I bring Mom up in conversation all the time. I don't know if I always have done it and I'm only more aware of it now, or if it's new and it's my way of hanging on. Just little anecdotes or agreements with someone else who is talking about their family. The people who don't know the story wouldn't know.
I am trying to take Ross's advice and bring her presence into my life. I don't know yet if I agree with him, but I'd like to. I'd like to fill the voids and feel her with me instead of simply not.
Gary and I are in St. Petersburg, Florida until Wednesday. We came last Friday for a friends wedding and decided that we needed a vacation badly, so we rolled our honeymoon, babymoon and any relaxation time owed to us for the last year and the coming year into these five days. And it couldn't be better. I was worried about how I would be with the wedding (I have been having a very hard time with weddings since Mom got sick two months into my engagement and wasn't able to see ours, to name a few reasons) but I was able to get over myself and enjoy the weekend festivities. I have been able to sleep, I have been able to unplug, I have been able to sit on the beach or by the pool for hours at a time and be okay. The families staying here make me happy, not miserable. Today a woman about Mom's age was laying out with her daughter, chewing gum the way Mom chewed gum (with air bubbles that pop-no idea how that would always happen) and I made the connection and tried to feel her presence. I am sunburned and remember the stories of Mom's family trips to Florida when she was a kid and how sunburned she would get; silly that something like a sunburn would make me feel connected. But I think that was Ross's point. I could just have a sunburn. Or I could smile about it, knowing I share both my fair skin and my inability to stay away from the water's edge with Mom and we'll just deal with the consequences.