Hey Mom, it’s me.

“I’m in California dreamin’ about who we used to be…” Dang it, Adele, this is serious.

This is my third Mother’s Day without you, so how in the mess is this the hardest? Of all the times I’ve felt the inexplicable weight of grief tugging, pulling, and weighing on my heart, I’m not sure that it’s hit as quickly and harsh as it did today. I was upright and smiling, and then my heart anchored itself to the floor. “All of the first holidays are the hardest,” they said. They were wrong.

I think, in part, it was triggered by my wife, Kim. She, like you, is one of those ‘boy moms’ that makes it all look so easy. Boys, alllll of us, are a handful. Of course, I see her struggles bubble up when she decides that it IS worth the trouble to argue with a three year-old. You told me a few times about your odd fear that I wouldn’t live past age three, and as I watch Kim and Collin, I realize how much that fear was based in love. Your love for me was beyond comprehension, and you simply didn’t know how you could have a full life loving your little boy. And, even as an adult, your little boy never thought he’d lose you to the hands of some very bad people.

Grief is such. hard. work. While it’s logical that it wouldn’t honor you to live in a puddle of my own tears, there’s guilt associated with keeping the positivity flowing. I’m mostly thankful when the tears come, because, oddly enough, that’s when I feel like I honor you most. We’re doing such good work with your Foundation, but there’s something so special about my alone time with our memories. Odd that even in my current state of G&G (good and grown), I still have such a burning NEED for my mama.

The way you died made your death newsworthy, but the caliber of your character will continue to make this world a better place. As part of my son’s Mother’s Day interview for Kim, I asked him who he thought Jesus’ best friend might be. He replied, “MawMaw.” That let me know that we’re doing a pretty bang-up job with keeping your memory alive in our home.

Through the smiles and tears, the highs and lows, the clarity and the confusion… you will always be my mommy.

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