Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The First Birthday Without Her


One of my favorite photos of her taken six weeks before she died. Hanging out in the administator's office at the assisted living facility.
Today would have been my mom's 93rd birthday. This is the first one without her. Just last week marked six months since she died on March 18th. Not a day goes by that we don't think of her.

I saved the last two messages she left on our answering machine. I just can't bring myself to delete them, even though she said on one, "Hi Robin, this is your... Aunt Bea..." and on the other, "Hi Robin and Roger, this your... cousin Bea... I can't remember why I am calling you."  Alzheimer's can make you mix up nouns. Cousin? Aunt? Mom? She knew it was some relationship that she loved with all her heart, that's why she was calling.

We are going to cut roses from our front yard and drive up the coast a bit to Trinidad Harbor. We're going to hike Trinidad Head and then go down to the docks and toss those roses in the ocean to her. I've always tossed roses in the bay for my dad, and now we have a new date to add to the tradition.
Fully capturing her playful spirit.
Before my mom died she asked me to keep telling her what was going on in the world. She wanted to stay informed. She knew that I kept a diary and always wrote notes to my dad in it to tell him all that was happening in our family and in the news. The latest news coming out of Washington though is so heartbreaking and brutal to the spirit, that I'm not telling her. So...sshhh... let's keep this latest news cycle a secret from our dearly departed loved ones.

The sadness of such a loss persists, but something I have learned over the years is that love lasts forever, and I am so utterly grateful for that. Happy birthday, Mom! We love you!






21 comments:

  1. Thinking of you. You're so right; Altzheimers robbed my mother of everything except her love of friends and family which somehow survived. That's a lovely photo of your mother.

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  2. Tears in my eyes reading this.
    I understand about keeping the messages. But she really is in your heart where you'll never forget her voice.
    May the roses float as far as your love for you mom is deep.

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  3. I can see those beautiful roses floating in the ocean up north at Trinidad, a fine way to honor the birthdays of your mother and your father. My heart sings when I see those photos of your mother. Love does last forever.

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  4. Well said. Memories always flood back on the various anniversaries.

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  5. I can understand saving those messages. It's probably nice to hear her voice, even if what she's saying isn't quite right!

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  6. Love that picture also. She looks so happy.
    I really love the roses tradition. Sweet and thoughtful. Birthdays always bring back a much missed loved one quite clearly on their day. I agree she has no need to know what ails our world. Let her rest in ease.

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  7. Great photos, and I would keep the messages, too. I wish I could hear my mother's voice. So much love to you.

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  8. Awwww, Robin (and Roger), a bittersweet Bea Birthday, for sure. She was quite a character and left a legacy of love with her family and friends. Yeah, I don't think I could delete those phone messages, either. It's something to remember her by. All love to you guys.

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  9. I still have a reminder on my phone for every Sunday at 3 PM to call my mom. Mom has been gone now for about three years. I can’t bring myself to delete it.

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  10. You are ever so lovely and loving. Sending more love and more hugs and more prayers for comfort for you.

    I'm also working on getting past the grief about what's happening in our country and world. Praying that we pull together the collective strength to turn this motherf*ing ship around.

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  11. You are so right, love never dies.

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  12. Keeping good thoughts for your mom, unencumbered by failing cells, and wishing her, and all who love her, fair winds and following seas.

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  13. Dear Friends, Thank you all for these comments. It means so much to us to have your kind words and support. Thank you.

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  14. Yes, the love does last. It has been five and a half years since my mother died, and more than 18 since my father died. I can still feel them as if they were in the next room. Sometimes they visit me in my dreams.

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  15. Happy birthday to your mom. Yes, love does last. We never forget who we love even if we forget the name or the noun. I hope our moms meet in the great beyond. i think they would enjoy one another.

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  16. The love your mom gave you will follow you until you join her. And it will remain here and live on. It’s primal, this wanting our mom. Mine has been gone 7 years this week and it has not gotten any easier.

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  17. Friends-- I love all the comments here. It is a wonderful thing to be able to connect with people who have walked this path before. Thank you.

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  18. And I love her too. Both my parents are gone; my dad in 1994 (two years before Phoebe was able to make the scene), and Ida in 2015. I talk to them EVERY DAY. I just throw little comments out; I ask them for advice; I share memories; I laugh with them. It keeps them here. And they ARE here, with me. That's why I'm not lonely when I'm alone. Talk to them. They hear you. So much love. Hoping to meet you and Roger in this life!! xoxo jz

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  19. She looks so lovely and alive in these pictures. My mother in law who was a wonderful friend to me, died in 1991 but almost every day, I have something to tell her. She will always an important family member.

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  20. Wonderful tribute to your mom. Yes, the sadness as well as the love will persist but while the love increases the sadness decreases a bit with time.

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  21. Thank you all for these comments. It truly means so much to us to share these moments of our lives. I had a good cry yesterday, talked to all of my siblings and reminisced.

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