Sunday, May 17, 2015

Please don't stop the pain

The other day during one of our three commencement exercises at the college where I work, I found myself overwhelmed by a memory of Lauren that cut me to the bone. As the communications staff, we are required to sit on the coliseum floor near the stage in order to be able to photograph students receiving their diplomas and coming off the stage. We do it every year, but this year was particularly hard for me.

It reminded me of the night, nine days after Lauren's death, that my husband, son and I sat in the same place during Lauren's graduation ceremony. A bouquet of flowers sat in her chair.

Lately, I have been thinking about how memories of Lauren are everywhere around me. I even said to someone that there was no escaping it.  It was bothering me quite a bit at first, but then I realized something: I want those memories- no matter how painful some of them can be. I don't want those painful memories to stop any more that I would want to lose the good ones.

So I will cherish the memories- good ones and painful ones, if it means she will always stay near to me.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The good parts of May

It's May again, and we've made it past another Mother's Day and another anniversary of Lauren's passing. My husband and I were very busy last weekend, when all of that was happening, and I think that was probably a good thing for both of us.

My son was not able to bring his family home, but he called me on that day, just to check on me. He's really every mother's dream: he's a wonderful son to me, a great husband to my daughter-in-law and a caring and loving father to our little granddaughter.  He never forgets to check on me during this difficult time of year, and for that I am really grateful. 

On Friday, we were able to meet the wonderful young woman who received this year's Rotary scholarship named in Lauren's memory. Lauren received that same scholarship that year.

In January, I got asked to participate on the Main Street board, and one of our biggest events of the year is our Five Star City Fest. My husband and I both volunteered for the two-day event. I worked on the Promotions committee and he served as the emcee for the Friday night concert. I took photos for both days, and by the time it was over,  we were both worn out. Our dear friend Fr. David came on Friday night, to enjoy the evening with us and we ended the weekend with a wonderful Mother's Day mass and a FaceTime with our granddaughter later on Sunday evening.

Enjoying the Five Star City Fest with our friend David

The kids in our parish brought us flowers for Mother's Day.

I wonder sometimes what Lauren would think about how our lives have evolved since she passed away. Would she be happy? What would she be doing in her own life at almost 30 years old? The Five Star City Fest used to be known as Mayfair when it was a Saturday arts and crafts fair. That is the last thing Lauren and I did together, on the day before Mother's Day 11 years ago. It took me a few years to be able to go back, and now, walking through that park again, meeting and greeting friends serves to remind me of the good times I had when Lauren and I walked through that park that day. The pain is still there, but I'm able to focus on the good parts of that experience.

Time moves on and for my husband, son and me, every milestone and holiday is bittersweet, but we persevere through the grace of God, and the loving support of family and friends.