As the 3rd anniversary date of my daughter’s death looms, the thoughts of her have been flooding in faster and at unexpected times. You know the little things are the ones that seem to have the most profound affect on me. Passing conversations with friends about something totally unrelated to Brittany, but whatever it was in the conversation triggers some memory of something she said or did – and it would make me smile.
Then I would have to fight off the bad place. The place where the smile turns to a lump in my throat that helps to fight back the tears. Those tears come sometimes at the most inconvient time. Tonight while at dinner with a friend we were making small talk and being funny. Then something he said made me think of something Brittany used to say whenever she wanted to make me laugh – “chicken butt”.
I’m laughing now. She always was the one who could make me laugh, even when I was feeling down. We’d be driving around and I would have my silent self on and out of the blue she’d say “chicken butt” and we’d burst out laughing. I miss that more than I can even begin to express. She made my world a better place. She was my world.
I’m so grateful to have those memories and I’m very blessed that I can write about them in order to preserve them in written form so that her memory will not be forgotten. I know I will never forget. But I also know that as time continues to pass on – so shall my memory of her. I know that because it’s been 21 years since my mother died and I struggle to remember her.
Memories of my mom seem so far away – a lifetime away. I have some photos and sometimes a memory comes to mind – but it’s like a dream that I’m dreaming and it is as if I’m staring into someone’s life – just not mine. That’s how I feel about losing Brittany – like it was a lifetime ago – someone’s life – just not mine. But then I look at her pictures and the painful memories come back into my mind and remind me of the profound loss in my life. A loss so painful that only God knows my pain. But He also brings me joy. He heals my broken heart.
I think my life has gotten so busy that I haven’t had a whole lot of time to think much about her. I also believe that some of that is on purpose. It’s an easy escape. Staying busy. Volunteering for this and that. I fear slowing down to get quiet because I begin to think about her and there are times that it still makes me sad. And that’s ok. I also have times where when I think about her I laugh. Like tonight.
Those little things are the things that we so often take for granted. The things that we don’t give much thought to on an everyday basis. But my friends those little things are the very things that keep our loved ones alive in our hearts and minds. They are the things you need to stop and pay attention to and be grateful for. Because they could be gone tomorrow.
Slow down, get quiet and let the memories flow, no matter where the journey takes you – let it come, let it flow. Meditate on what’s important. Take time to thank God for what you have and what you had. Everyone in our lives is a gift from God. Those gifts are to be cherished and nurtured. For they are only with us for such a short time. Some far shorter than feels right.
Until next time