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Grief and Gratitude

60 Weeks of Gratitude - Week 16

Gratitude does not always come easy. It has been a hard month for me to keep perspective and a positive attitude. The loss of my mom didn’t hit me like the brick wall that losing my dad hit me with. That had been sudden and unexpected. We had all gathered in Illinois to celebrate their fifty years together and ended up mourning at a funeral. To this day, I am still baffled by the turn of those events. If I were reading that scenario in a book, I would struggle with a lack of foundation. My mother’s death had foreshadowing, and direct cause and effect. She fell and broke her hip, which took away her mobility. She became more sedentary and therefore grew weaker. She lost interest in her life because she was limited by what she could do. The foundation was all there. It wasn’t a surprise. She was so tired and for the first weeks afterward, it felt odd because it didn’t hit me like a brick wall.

It is hitting me in waves. Sneaking up and overtaking me when I am not prepared. She stirs in my memory when I see a flower opening in the front yard. She climbs into the car with me when I drop the kids off at school. She rides along when I take my friend to get her hair done and do her weekly shopping. She is here next to me as I type these words.

Greif. What a creature. It taints everything.

My gratitude is infected with grief. I am grateful that she is not lonely anymore, that she is not suffering, and that she has moved on to whatever comes next. I am grateful that, in the end, she knew that I believed she was a great mother. Beyond that, I finally returned to the doctor after taking the Covid years off. I learned some important things and am grateful I didn't wait any longer. We celebrated my oldest daughter’s fourteenth birthday this week. Our son and his girlfriend bought their first house. I got the content edit for my next Red Adept novel and have been working through that during my mornings. My editor is very good. Jeff and I have been enjoying working on the Miata, which is the reason we bought a project car. It is spring and the girls only have four more weeks of school before they can take a break. They are ready.

Today I am grateful to just be me, living my life, to be sharing it with friends near and far. This is life.


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