Good Morning Hugs

Often I can go five or even eight hours without thinking of you,

And then I open a door to a closet and the smells slaps me in the face, rebuking me for forgetting of you for such a long amount of time. Suddenly, I can see your face and hear your voice again, as if you were walking around the house, opening and shutting doors, busying yourself from your room to the kitchen, starting dinner, getting the house organized, making calls, getting ready to run out the door to some errands and you turn around and you say “love you,” and then you shut the door and go. 

I watch this all happen in my memories and I try to hold on to every last turn, every last word you would say, every hand movement and gesture you make. But once you shut the door the memory is gone and I am back in my reality without you. 

I never used to know what to do with these moments, these “slaps in the face.” 
But now, I am learning to take them as hugs.
Small gifts from you
Telling me you are there,
Telling me you are near
And here with me

Sometimes you’ll remind me in my dreams.

One night I had a dream that you were speaking to us, your voice was so clear and crisp I was certain you were just on the other side of the phone, sitting somewhere, calmly, talking to your children as if you were still with us. You told me that you didn’t want me to think that you weren’t connected to me, 
You said something about being sad maybe or hurt that I was sad. You called to tell me you’re with me and you’re connected with me. I can’t remember the exact words. I asked if you hear me when I speak to you? Do you read when I write to you? I can’t remember your answer, I must have woken up. I think you said yes. But I can think back so clearly to your voice. So strong and clear in your connection to us. 

But I’ve learned that it is unhealthy to think about a mother 24/7. Even in grief. Even in non-grieving moments. You have become the center of my everything, my whole world, and you always will be. But it’s time I learn to give you a hug goodbye in the mornings and go on with my day, and focus on things other than you and your death. 

And so I started keeping a memo pad near your picture frame. And I write in it in the mornings, things like, thanks for coming in my dream last night. Or, have a good day. Or, whatever it is I would want to say to you were you alive, or now that you’re not. And I’ll end it, Love, Michal. And I’ll remember that I am your daughter, that you’ll always be my mother, and no one can take away our connection. And I can strengthen it in whatever way I choose. It is my choice how I want to remember you, how I want to talk to you, and how I want to think about you. Remembering that can empower me to move forward and never have to leave you behind.

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