11 January 2010

Happy New Year

My New Year officially starts today. January 11, 2010. The day AFTER the one year anniversary of my mother's passing.

2009 could overall be categorized as a really good year in my life if it had not played against the backdrop of losing her. My normal routine has coalesced with crying myself to sleep countless nights, regularly picking up the phone to tell Mom that Karis started walking and talking or about Kayla's first day of Kindergarten and then remembering that she's gone, feeling ripped off, angry and jealous when I see a woman my age out to lunch or shopping with her young children and her own mother, and all the while wondering if I'm losing my mind. Is it normal to feel loss this deeply? Why am I having such a hard time when there other people who have experienced far worse and seem to be sane and happy? And then putting on a smiley face for the rest of the world and feeling like a huge fraud and failure the entire time. I logically know the answers to these questions (i.e "I'm not crazy," "I don't know what goes on in the minds of others," "I'm not a fraud, its necessary to move on with life," etc.) ...but my heart feels otherwise.

I have gone through all of my "firsts" without her and I feel I've established new normal patterns. And through the sadness, I have seen rays of hope and encouragement. I know God's arm has not lost its power. This has been demonstrated to me time and time again by wonderful, kind, thoughtful friends have reached out to me during really rough times - sent me notes, written beautiful e-mails and given me the fuzzy, slipper socks for Christmas that I normally would have received in my stocking from Mom.

Today is my January 1st. I'm ready to start fresh and with renewed purpose. I am prepared to walk in the paths God has ordained for me in 2010. I will remember my mom and talk about her without crying as much (this has been the part that has annoyed me the most because I HATE crying in front of people because I know it makes them uncomfortable - and I do that A LOT). I will honor her memory by living my life to the fullest. I'm not naive enough to think that a "magic grief switch" has flipped to the OFF position on this day and everything is going to be puppies and daisies. I know I'm still going to be bummed and I'm going to still miss her like crazy. But I intend to live more resolutely and less reactively.

Okay. Now, I'm standing in my basement pouring what remains of my cold coffee onto the floor...pourin' one out for my dead Mommy. Here's hoping that amused you as much as it amused me.

Happy New Year.

The day Kayla was born

Not sure what was going on here, but it epitomizes the way Aaron would torment my mother...

The day Karis was born

Celebrating Kayla's 4th Birthday "Fancy Nancy"-style...

Bathing Karis has never been a light task...

Grandma and her girls

Two months before she passed: my mom, me and Sister Dorothy Stotts. Sister Stotts was Mom's very first pastor's wife and mentor...this was at my church's women's Christmas dinner where I was the keynote speaker - the first and only time my mom heard me speak as a pastor's wife...


Mary Beth said...

What a beautiful post, Jaime. I will continue to pray for you this year as I have this past one.

Love you.

Netta said...

I'm crying!
You're courageous for being so honest...
and the ladies who are following you can only
become stronger, more real and genuine as they
walk through similar things.

Thanks for sharing your heart.
Happy New Year!
Love you!