September has come and gone and we are heading steadily towards the middle of October. I can't believe how quickly this year is passing us by and how quickly my baby is growing up...he'll be 10 months old in a few weeks. Scary.
Last weekend we flew 'home' to commemorate the one-year anniversary of mom's passing. One year. I still find it quite ridiculous to think I haven't seen or spoken to my mom in a year. That fact that I have an entire lifetime of years ahead of me without her? Well, that's beyond ridiculous.
The day itself was a bit strange. The flight went well, but after we landed I had the biggest fight ever with a memeber of ground staff. It was quite crazy. We were waiting for our car seat (which we were told to check into oversized baggage when we were departing) when she approached us and told us we were supposed to pick the seat up from the plane. I told her that no one had told us this when we checked the seat in, and she proceeded to start an argument with me. Clearly she caught me on the wrong day and I ended up screaming at her, bursting into tears and having a complete meltdown in the airport. Awesome.
But sometimes things happen for a reason, because I think I got all my tears and frustration out in one fell swoop right there in the airport. I was completelyl in control, emotionally, for the rest of the day.
After settling in at the house we got ready and headed out to what used to be one of mom's favourite places - Goblin's Cove. It's a restaurant about an hour away and is all about fairies and goblins and lush forest and trickling streams. Well, that's what it used to be. When we got there it was far from that. It was run down, dried up and generally looking quite drab. We tried to keep upbeat about having lunch there, but when the waitress brought a bucket of ice with the beers (to cool them down because the fridge was broken) we decided to give it up and head home.
I felt a little sad that the place had lost it's magical charm, because that's what mom, with her whimsical, fantasy-loving side, was drawn to. But in another way I was glad we were leaving. This was mom's place and it seemed strangely right that now that she is gone, it the magic was gone too...
We ended up having lunch and some lovely family-bonding time at a restaurant closer to home. That night we gathered around dad's pub and at 9pm we toasted mom and then all went to bed. It was far from the anniversary I was expecting. Actually I don't know what I was expecting. After months of building up to it...it just seemed to just come and go without much fanfare. But it doesn't matter. What matters is that we thought about her the entire day. We were together as a family (minus some important family members living on another continent), and there was love. Lots of love.
Saturday morning it was tattoo time. My sister and I had booked our appointment weeks before and the day finally arrived for us to get our commemorative tattoos for mom. Both tattoo virgins we were decidedly nervous, but we grabbled a bottle of booze from dad's bar and headed off! It turned out to be an interesting experience because my sis wasn't able to get her tattoo because she was on antibiotics (!?). But I took a deep breath and got mine done on my own...and I'm so glad I did. I have conciously worn something for my mom every day since she passed - whether it was something that used to belong to her (clothes or jewellery) or something she bought for me, every morning I have scanned my outfit to make sure I'm wearing something for her. Now, with my beautiful butterfly tattoo on my foot, I dont even have to give it a second thought. I'll be wearing something for her every day for the rest of my life...
Sunday morning we set out the tea and cake and readied ourselves. We invited all mom's girlfriends to the house for tea and cake to celebrate what would've been mom's 50th birthday the next day. We were nervous before they arrived - it would be so strange having them there without her - but it turned out to be a lovely morning. The ladies were full of smiles and bought presents for mom's two grandbabies (she has two now, wow), and we commented on the fact that her grandbabies were getting the presents for her birthday - she would've loved that.
When we said goodbye to the 'aunties' we told them we would try and do something similar every year for mom's birthday. I really hope we do.
So September ended and I can't say I'm sad to see it go. I relived so many painful memories from last year throughout the month. I just want to start looking forward now.
I think we all do.