Four thousand, three hundred and forty four hours. At approximately 11:35 tonight, Mom will have been gone from her earthly life 4,344 hours, 25 weeks and 6 days, 49.5% of a year. Some days I forget that it has been that long, other days it feels like forever since the last time I talked to my Mom. Things happen and my first instinct many times is “I need to tell Mom”, it happened just today when I heard of the passing of an old family friend from church.
So much has changed, the first three months were a whirlwind of trying to figure out what we were going to do, making plans and preparing for our move. I was forced very quickly to go through Mom’s stuff. We did not have the luxury of working through things when we were ready, when the pain of her passing wasn’t so raw. Within just a few days, I had to start the process of purging. So much stuff, you would not believe how much stuff!
While Tara and I were excited to have a new life to look forward to, the process was painful for me. So many memories in the belongings i needed to pick through. Things I needed to decide whether to keep, donate or toss. I did most of it on my own. Too painful for some, no time or interest from others. It was painful and time consuming for me too, but I had no choice. It has to be done, whether we stayed in Lansdale or moved to Florida, we had to downsize and move. I continued to work a full schedule only taking my allowed bereavement time from work and the last 4 days prior to moving.
In March actions of another family member, overshadowed our last weeks in PA. Stressful, ugly events. I fear these events, actions of another, have widened the chasm in family relationships that was already deep and wide. Judgements made and sides taken. While not one person had the right to judge any of our actions. No one knew 1/2 of what we lived with for four years, collateral damage from decisions my mother made.
It felt very strange to pull away from our apartment on March 30th at 11pm, in a thunderstorm and not feel one bit sad that we were leaving our family behind. Friends were there for us the months leading up to the move, more than most of our family. Yes, we all were grieving the loss of Mom, but no one else was faced with having to uproot their lives while grieving.
We are settling into our new lives, we feel very relieved to be away from the trauma and drama that we lived. We feel very comfortable in our new home, and are getting acclimated to our new surroundings. Making people connections for us is a little more difficult, but that will come in time. Until then, Disney is our “family” and our happy place!
If you had told me on July 4th, 2016, we would be celebrating the 4th of July this year without Mom and living in Florida, I would have told you that you were crazy, but here we are!