the tenth year.

On the 10th anniversary of my mother’s death, (February 20, 2015) I was speechless. I didn’t have the right words to explain how I was feeling at that moment…on that particular day.420077_10150689648764868_1023320756_n

I worked the entire day. It was a ¬†welcomed distraction. I think people have this expectation of others who have experienced loss. The kind of expectation that includes an abundance of tears and constant sobbing on the days we are “suppose” to grieve our loved ones. But the thing about loss is that it doesn’t fit into a perfect little box. It’s messy.

In my life, there is not one particular day that I set aside to remember my mother. I remember her in waves. I remember her at random moments where I take out my phone to call her…only to remember there’s no one on the other line. (Yes. That STILL happens.) I remember her on birthdays and holidays and warm summer days and Thursdays and Fridays and every other day of the week. I remember her whenever I slide into a warm car. I remember her in hospitals and nursing homes. I remember her in grocery stores and gas stations. I can’t get her out of my head.

And I hope I never do.

I love my mother. And I miss her terribly. But the person I miss is someone I knew as a child. I don’t know who she’d be today. I don’t know how our relationship would be. And so I can only miss so much of her. And only dream about the rest of her. And it’s complicated. And it’s frustrating.

I’m at a place in my life where if I had the opportunity to bring my mother back from the dead…I would hesitate. And that’s the part that’s hard to explain. “Why wouldn’t I want my mother back into my life?”

It’s not that I wouldn’t want her back. I just don’t want the person that I’ve become to disappear. I like who I’ve grown to be because of her death. I’ve grown far more than my mother ever hoped I would. I’ve faced trials and I’ve dealt with them compassionately and vigorously because of all the lessons she taught me in life and in death. And I wouldn’t choose to take that away.

And so I say with the upmost respect for my mother, I am thankful for her death. God has a plan for me. That plan so far includes the death of my mother. And it has made me believe in myself. It has taught me the be humble. To be thankful. To be courageous. To know that when I conquer trials, I’m not conquering them alone. It has taught me about unconditional acceptance and understanding. It has taught me how to love fiercely and unconditionally and to inspire others to be their best self.

I’m beyond blessed for the life I’m able to live despite the missing puzzle pieces. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.