Easter is around the corner... the first one without my Mom. I thought of her a lot today while dealing with the usual holiday problems of where to go and who wants to do what (sometimes I hate being the oldest). It made me think of when I was younger, after my parents separated, and how we would travel to my Dad's in New Jersey. My whole family, aunts and uncles on both sides, live in New Jersey. Easter was my Dad's holiday but my Mom would always make us stop by my Aunts. My Dad would get annoyed but wouldn't say anything. It was super inconvenient but I am so happy she did that. Don't get me wrong, I love both sides of my family equally but when you are at a house filled with Italians who love to eat and talk it gets hard to sneak away. Leaving always felt awkward and it never felt like the timing was right. It's so funny that sometimes the things that you hate the most will end up making the biggest impact on you. She instilled in me that family is everything. She would always remind to visit with everyone even if we were only there for a day. She was the type of person who on a long car trip would say, "doesn't cousin/aunt/nephew/etc live around here? We should see if there home!"
Everyone says that the first year is the hardest. I haven't made it to year 2 yet so I'm not sure. You have to figure things out from the start again and that's hard. All new traditions. As I was thinking of her and feeling a little lonely I remembered a poem. This poem was found after my Grandma passed away when I was young. My Grandma wasn't sick or really old and the way she died was not only tragic but also shocking. Someone (one of my Aunts or Uncles or maybe even my Mom) found it in her stuff and it was comforting to the whole family. It was almost as though it was put in a place it would be found when the time was right. I hope someone reading this feels the comfort I do.
Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
By: Mary Elizabeth Frye