Yesterday was a beautiful sunny crisp winter day. I had an urge to visit mom’s memorial bench and birdhouse so I headed to The Community. The holidays came and went. I survived my first Christmas without mom. Many people have lost loved ones; some unfortunately have lost their children or their spouses. My heart goes out to all those people. Losing my loving father 25 years ago, I know that time heals.
Mom passed away 6 ½ months ago. I wonder how long before I will stop counting months maybe after her one year anniversary. Mom’s luminary at the funeral home before Thanksgiving was a warm way to start off our holidays and a beautiful way to honor her life.
At the beginning of the holiday season, Jamie gave mom a beautiful Christmas gift that we all could enjoy. He decorated both mom’s bench and mom’s birdhouse with a gorgeous crimson red mesh ribbon. Jamie used the ribbon to wrap a huge bow on each of them.
Upon seeing them the first time, my thought was how absolutely lovely they both looked. The memorials are special all by themselves, but wrapped in beautiful bright ribbon for the Christmas season truly seemed magical. Mom had to feel loved. Looking at those precious bows every time I visited over the holidays made me smile and feel warm all over no matter how cold the temperature reached. I often imagined mom sitting on the bench smiling back at me happy and at peace.
As I headed towards The Community yesterday, I wondered if the bows would still be there. And if so, should the ribbons have been tattered due to our inclement cold and snowy weather, I planned to remove the ribbons. As I pulled into a parking spot at mom’s supportive living facility, I could easily see the birdhouse and the red ribbon from my car. As I approached the birdhouse putting my hood up and gloves on, my heart warmed my whole body. The bow still appeared bright, beautiful, and still magical no worse from the nasty weather. In the quietness, I stood there talking to mom. I told her of the good news I just received moments ago that Pete, our dear sweet friend, is doing great no chemo needed. I knew she would be happy with joy for him, Sandy and all of us. She loved him as family. I could hear her tell me, “Great news!!! Thanks for visiting. It is cold out here. Time for you to go.”
I walked to my car and headed to my next stop: mom’s bench. Good thing I had my boots on, the path down to the gazebo and pond was covered with several inches of snow. Maintenance must not shovel here; I guess there are not too many people who go for walks here during the winter. The temperature was 16 degrees and the snow was so hard that I walked on top of the snow. All my footprints were barely seeable except for one footprint when my foot broke right through the icy snow.
I stood in the gazebo where mom and I sat so many times in warm weather. Mom’s bench was facing the gazebo looking at me. The bow was as gorgeous as ever. My whole body felt as though mom was hugging me. My imagination started running away with me again. Once again, I had a visual of my mom smiling at me sitting on the bench. Funny thing, I visualized her but she was not wearing a coat although I cannot recall what she was wearing. I heard her voice in my head saying, “Julienne, the weather is too cold, go back in the car, and stay warm.” I smiled, I blew mom kisses and I envisioned mom blowing me kisses back.
A good friend of mine who lost her mom and dad this past year said to me, “Thank goodness we miss them. It’s a good thing.” I knew she was right. Our loved ones’ lives were important to us so missing them is a good thing.
When somebody you love becomes a memory, their memory becomes a treasure.