In case you didn’t know, that equals the number of seconds in a year. And each second of the last year has been simultaneously so full and yet so empty. Time expands, life fills up, but the missing things are still in that space. Like Antimatter, but sometimes it matters more than the things one can see and touch.

Meanwhile here I am, still here, still missing her like I would miss my arm if I were to suddenly lose it, and filled with the dread… tomorrow marks one year since Mom left us. And so much has happened in that year.

So. Much.

But one important thing has not happened. she hasn’t come back, and she never will. And Even though I don’t logically believe in any sort of afterlife, I wistfully hope she’s still watching me because I miss her so much, still. Not much of the day passes without multiple thoughts of her and although I don’t cry as much now I never forget that she is gone away and she won’t be back. And do not insult my grief by saying she’s in a better place. For I can tell you without question that she is not. She is gone from us. She is dead. Nothing about that is better. It just is.

Heart still broken. Half-orphaned. This is still very hard. I learned how to be a Widow long ago, far more easily, and now I’m learning to live without my Mom, and it’s so much harder.

I am stumbling, yearning, sad, resigned, angry, and above all lonely. She was my cheerleader, my critic, the hand on my shoulder and the foot on my butt. Now I must be all of those things for myself.

I’m not as good as she was at that. Fits, starts, fails, falls, tears, do-overs. Such is life.

But today, 31,556,926 seconds later, there is a faint glimmer of hope, growing in my heart and in my new containers outside are so many of her lessons. Of course I needed so many more, but as the song goes…

“You can’t always get what you want. You get what you need.”

Today I hope. Which is much more than a thing with feathers. Today hope is all I have. Now that I do not have my Mom.

Hope. For me, for us. Hope… and love.

Today, tomorrow, forever.

I hope.

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