My late mom’s birthday is close. July 31.
Right about now, still after five birthdays have passed, this uneasy feeling starts to settle on me ahead of my mom’s birthday. It’s like my whole body and heart know that July 31 is approaching. Melancholy hits, restlessness digs in.
The lead up to July 31 is a rocky path. Psychically, my brain is still programmed and is waiting for the regular activities that should be happening right now.
It’s time to plan how we’re going to celebrate your day. I’d be shopping for your gifts, a card. I’d be asking you what kind of cake you want this year. Do you want me to make you dinner or do you want to go out?
There are lots of pitfalls in grief. Sometimes you don’t see them and they rip you to pieces. Sometimes you learn where they are and you can prepare for them.
Smart and sweet G suggested that we should just fill the day with Mom’s favorites.
ABBA on the speakers. Certain songs that we’d sing in the car with particular dance moves…Glory Days, Hard to Handle, Better Be Good to Me.
Mom’s favorite dish: pork.
Ham, ham steak, breaded pork chops, honey brined pork chops. My friend, Cheryl, still laughs that whenever she asked me what we had for dinner, the answer was ham.
Mom was ecstatic when it was time for peaches. Peach ice cream, cobblers, crisps, grilled peaches drizzled with honey, you name it. She had pitchers of peach iced tea at the ready in the summertime.
Mom would keep a Sara Lee pound cake in the freezer in case of emergencies. She’d use it for Fourth of July flag cake or for a trifle, chunks of pound cake with berries and whipped cream. Sometimes she’d just take out the pound cake and steal a few slices for a snack.
A beach sunset.
I keep waiting for the time when July leaves me alone. When I can just cruise through the month and then on July 31, celebrate my mom’s birthday with joy and love and cheers. In the meantime, I’ll spend this month missing her, missing rituals, and celebrating the fact that she was here and she was my mom.
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Thanks again for reading. I care about you. Please don’t forget to eat your greens.