31 years…


Someone once told me to get over the fact that my mother died and stop living in the past….Anyone who has lost their mom can appreciate the absurdity of such a comment.  But when it was directed at me, I remember feeling little, ashamed and weak.  That was over 20 years ago…

Do we ever get over such a loss?  Last year marked 30 years since losing my mom.  I ran a half marathon in her honor.  This year, as I sit here today, I feel that I am in a very different place.  I have been really struggling as a mom this year.   Quite frankly, I have often felt like I just plain suck at it. 

My husband said to me today, “there are no perfect parents, but you are pretty good at it”.  That meant the world to me.  Because I have been really doubting myself lately.  I know we are all trying to figure this whole parenting thing out, but there are days like today, that I crave that unconditional love that quite often only a mother could give.  I sometimes find myself imagining what it would have been like to have had my mom in my life all these years, there to answer my questions, get to know my son, or just be there as a presence and influence in his life and mine.  But the reality is, I didn’t even have that.  I am mourning what I never had.  But when I have my struggles, I kind of want to put a post-it note on my forehead, so that everyone can understand… “I lost my mom when I was 15 and I’m kind of feeling lost”, imagining that it will all make sense…my insecurity…my feelings of being inadequate…my irrational fears…my overprotectiveness of my child…just everything. 

31 years ago, today, my mom died.  31 years…. I don’t know why I have been so fixated on that number this week.  It is not even a milestone.  But I think that might be one of the reasons I have been having such a hard time this year.  It’s not usually the big things that trip me up.  It is the little things that make up the grief that I often feel.  I don’t remember her voice.  I don’t remember having a conversation with her.  I don’t remember much of anything.  The only thing I do remember is how I felt losing her and as I look into my little boy’s eyes every day… my overcompensation, my over loving, my over mothering…whatever you want to call it… is simply my attempt to make sense out of a feeling of loss that I would wish on no one…

So, on this 31st anniversary…I have been trying to be kind to myself.  I have appreciated the beauty of this day, recognizing that anyone I may come in contact with certainly has their own struggles and traumas.  I found myself looking out at my classroom of college students today, remembering what I was going through in college, imagining there might be a student looking up at me that is simply trying to get through the day for a similar reason.  On this anniversary, I am trying to remind myself as I often have, that I am doing the best I can under the circumstances and everything truly does happen for a reason.  As hard as this journey can be at times, I know I am meant to take it.  But this week, I definitely found myself saying more than not, “this SUCKS!!!”  You know what, that’s ok.  It’s ok to say things suck sometimes.  Because they sometimes do, right? 

Those you can say that to with no judgement…they are your people…The people who come into our lives and stay for it all.  The ones who stay with you when things aren’t so great?  The ones who are there when you are not your best self?  I am so grateful for those who are guiding me through this journey.  Today, my sister and my friends have checked in with me.  I want them to know, that meant the world to me.    Today, I am thankful.  Thankful for the Suck!  Thankful that I can continue to say, you need the good to compare to the bad otherwise you wouldn’t know the difference.  As challenging as it can be, I am thankful that I can look at the big picture and understand that it’s the journey I am meant to take….Thinking of my mom today…Sandra Lee Conreur…To my Tribe…I love you guys…Thank you…

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