My friends have this time of year where almost all of the anniversaries and family birthdays fall. They call this time of year "the gauntlet."
April is my gauntlet. That time of year where I have to grit my teeth, give myself more grace, and plan my crying time. That time of year where I stop making plans and just let the days happen. I keep hoping it will get easier. I feel guilty when it does. Even knowing that it's coming is taking its toll.
A week from today my mom would have been 62. She was born on April 3rd, on Palm Sunday. Add 58 years to that, and she was two weeks away from dying. April holds both her birthday and her death day. It sucks.
My life is so different now, four years later. I'm on my way to being a nurse, and embroiled in the tests and papers and clinical days that entails. I'm glad to be surrounded by classmates who make it their job to be caring - it makes it easier to fall apart, and easier to ask for help.
I'm married now, and my husband is wonderful. Even when I burst into tears for no obvious reason he's quick to hold me and comfort me. We've figured out how to care for one another well, even when things are heavy.
My dad has remarried - a lovely, loving woman. But she's not my mom, so it's just weird. Reminiscing over old photos of my parents together has a different tenor to it. I'm glad for him, and I really love his wife, but its hard.
And I just feel like she's missing. She's missing - as in she's missing out on all these beautiful things in my life that I wish I could share with her. She's missing - as in I think she's missing me, or at least I hope she is. She's missing - as in she's not here, and I feel like she should be. She's missing, and I can't find her, and I won't ever be able to. She just... missing.
Deep breaths, Katye. Deep breaths. The gauntlet has begun.