It’s been almost a year and a half since my mom died. Seems like an eternity, but it also seems like just days. A lot has happened since then – both boys graduated college, I lost my job, started a new one. And we can’t forget little Bennett! Becoming a grandmother, to be this little boy’s Beppe, is one of the greatest joys of my life.
There are days that I’m surprised at how well I’m doing – how I’m able to move along from day to day. I’m learning a lot about myself, who I am “post-Mom”. I’m learning how to navigate life, how to lean on my husband, how to do the things without Mom. I’m doing alright.
Well, it seems like it…until grief comes sneaking up and whacks me across the side of the head. The other day, I went into Bulk Barn. I don’t generally shop there – I just went in to look for something. But still, going into Bulk Barn is not a big thing.
I walked in the door, started walking down an aisle when I was overcome by the smell of the store. Now, I’m not sure if every bulk food store smells the same – maybe they do. But as I walked into that store, I was hit by a memory of Tiffy’s Pantry. Anyone who lived in Taber in the 80’s likely remembers Tiffy’s Pantry – it was the local bulk food store. I remember going there with my mom.
It was that memory – of grocery shopping with my mom in Tiffy’s Pantry that hit in the middle of the aisle in Bulk Barn and sucked the air right out of me. One minute I’m looking for bulk pretzels, next I’m trying to catch my breath, tears quickly filling my eyes and pouring down my cheeks.
Grief is like that – it sneaks up on you. You can be doing the most ordinary, boring thing, and suddenly you’re caught up in a memory and the tears are flowing. Doesn’t mean I’m not doing ok – I am. I’m doing better than I thought I would, actually. Mom said I would be ok and she was right.
I’m thankful for a lifetime of memories – 44 years of memories with my mom that can bring me joy or stop me short at any given time. Grief is not enjoyable, but it is also a reminder of being loved so much by my Mom.