I remember the day you died in vivid detail, yet the events still seem like a fog. The moment I heard Daddy say, “it’s your Momma baby;” after that things were never the same.
I didn’t know what it was like to feel my heart ache, like the actual muscle inside my chest felt as if it were clinching so tightly that it would simply dissolve into itself.
Sure my tired eyes felt like they were burning from so many spent tears, and my raw throat stung from so many wailing cries, but it was the nonphysical that hurt the most. It was that void inside, down deep that longed to hear your voice one last time. That was what caused me real pain. I don’t think I knew pain until then.
This morning I woke up, and I had forgotten you Momma. It’s your birthday, and I didn’t even remember.
I bring flowers to your grave, and I talk to your granddaughters about you. But as we walked away from your gravestone today I realized I didn’t cry. I didn’t cry last year either. Does that mean I’m forgetting how much I love you?
It just took so much out of me. Missing you. Wanting to call you, and spill my deepest fears or darkest secrets. There’s something so devastating about repeated disappointment. I have to be completely honest. I think I forgot about you on purpose Momma. It just hurt too much to remember.
Today as I walked away from your grave the memory of you called to me, and I was compelled to turn back around. I looked at the purple flowers, and I thought of you.
The hot tears came like I knew they would, and then I called to your eldest grandchild, the one who is bright, and a jokester just like you. “Wanna sing Happy Birthday to my Momma?”
And we did. I sang, and she sang, and afterwards she said, “Race me to the van Momma!” Then she took off like a light.
I let her win because in that moment I was remembering you. “Happy Birthday Momma.” I whispered. I knew I could never forget you.
Until we meet again.