it was almost as if I was going through the grief but was denying it at the same time. All I can think of , is "frozen."
But now, as the one year mark of my Mother's death was approaching and the world was beginning to celebrate the Christmas season, my Mom's favorite and mine too - my creativity called yet again, only the whisper has become louder. "It's time".
Time, to move on, to live , despite the fact that would mean , I would move on without her in my physical reality. Time, to live my dreams, to create, to once again, climb mountains as I normally do (says my Mother).
And so, I created a plan for decorating my house, as my Mother would have as well. I focused my creativity there and I begin to write my morning pages once again. My Mom and I would call each other and confer on our Christmas decor themes and talk about cookies, shopping, gift ideas.
I foolishly thought this would stop the pain my heart has felt over the loss of my Mother. It has somewhat, but the week soon approached that would mark one year of her death.
It was hard, no question. And I have cried over things I never would have before - I even cried twice in front of my boss this week. I tell myself - "it's ok."
The dreaded morning came. December 10th. And I cried and the tears wouldn't stop coming. But through the tears , I heard my Mom say - get up , stop crying and go to spin class- you will feel better. I cried a bit more and the inner voice of my Mother, said "GO TO SPIN CLASS!" even louder. And so, I wiped my tears and went to spin class. I felt a lot better afterwards . My Mom always knew how to make me feel better. She knew that I love the gym .
My brother , his wife and I spent the afternoon together, doing simple things - going to one of my favorite local chocolate stores and our local grocery store. We talked about my Mom, a little bit, not too much. We knew where our hearts were. It was enough just to be together.
And the night of December 10th came with a Christmas shopping trip to the mall with a favorite girlfriend and going home to two of my favorite Airbnb guests. A father and his adopted daughter. They were asleep when I got home, but the excitement of seeing them in the morning, lifted my spirits.
I made it through that day, December 10th and woke up to a little 5 years old voice saying "good morning " to me with the biggest smile. Life was good, all was going to be ok and my Mom was here, with me - saying, "see honey, everything is ok, you love your Airbnb - look at that little one that I sent you knowing exactly what you needed."
I know in my heart , "it's time." It's time to move forward, to live the dreams I have so yearned for and that my Mom would have wanted for me.The dream of publishing novels, my Mother's works, my blog posts and others more personal, that I don't care to share here.
I listen to the whispers of my Mother, who tells me she loves me and who tells me that it's time to move on, no matter how much it hurts and start living my dreams, because that is who I am, "I climb mountains of dreams."