Happy Valentines Day!
I am not a huge fan of Valentines day. In fact, it's been a day I dreaded for a long long time. Expectations were probably the reason. I was always a sucker for romantic gestures. My dad spoiled me for any man to make my Valentines day. Every year I'd wake up to candy and a stuffed animal from my first Valentine. He set the bar pretty high, obviously. I was always searching for that feeling I'd get seeing what my dad had chosen for me, that feeling like I was special. As I got older I realized that you can't get that feeling from flowers...or chocolate....or jewelry....you get it from having that one person in your life that makes you feel like that every day. It's priceless. And it isn't about Valentines day, it's about every day. And once you have it you realize what's been missing in your life.
ok, this is NOT what I set out to write about today, but when you're in love, truly truly in love for the first time in your life it kinda sorta takes over your brain. I woke up this morning in a sad way but after a quick phone conversation my heart is whole again and the feelings I was feeling have faded. But I feel I need to get it out and write about it so I'm going to.
Last year was one of the worst years of my life. Today marks the one year anniversary of the last day I saw my mother alive. I was in Florida taking care of her and an emergency back in Arizona forced me to leave a week early and go home. So, I sat at my parents table holding my moms hand for the last time. I couldn't look her in the eye, I was hiding the shit that was going on back home and I was afraid if I looked at her I would lose my mind. I had to be strong for her. But, my whole soul shows in my eyes so I avoided eye contact. I remember how soft her hands were. I remember tracing the veins on her hand and playing with her rings while we sat in silence. My God I miss her. She was telling me how much she loved me and asking me if I forgave her. I knew what she meant. I assured her that I did and told her how much I loved her. But truth be told, I didn't feel the forgiveness in my heart. I didn't feel the love that I feel now. I was guarded. The wall I had up on my heart was protecting me. I had my heart shattered so many times over the years I just couldn't let myself feel anymore. I was frozen. But I hope my words were enough to make her feel the forgiveness and love that I feel now, in this moment for her. I didn't think that would be the last time I saw my mom. I knew she was dying but I thought we had more time. I was the last person (with my daughter) besides my dad to see her alert. Two days later she slipped into basically a coma and she never came back. I feel blessed. I got to have that moment, holding her hand and feeling her. My mommy. The woman who gave me life and healed my boo boos. I have been in denial over the last year of the void it's left in my life not to have her here. But on my birthday this year she came to me. She let me in on a secret that has changed everything. She has brought me the very best gift I've ever received. She was working behind the scenes on my behalf to answer every prayer I've ever spoken or even thought in my head. It all makes sense to me now. The sheer bliss I have in my life right now. It was her final gift to me. And now I am mourning her death in a way I wasn't able to before. Because all the walls around my heart are gone. So I feel things as if I was never hurt before. So the grief is fresh. Today I remember seeing her face that very last time and how it felt to hug her, hold her and say good bye. But I'm lucky. I feel her and see her all the time now. It's not the same as having her physically here, but it's better than nothing.
So, as I wipe the tears that are pouring from my eyes I realize what a difference a year makes. I will never look at Valentines day the same way again. It will now symbolize to me a day of sheer and true love. A day of new beginnings. A day of a heart that will never have to be guarded again because it's finally in the hands of the person it was meant for. And I have my mommy to thank for it all.