Sunday, May 12, 1996
I went back home this weekend and spent some time with my sister. It was our first Mother's Day without our mother.
I got up early to spend an hour or so at the cemetery, at my mother and dad's graves. I picked flowers to take--purple iris and red poppies. It helped to be there--crying and talking as if my mother were really there listening. I asked her to forgive me for not taking better care of her and for putting her in the nursing home.
It seems the more I cry, the more the tears flow. I wonder if I will ever stop crying.
Sunday, May 26, 1996
I was home for Memorial Day, and I went through the ritual at my mother's grave again early in this morning. I took poppies, bachelor buttons, and other flowers. There was more crying (It hasn't stopped yet), and while I was there I read a poem I've written recently: "Precious Times". The times with my mother were such precious times, and I didn't really realize just how precious until they were gone.
Everyone was together for the Memorial Day cookout, including both my nieces, and we celebrated the oldest one's 30th birthday. My mother's granddaughter-- 30 years old.
It was nice being together, but someone was missing. In a way, just being together as we were makes it hurt more. The memories are there, and I can almost see my mother, walking through the house, sitting in the porch swing, holding the puppy as she sat in the lawn chair last Fourth of July. It's like it's more than just someone I loved so much who is missing--It's like a part of me is missing and I wonder if I will ever be a whole person again.
Thursday, August 22, 1996
I have been back to my mother's grave a couple of times since May, but I haven't been back for at least a couple of months now. I have been working two jobs--trying to keep busy and to get caught up on paying bills. I still cry about my mother, but there is something that is helping me so much.
I am creating a memorial to my mother on the computer. I have a home page on the internet in her memory, and it is growing every day as I find Alzheimer's resources links to add to it and as I share my mother's story through my journal and poetry. It seems to be helping others, because I'm already getting a lot of email from people who say it helps to make them feel they aren't alone in what they are going through.
I think my mother would like that a lot. She will live on, not only in the hearts and memories of all who knew her, but others will read about her and love her as we did. Sometimes I think of this as a gift that she gave me-- a purpose and something to do with my life after she was gone, and a gift that I can share with others.
Dear Mama, I still love you and miss you so, and I thank you for the gift you gave me. Not just me, either Mama--lots of people love you and thank you.
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