Five years. A lifetime. The blink of an eye.
You were my favorite person. My first phone call. The love of my life.
I know that my dreams were bigger than yours, and sometimes they scared you. You knew the world to be a dangerous place, and you feared that if I moved too fast, or cared too much, or traveled too far from home, that I'd get hurt. You worried that I'd fall down, and you wouldn't be there to catch me.
These last five years, I have moved fast. I have traveled far from home. And I have fallen down many times, with mostly my own body to break my fall.
But hurt as I've been, afraid as I am, I keep getting back up. And it's in the getting back up that I have learned something: the empty space that I have been trying to fill is not my enemy. It sustains me. It keeps me pressing forward. It reminds me of who I am.
A couple of weeks ago, I sat on the deck of your favorite place and your brother said to me - about you - "I'm still not over it." And I said, back to him, "I don't think you're supposed to be." The loss is so deep because the love is so big. It is a love bigger than grief, bigger than fear. Bigger even, than death.
I lost much when I lost you. But I gained something, too. I gained the profound awareness that my life is a gift. That this moment - right now - is all that's promised. And that we should pursue our heart's desire fiercely, and grab on to every chance at happiness with both hands.
I had you for thirty-one years. And in those thirty-one years you gave me more than enough love to last a lifetime. I may not be able to see you, or embrace you, or pick up the phone and hear your voice on the other end, but you are still with me. You are with me every day, in every way that matters.
Five years later, I'm not over it, Mom. I'm not over missing you, not over wishing you were still here. I never will be. But I wouldn't have it any other way.