Another Year Gone
Today is a day I reserve solely for remembering my mom and sister. It has now been 19 years since they were killed. An anniversary no-one should have to acknowledge, but yet is deeply ingrained in my heart and my very being.
Yet, this year is different then any of the past years. I find myself struggling with my emotions and my words just are not coming to me. I miss them with every ounce of my being.
This year I acknowledge just how deeply impacted my entire life has been since I lost my mom and sister when I was 14 years old. I’ve survived the grief, but it has taken an immeasurable toll on my entire life. And so, I am going to say a silent prayer hoping that my son never has to experience the loss of a parent or a sibling while he is still just a child. No child should ever have to experience such a loss, and I desperately hope for my son’s sake that he never does.
Yet, I also realize, the timing or life and death is something I cannot not control. No matter how much I wish and hope and try to protect my son from this kind of hurt and trauma, it is not something I can control. I know that life can end in an instant. I know that there are no guarantees. Should someone miss a stop sign, life can end in an instant just as it did for my mom and sister. Hell, a meteor could fall from the sky tomorrow and the entire planet could be obliterated. There just are no guarantees.
So, while I miss my mom and sister every single day, I also know just how important savoring each moment is.
And now as a mother to a living child, I have a new perspective that I have not had on previous anniversaries. This year my focus seems to be on the fact that not only was my innocent childhood destroyed, but so were the lives my mom and sister were leading. At 15, my sister died too young – she never had the opportunity to have a first part-time job, graduate high school, go to university, become a mom or become an Auntie. And my mom never got to watch her children grow to be adults. She never got to cheer us on at our high school graduations, or help plan our weddings with us or meet her grandchildren. As a family, we missed out on so many things that we should have been able to take for granted. I refuse to lose sight of this.
And so I am determined to rejoice in the moments I have with my family. I am so incredibly fortunate to have an amazing husband and the most adorable son. I realize today just how fortunate I am to be able to watch him grow and learn. I have the opportunity to cheer him on and support him as he experience his life milestones. I hope with everything in me that I am able to experience a lifetime of them.
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