“Have you ever lost someone you love and wanted one more conversation, one more chance to make up for the time when you thought they would be here forever? If so, then you know you can go your whole life collecting days, and none will outweigh the one you wish you had back.”
― Mitch Albom, For One More Day
There’s something about the line “you know you can go your whole life collecting days” that really hits home for me. I never thought about it like that before, but it’s such a true concept, to think that once you lose someone, you start collecting the days after but even with new memories, they aren’t as heavy as the ones you wish you had. It’s been a little over four months since I lost my mom, and there are days when I’m okay. There are. But there are a lot of days where my life still doesn’t feel real, and I feel as if I’m waiting for someone to pinch me, or a group of people to start laughing and say “Man, you fell for it, Katie! Gosh, you sure are gullible.” Or maybe just for someone to shake my shoulders and say “what a silly thing to imagine, your mom leaving you. She would never do that. She’s your mom. She’s here for you, always.”
But of course, none of these scenarios happen. And they never will. Because real life is messy. It takes work, a lot of work, and just putting one foot in front of the other is a struggle some days. Sometimes screaming, crying, breaking down – they are the answers.
And other days, there’s happiness. Other days, there’s giggles from the belly of a four year old. There’s flowers delivered to your work from your fiancé. There’s days where you take shots at the bar with your friend, knowing you’ll regret it in the morning, but not caring because she knows how make you laugh like before, before the world felt so dark. There are hugs and whispers and I love yous. There are texts of: I’m thinking about you. There are articles shared. There are dreams you keep dreaming.
And then there’s the days where you have both. There are the highs that feel like flying, and the lows that feel like dirt in your mouth, all within a couple hours of each other. Those are the days where your life feels all too real, because you feel the tickles of happiness fluttering around you, only to be brought to your knees with one line like “Of course I wouldn’t go wedding dress shopping without my mom.” Or maybe you started low, not sure you wanted to roll out of bed in a world where your mom doesn’t exist, but your fiancé made you a million-layer chocolate cake, and there are candles to blow out and wishes to make.
There are days when you think about how much you want a daughter. God, how badly you need one, if only to have a mother-daughter relationship again. Because you know how special it is, even if it takes a new form. Even if you are the mom this time.
Each day is collected. Each day feels like a different weight, but never the weight you want it to be, because she will always be at the back of your mind, and you’ll always be wondering why she had to leave when you really needed her to stay.