When I got home this afternoon there was a letter waiting for me. A letter inviting me to make an appointment for my very first cervical screening. At first, I was full of dread at the thought of the uncomfortable Speculum but then the more I thought about it and the more it set in, I was full of dread at the thought of not having a Mother to ask about it. Yet again this was life throwing me one of it’s little reminders. Little things to remind me she’s gone. Little things that remind me, she isn’t coming back.
You would think that I’d be used to it by now, it has been almost two years after all. The truth is, I still wonder if it is something I’ll ever get used to. Not all reminders make me sad and teary, some make me angry, furious even and some eventually even started to make me smile. That was something I felt like I waited a lifetime for, to finally be able to smile at my Mother’s memory. I didn’t think that day would ever come but it did and I welcomed it with open arms. It was a relief to know thoughts of her wouldn’t make me feel resentful forever.
I’d like to think that I’m not always clouded by sadness anymore but I’m also very aware that there is something apart from my own shadow always beside me. I made a decision a long time ago to try and not live in fear of something setting that “something” off. I can’t live a life being afraid of these little reminders, I can however try and handle myself as best I can whenever they appear. And if that means spending the afternoon crying like I have done today, so be it.
I can’t avoid shopping centres just because everytime I see a teenage girl spending the day with her Mother clothes shopping, I want to scream or worse, stare at them with a look of longing admiration. Creepy, I know. I can’t avoid bars just because I might run into someone who knew her, someone who wants to know how I am for me to feel guilt everytime I say “fine”. Guilt for actually being fine or guilt for lying about it, it changes each time. I can’t avoid being around my friend’s Mother’s just because sometimes I’m so jealous it makes me incredibly bitter because that is rude. I am a better person than allowing my emotions to get the better of me in those circumstances as I know it’s silly and unreasonable.
I don’t feel these feelings all of the time and that’s with all of the reminders I come across. I don’t look at Mother’s and Daughter’s with resentment and anger all of the time. I don’t always get teary after speaking to people that knew her because what’s more important is that I appreciate it each time someone approaches me. I couldn’t possibly always feel bitterness towards my friends who still have their Mother because it isn’t anyone’s fault that I don’t have mine anymore. It wouldn’t be healthy to carry around those feelings constantly but that doesn’t mean that they don’t rear there ugly heads from time to time.
Little reminders are not always the worst. Sometimes they come when you least expect it, in the shape of a song, an item of clothing, a person or a taste, a smell, a place or a word, a phrase, a facial expression or a colour, a time, a building or a film or more recently, a piece of post. Sometimes they come and you welcome them like a warm hug because it has been a little while. Sometimes they come and you bat them away with such ferocity. Sometimes, when you need them the most, you find yourself searching. Searching for something in the face of someone you love or something in the face of a complete stranger. Searching in places you know and places you knew. Searching in the words you hear and the words you speak. Searching for another little reminder. Just to know that she happened, that she was and that she will always be.
So on a day like today, I find myself looking to her for a sign. I try to believe and I wish I had more faith than I do because days like today are always a little trickier to navigate than most. I can tell you this though, she must of known she wasn’t on my mind as much as usual this morning…