hardest day of the year

4th October 2013

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October 4th will always be a difficult day for me.  It has been 6 years since I lost my mom and so much has changed since then.  Every year I expect it to get easier but deep down I have come to accept that there will always be a part of me that will remain empty without her here.  I’ve shared many things about my mom over the years, but not many people know that my sister and I did not have much opportunity to spend time with her as kids. It had nothing to do with her not making time for us, instead it was because she and my dad wanted the best for us.  Giving us “the best” meant working 12 hour days 6 days a week in the NICU.  You would think a woman who started her day at 4am and returned home at 8 would be too tired to prepare a home cooked meal, but I cannot recall a day in my childhood in which I ever ate leftovers for dinner. THAT my friends is how awesome she was.  Because of her, we had opportunities that many people only dream of.  We had it easy (almost too easy) and I see my laziness creep up now and then because I have become so accustomed to the comfortable life mom’s hard work afforded me. THANK YOU MOM.  In her short time here, she touched so many lives (especially mine).  I could tell you countless stories of random people contacting me and sharing how she helped them in some way. Exercising kindness and putting others before herself came naturally to her and now I know why she always had the hookup lol.

Oh how I miss her, but I have a story for you…

The night Derek and I got engaged, I was beyond thrilled.  I know an engagement is supposed to be a happy occasion but I couldn’t help but long for my mom in that moment. I quietly cried myself to sleep that night because all I wanted to do was call her and let her in on the exciting news.  I also dreaded the fact that she would not be a part of this important step in my life.  If you knew my mom, you would know how much she loves to host a party. It was so strange to not have her by my side during the wedding planning process, but luckily I have the best sister in the world who stepped up to the plate and stood in her place.  I decided that if she couldn’t be there, then I would make her a part of every minute that day. In her honor we got married at Camp Lucy, played her favorite song”In My Life” by the Beatles during the procession, and made sure we served food worthy of her approval.

In the months leading up to the big day, I would google “how to not cry at your wedding” as I assumed that I would be a complete mess without her there. The suggestions on the internet were so crazy and I finally came to terms with the fact that I would be doing the ugly cry all the way to the altar.  The strangest thing happened that day.  I woke up feeling completely calm and relaxed.  Unlike most weddings, there was no frantic scramble, yelling, or drama, and I had to pinch myself several times to make sure it wasn’t too good to be true. When it came time to walk down the aisle I came prepared with a vintage handkerchief fastened to my bouquet ready to do the ugly cry at any second, but something came over me in that moment. I strangely did not feel like breaking down and instead experienced a sense of peace and sheer joy-no crying necessary. Everything went off without a hitch (well, except for forgetting my veil oops! Mom would not have been so happy about that). In the months following the wedding, I have replayed that moment over and over again in my head and have not been able to figure out why I didn’t cry… until last night. It was then I realized that mom was there the whole time- in the details, in the friends and family present, and in me.  She has been gone for six years but continues to live on in our hearts like she never left.  On this day I want to give everyone who knew and loved her a big hug, especially my sister who has gone through this crazy ride alongside me.

Mom, not a day goes by that I don’t think about you.  I love and miss you so much.

If you have any lovely memories of her, please share them in the comments section. I would love to hear them.

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4 thoughts on “hardest day of the year

  1. Charity Fortajada

    Ahh Missy, this post got me so emotional.
    I don’t think anyone knew that I worked with your mom at the NICU at Methodist hospital in Sugarland. I was an audiology tech for a few years, and I would have to do hearing tests for the babies in her unit.

    I was assigned to her unit at least once or twice a week — and I will never forget our conversations. We would gossip about all sorts of things – Metro church kids, you and Mandi :), all the events she helped cater and coordinate, my girlfriends, how to make good adobo (I never knew to slightly pan-sear the chicken after it’s been cooked until she told me!), how she could figure out the ingredients of a chimichurri sauce she just had at a restaurant, how to make good investments…etc. And I always soaked up every word. Especially when it came to cooking tips and relationship advice! And she always had relationship advice! Haha. It was like she was priming me for the next chapter(s) of my life.

    But the most memorable and astounding piece of advice was when she told me to WAIT TO GET MARRIED. How I shouldn’t rush into it. To enjoy this freedom…enjoy single life. And how, funny enough, marriage is overrated. Crazy, right? And that if and when I were to ever marry someone, it would be easier to find someone who has money. Her words! 😀

    In a way, at least for those 2.5 years that I worked with her, she was like a second mother. I will never forget her kindness. I will never forget the time she took to just chat with me. I will never forget how fat I got from all the amazing things she baked and let me sample. And I will definitely not forget some amazing ‘pumpkin rolls’ that she made one Thanksgiving…. 😀

    Auntie Lou made me look at myself differently…and made me look at life differently. She was such a big influence on how true women should be. I miss her terribly. And I hope that in times like these, hearing how much everyone loved her can be a small comfort to you.

    I love you, too, Missy. <3 Your mom would be so proud of you.

  2. Alli

    I was talking with my mom the other day and she had asked if I had seen you lately so I told her we had dinner during the weekend. While on the topic of food, she mentioned that your mom was one of the greatest cooks ever and hoped that those recipes of her will continue to live for generations to come. = )

    I personally will never forget the time when she gave me your address and told me to write to you because we were family. It’s a good enough reason, right? lol! I believe that it’s because of her that we’re closer now and in each others lives. How did our parents keep us alienated from each other? I think she’d be happy to know that we often share our kitchen experiments with each other when we cook. Although, she’d probably discourage us from all the donut-eating we partake in after her personal experience working at a donut shop herself!

    Love you!!

  3. Carmen

    Wow, when I read this I really had to stop myself from crying. Your mom must have been a true angel and all I can say is congrats for being such a strong person!

  4. Kc

    You are your mother’s daughter, Mel! Kind*Generous*Compassionate*Selfless and let’s not forget, beautiful. While I did not have the great blessing of knowing your mom, I am almost certain she has passed on many of her virtues onto you. And, she would be so proud to see the woman you’ve become.


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