August is a tricky month.
I celebrate my wedding anniversary to a man I am still hopelessly enamored of. I spend the month excitedly gearing up for a new group of students. My girls prepare for a new year of learning and reconnecting with school friends. Yet, still it’s summer and we can stay in bed a little later and hit the beach or lounge all day reading. August has it all.
But August is now also a month of loss. My Dad spent the last three weeks of August dying in the hospital, finally succumbing on September 2, 2010. And last August, my Mom died. I brought her to the doctor on August 3rd, then to the emergency room on August 4th. We took her home from the hospital on August 6th so she could die in the house her sweetheart built for her. She died one year ago today.
This morning though, as I think about Mom I’m not just thinking about loss. I’m mostly thinking about everything Mom gave me. She taught me how to be a mother to these wonderful girls of mine. She showed me strength in the face of pain. She showed me what a marriage could be. She modeled patience and acceptance of the variety of personalities I live with in the classroom every day (since she showed it to all of us kids).
I feel like I should hate August. But I don’t. Mom helped me get everything I need to balance this month between the joy and sorrow. And today, for her, I’m going to try to weight the joy more.
I miss you, Mom. Thanks for everything, even August.