Lost and Found

Thursday was the 19th anniversary of my mother’s death and I forgot all about it. I remembered it the day before and made a mental note to have a moment by myself the next day to think of her but then, suddenly, it was Saturday and I realized that it hadn’t been so much as a blip on my radar. When I first realized this, I felt awful, and I think that at first my mom would feel that way too. 

She worried a lot about losing me—to accidents, to kidnappers hiding in bushes, to my birth mother– and how could I be more lost from her than I am now, two years more without her than we ever were together? She wouldn’t even recognize me as I am here: wedding ring on my finger and three often-sticky pairs of hands holding my heart. 

But, I think eventually she would feel like I came to. I think she would be happy to see that I am not as broken now about her death as I was in my teens and twenties. 

While her fear of loss may have been a big part of her life, her love for me eclipsed it by far. While she would never choose to not be here, and she wouldn’t want to be forgotten, I know in my heart that she would want me to be happy. I know that she would rather have that day be forgotten in the everyday joy of my husband and children, then have me feel the loss as sharp and painful as it was those first years that she was gone. 

And, of course, she is not forgotten. I think about her all the time and we talk about her a lot. When I make a meal that she made for me when I was a kid the girls and I talk about what kind of mom she was and how life was when I was little. When the kids are making lists, which they do endlessly as if constantly cataloging their good fortune, the grandma list always includes Grandma Bev. And if you ask Emily she can tell you how my mom would have loved these three kids like crazy. 

And I know it’s true because that’s how she loved me and how I continue to love her every day of the year. 

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