Today, I was at the hospital where I said goodbye to my mom. I’ve been there one other time since she died, but this time was different.
Maybe because this time, I am in the middle of writing a novel loosely based on some of the experiences I had with my mom. Maybe because I am taking the time to remember, and letting the hard memories come.
Sitting in the courtyard, where I used to wheel her out to smoke (awful, I know, but always her choice) I could see the set of chairs where my family sat to make the decision to take her off life support.
I realized that I could remember ever detail of the door that I was standing next to when I called family and friends to give them the news.
There was a Rosanne marathon on television that night, and though I didn’t really like the show, I couldn’t be bothered to change the channel. So I sat and watched the Connor’s bicker while I waited for her last breath.
But I remembered the good things, too. Like the nursing staff who treated our family with so much compassion. The friends who showed up and stayed by our sides. I remember my phone going off in the middle of prayer with the hospital chaplain. The ringtone was Shackles, by Mary Mary. I sure got some funny looks about that one!
But truly, it is okay to remember, and it is okay to miss her. I choose to celebrate the good things, and learn from the hard things.