Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mamasay Memories: 3 Years is a Lifetime

"Only the lonely (dum dum dum dumdy doo wah)" ~ Roy Orbison 

It's been a lonely three years without you, Mom.  So much has changed beyond you not being in our lives anymore. I've become a mother and somehow have managed to do it without calling you on a daily basis. I often wonder how different my life would be, how different Q's life would be with you in it since he is the one who has grown so much in your absence. 





But you make your presence known to us at random moments. Sometimes they seem opportune. Like when Q, Z, and I stopped to look at some balloons that evening while wandering on State Street in Santa Barbara. We were standing outside of one of your favorite stores, Coldwater Creek. I glanced up at the sign and immediately thought of you. I remembered when you had first started to lose a bit of weight, but we weren't sure why. You hadn't been diagnosed yet and we knew you weren't well, but we tried to embrace something positive in the situation and went shopping for some better fitting clothes. I had fun pretending I was Stacy London from What Not to Wear and you humored me. 

Q tugged on the balloons tied to the sale sign, watching them attempt to break free. Scared that they would break free and float up, up and away. One, two, three balloons, we counted. "Three balloons just like you're three years old, Q." Just like the three years you've been gone, Mom. 

I noticed the saleslady watching us and she looked annoyed. I told Q to be gentle to the balloons. It was almost closing time and the store was empty. After a few moments, she walked out and offered us the balloons. 

"Oh, only if you no longer need them." 

"We leave them out overnight and someone usually takes them anyway." 

She snipped them from the sign and handed them to Q. He was elated. As he stood there with his mouth hanging open, I told him to say thank you. He whispered it to her. 

"You're welcome. Enjoy them." 

I couldn't help but think that was your doing, Mom. What seemed like a simple gesture became something of a small miracle in my eyes. When I told T about it later, he came to the same conclusion on his own. You were there with us for a moment on that perfect evening in Santa Barbara. The day after I melted down and wondered if it was even worth it to take my two small children on such a trip. But of course it was. 

Q was afraid that he would lose the balloons, so I tied them, two red and one pink, to the stroller. And we floated down the street.

Perhaps I've grown more in your absence than I give myself credit for. We hold tight to your memories and they lift us up when we need it most. Someday I want Q to know that it's okay to let a balloon go sometimes. We can enjoy its splendor even from afar.





14 comments:

  1. Brought tears to my eyes :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just beautiful. And thanks for making me cry! I've been such a mess this past week and just as I'm starting to hold it together, you hit me with this?!?! Oh, Michie, your mom would be so proud of you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, I'm sorry to add to your emotional turmoil. I've been thinking of you lately, too, of course. Love you!

      Delete
  3. You are so loved Michie. Crying from this beautiful post.
    Ej

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the kind words, EJ. Love to you!

      Delete
  4. Tears in eyes...nothing new...thinking so much of you and your fam today...love, love, love, love you, sweet lady. xox

    ReplyDelete
  5. P.S. Great picture of Q!!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your remembrance brought tears to my eyes. I loved your Mom and think of her often. I often wonder how you, Danielle, and your Dad are doing. I dont know if we ever met, but was so happy Terri had a chance to meet her grandson. Congrats on your daughter's healthy, happy arrival. Some of the Ortega and IBL folks got together last week to toast Terri. Your mom taught all four of my children, but she and Matt had a close bond. Know that her spirit lives in all the lives she touched-and that was many.
    Jean McCarron

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jean! I believe we met once at my parents' house. That's wonderful that you all got together in honor of my mom. Thank you for reading!

      Delete
  7. This is absolutely breathtaking, Micheline. I adore these letters to your mom and the way that you still choose to believe that she's here with you as you mother your own children. She is here with you. She is watching over you.

    I was reminded of my dad the other day. It was a beautiful day out and I wondered how my life would be if he were still here. It was a beautiful thought. I feel guilty of not thinking of him more often, but I'm still learning how to do that without feeling overwhelmed in the thought of his loss, I guess. It's tough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the sweet words, Jessica! It is tough sometimes to not feel overwhelmed by her loss, so it's understandable that you may not feel up to thinking about him more often. As always, there are good days and bad days when it comes to remembering those we love.

      Delete