This time last year, I remember doing the dishes while T was doing his homework. I was crabby. And irritable. I snapped some remark to him as I went to finish the dishes, "letting" him do his homework. As I scrubbed our dinner plates off, I realized why I was particularly irritable. I was worried about Momma.
This time last year, the doctors told her they could do nothing else for her. About this time last year, she went with Daddy to make funeral preparations and pick out a coffin. She wanted "a plain pine box." So that's what they ordered. I was worried I wouldn't see her again. I felt helpless--that I wasn't doing any good "way out here in Boston" and I wished I could be at home, closer to Momma. And I was taking it all out on Taylor.
When I realized why I was being snappy, I started to cry. That's not a good reason to be mean (is there a good reason to be mean?). If you're worried about something, the best thing to do is get it out in the open, to talk about it, to share the burden that's in your heart. I dried off my hands and went over to where T was studying to apologize and explain why I was upset. He listened and held me as I cried to him about Momma and Daddy.
About this time last year, I booked a plane ticket to CA to attend the CCD congress with my parents and younger sister. Flights are really cheap this time of year--after the holidays but before most students' spring breaks begin. My ticket was only $200, on a weekend. It was worth so much more than that to me.
This time last year, I began to think about doing a 365 photo project. I didn't know if I would make it a year taking a photo every day, but, I figured, it was worth a shot. I decided to start my project at the beginning of Lent. If I couldn't make it through Lent, I knew I wouldn't make it a year, so it was a good starting point.
This time last year, I was forced to come to grips with my mother dying. We knew at this point that there was little time left. The doctors kept shortening their "estimate." Maybe a year. Six to nine months. One to three months. Every time I talked to her on the phone, I told her I loved her and that I was praying for her. We didn't talk very long when I'd call because the pneumonia made her cough a lot. I miss talking to her, even for those short periods of time.
A year is a funny thing. Some years, we don't notice the days ticking away at all. Other years, the moments seem to drag by, one by one, never moving quickly enough. Most of the time, it's a little bit of both. I just keep reminding myself to be thankful for the moments. I remember moments, not years. I remember faces, and hugs, and tears. I remember insights, and feelings, and smiles. Live in the moment. Love in the moment. We die in the moment. Rejoice in the moment.