But I do.
I realize her absence when I’m really excited about something – whether it be a new job, a great day, a cute dress, a new friend, an exciting opportunity.
I realize she’s not there when I want to pick up the phone and call her to talk about a tough decision or challenge that I’m facing in my life. Even up to age 13 I always felt that I could talk to her about anything. I watch friends and family members and colleagues and movie characters and complete strangers talk with their mothers, and I am reminded that I can’t do the same. That’s what moms are there for, right?
I miss her every single day and over the 18 years that she’s been gone I’ve noticed the mom-shaped space in my life. It's not empty, but more like a shadow that is always present.
This year we lost my Nan. It brought up old feelings and more sadness. While our relationship had its challenges, I loved her and she was still a connection to my mother. Hearing that her house had been sold was a blow to my heart – I had so many memories of my mom in that space and visiting there was such a comfort. That’s gone now too.
With each passing year that she’s gone, it reinforces the fact that she’s not coming back. This isn’t some long vacation or holiday or visit to another country.
Today would have been her 55th birthday. I like to think we would have celebrated. But instead she is missing from me and every single poppy reminds me of my loss. I know that they carry a strong significance, but I can’t help but associate Remembrance Day with another birthday that I won’t get to celebrate with my mom. 11/11 feels like an extra painful day.