Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The Last First

After have a small epiphany this morning, I edited the title of this post.  Yesterday was "the last first"--I have now gone a whole year without my mom, completing the cycle.  There will be no more "firsts."  Thank goodness!  The post below is unchanged.

Today marks the sad occasion of the one-year anniversary of my mom's death.  I simply cannot believe that it's already been a year since the events of January 2012.  Those events are so indelibly and vividly imprinted in my mind that it seems as though they just happened a couple of months ago.
The morning of her death, the doctors had ordered some type of abdominal scan since she seemed to be bleeding internally.  The nurse called me at five am to say that they were going to take her down to do the test.  I planned to get up and go over to the hospital, but I guess I fell back asleep.  The next thing I knew, the phone was ringing again.  It was just after six, and, with sleep still clouding my head, I heard the nurse say, "I'm very sorry to tell you that the patient expired." 
My very first thought was that someone needed to give the nurse a lesson on how to tell someone that their loved one had passed away.  Who says "expired" anyway?  For a brief moment, I thought that I might not have understood her correctly, but then she was saying something about what I needed to do next and asking if knew what funeral home I wanted to use--so I knew that I had indeed heard her correctly.
My first thought after hanging up the phone was to thank God for giving my mom well-deserved peace.  I knew that she would not have wanted to live the way she was after her stroke.  She had already been miserably ill before the stroke, and I think she may have been ready to go.  The night before she died, I talked to her, not knowing if she was able to hear or understand me.  I told her that if she needed to go I would be fine--not to stay just for me.  Maybe she did hear and understand.  I like to think so.
The next week was a blur of arrangements and funerals, traveling to and from Oklahoma.  And then it was all over.  I was left by myself.  All the while I congratulated myself on how well I was handling the whole situation.  Of course, if you know me--or if you've read this blog--you know that grief hit me hard.
I've spent the last year grieving and trying to assimilate two households into one.  For some strange reason, this anniversary, while sad, seems to be a turning point.  I feel as though now that I have gone through my year of "firsts" (first Mother's Day without her, first birthday without her, first Christmas without her), I can move on. 
I hope that she is proud of me--even though I haven't dealt with everything perfectly.  I can finally look forward to what's ahead!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

365 photography project

Any photography aficionados out there?
Some of my Internet acquaintances and I are doing a 365 photography project.  This is a project where participants take a photo each day for an entire year.  One of my friend's projects features a photograph of a red object each day; other people do random pictures.  My project, however, features photos of one object over an entire year! 
Other than my dogs, some of my favorite things to photograph are toys.  Don't ask me why--I don't know.  For one thing, they're easier to photograph than my dogs because they hold still!  I ended up choosing one of my teddy bears to photograph. 

Follow my progress through my Flickr photostream.  And, if you see me taking photos of a teddy bear--well, now you know why!