Today marks one year since my mom passed away from a long, hard battle with breast cancer.
The concept of time is subjective: It feels different for everyone. For instance, when I tell people I’m moving to South Korea for a year, some will say, “A year? That’s so long!” Others will say, “A year? It will be over before you know it.”
On this one year anniversary of my mom’s death, I’m still trying to decipher how I feel about the time that has passed during the last 12 months. In a way, it feels like she has been gone for much longer than just a year: So much has happened in my life lately which makes my mom’s death feel farther away: dance concerts, job changes, graduating from college, traveling to Europe, preparing for a big move, and yet another confrontation with cancer itself. However, even though the days of chemo appointments, ambulance rides, and hospice seem far away, the memories of it all are still very vivid and fresh in my mind: I can still remember the memory of my mom’s last few breaths as if it happened at 4:40am this morning; I can still envision her lifeless body being taken away on the stretcher; I can still feel all of the love and warmth I was blessed with on the day of her Celebration of Life Memorial. I guess these aren’t just any memories; they’re memories that pertain to a very special and dear person in my life whom I’ve lost; therefore, I’m sure these memories I have of her will stay with me for many more years to come.
Regardless of how vivid my mom’s death feels, there’s one thing I know for sure: I miss her. I miss being able to pick up the phone and talk to her about boys. I miss how she would always overstock up on daily necessities. I miss hearing her call me Gina Weena. I miss the thoughtful gifts she gave. I miss her bright smile and boisterous laugh. I miss all of this about her and more. There’s one thing, however, I will never have to miss: knowing that she’s watching over and protecting me from a better, happier place.