The smell of her sweater, the sound of his laugh, her phrase we routinely use are memories that evoke a loved one lost. It can be a whiff of perfume, taste of a familiar comfort food or the sight of someone who for an instant looks like the one we’ve lost. These sensory memories induce memories both sorrowful and wonderful at the same time. While we may ache for someone we’ve lost, we can simultaneously remember with love.
Today would’ve been my mom’s birthday. We lost her way too soon ten years ago. While writing that sentence still brings tears to my eyes, I plan on remembering her with loving acts of remembrance today. She was a wonderfully giving, funny person who made everyone feel comfortable and loved. The best way I can think to remember her is to do the same towards others.
Remembering how she left us too quickly or lamenting how she isn’t here to share moments with all of us won’t make me feel better. It won’t bring her back. It won’t do anything except make me miss her more. The jagged rawness of the hole in my heart has smoothed over time, but it has never disappeared. Instead of being sad poking at that hole, I am choosing to honor her memory in positive ways towards others, especially all those she cared about.
I am cooking some of my favorites of hers for my family tonight. I am making my children laugh like she always made us laugh. I am holding them tight sharing with them how much they mean to me like she always did. I put a little note in my daughter’s lunch box like I used to delight in receiving.
Since she has been gone, many things I do remind me of her. While I may focus more on her attributes today, I realize I have already been sharing her legacy in the way I choose to live and love others. This is not only an act of remembrance for today but for every day of my life.
Today, I focus through misty eyes on the gifts and loving legacy she bestowed upon all those she loved. This is how she lives on through me and my children. Yes, she isn’t here but with these everyday acts of remembrance she will never be gone either.