2 years
24 months
104 weeks
730 days
17,520 hours

And you know what, friends?  Life has never, not once, stopped.  Even when it felt like it should, even when I felt like I couldn’t move forward, life just keeps going and going without her.  And, I guess it has to.

My Mom died 2 years ago on my 31st birthday.  This week, I’ll be 33, the age she was when she gave birth to me.  This week, I’ll celebrate my 2nd birthday without my Mom.  This week, I’ll just keep going because there is literally no other choice.  I always write this before 10/24 because I don’t want that day to be forever sad and it’s hard to get into these feelings at all, especially on that day.

The second year is different and hard in a completely different way.  The second year, the shock and oppressive, deep grief are mostly gone and you’ve established life without them; then you realize that nobody else remembers, but each milestone is still incredibly fresh for you.  Even though the hurt is fresh, the hurt is final, and this is the year that you establish your life without them and it hurts like hell.  But, it is absolutely necessary, because nothing is stopping this train.

In 730 days, there has not been one single solitary day that I have not thought of her.  Even on the best days, when I have felt the most joy, when I have had the most fun, when I have been light years from that hospital room in Ashland or that house in Flat Gap, I still always think of her.  I imagine I always will — and I want to.

Last year, I wrote that the grief had permeated my skin and bones, but my perspective, thankfully, has shifted.  It is not the grief that seeps through me anymore.  Sure, I still get incredibly sad and I still, quite literally, long for her presence, but the grief has managed to evolve and you’ll have that with grief, dear friends.  I promise.  No, it is not grief that ebbs and flows through me, but it is her.  Her love, her guidance, the memories, the laughs, the hugs, every moment I had with her is part of me.  

Brenda K. Williams was imperfect, but she was precious.  She was every beautiful day and song you can think of, every moment that is joy and light and peace, everything innately good and kind, plus so much more.  She was and is my Mom and will forever be.

I miss her.