Grief is such a weird rollercoaster. It brings many unexpected emotions to the surface, and even more unexpected are the ways that we deal with those emotions.
This is my first holiday without my mother here.
I hate it.
After thinking about it for a while, I decided that the only way I would be able to get through the day in one piece, would be to do something that I never did with her. I feel like if I do something that is familiar and has memories attached to her, it will make her missing presence to overwhelming for me to handle.
After thinking about it, I decided to take my family out to eat. It's something we've never done for a holiday. It'll be me, Billy, Shawna, Jacqueline, Cimion, plus my Aunt Mary (my mom's older sister) and our cousin Maryann and her son Paulie.
I think getting through this will be a walk in the park compared to Christmas.
I'm finding some comfort in doing symbolic things and finding ways to honor her, since she passed away in July. When we went back home to NYC to have a memorial service for my mother, I wanted to leave some of her ashes at my fathers grave. Billy did the honors but I found it easier to watch through the lens of my camera.
My fathers name was Frank (Francesco) and he died 20 years ago this past June. Although we had a rough relationship during my adult years, I have very good memories of my childhood.
Then we went to the grave of her second husband Tony (Antonio) and also left some of her ashes. Tony was an awesome man and Billy & I loved him very much. He passed away September 26, 2001, on their second wedding anniversary.
Last, we went to visit my grandparents grave (Marco & Maggie) and leave some of her there also. My grandfather died a while ago but my grandmother passed away five years ago at the age of 92. She was a fiesty and spirited woman who left her mark on all of us. My uncles Anthony and Rosario are also buried here.
Even though it was a long day, doing all of this made me feel good.
So...now it's Thanksgiving. My first without being someone's daughter. Yes, grief is weird.
Happy Thanksgiving Mommy.
I'm grateful I was able to spend 43 of them with you.