The Silver Lining

Today is my dad’s birthday, and he would have been 58. It’s hard to believe he has been gone for so long but I can honestly say that this has been a good year for me so far in the Grief Management category. I know that sounds silly. He’s been gone for 14 years and I’m still managing grief, but there it is. But today I don’t feel the huge pull of loss, as I have in the past. Today I am sort of overwhelmed with gratitude, so I’m going to make a right turn. Today, instead of talking about my dad, I think it’s high time I talk about my mom.

You see, my mom kind of gets the shaft around here. I mean, my dad has a category all to himself just because he isn’t around whereas I talk to my mom at least once a day and she has to share one with the entire rest of my family. Actually we were laughing about that this weekend.

My mom came into town on Friday and stayed a couple days, and while she only lives 30 minutes away it is so rare these days that we get to spend THAT MUCH TIME just hanging out. We had dinner at Roxy and there were cocktails and appetizers and goat cheese smothered burgers and great conversation. It was pouring down rain, but I am telling you nothing was going to dampen our Girls’ Night Out! Then we headed over to the 24th Street Theater and caught a performance of Legally Blonde The Musical and giggled until way past our bedtimes (Mom and I are early to bed, early to rise kind of gals!) and schemed about all of the cooking we are going to do this coming weekend in celebration of my Aunt’s birthday.

Saturday we got up at the CRACK OF DAWN, because that’s what we do when we hang out. There is never enough time so we always end up getting up at 5am and yapping and planning over our morning coffee. She went to CrossFit with Garrett and I since we had to squeeze our Open Workout and cheered us both on like it was HER JOB. And then we all came home and did some relaxing until she eventually had to head home.

It was such a blast!

And on a day like today, where I am certainly feeling the loss of one of my parents, I continue to have gratitude in the fact that the silver lining of losing my dad is that there is no one I am closer to than my mom. We’ve been through a lot together, she and I. Some very tough and very dark times, just the two of us. And our relationship reflects that — there is no one I feel more proud of, or more protective of than my mom.

When you are an only child and you lose a parent, and entire third of your family is gone. What remains is the kind of bond that can’t be broken by a disagreement or some petty bickering. We don’t take our relationship for granted because we know how quickly everything can change. How in an instant, one of us could be all that is left. And then there would only be one.

So when we have the chance to spend a weekend giggling, indulging and spending some quality time together, when we have the time to just hang around and enjoy each others company — I can’t help but think that my dad would recognize what a gift that is. And since it’s his birthday, I think it’s even all the more appropriate.

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