‘They’ always say that the anniversary of meaningful dates will hit you hard after a loved one dies. Holidays, anniversaries of special milestones together, birthdays… 2020 pulled a gossamer curtain across all these dates in regards to my mom. As I review my 2020 calendar, it looks like the last time I saw mom was January 15th when I picked up Elvis on the pretense of taking him for an overnight for a vet appointment. I see that I was back for a care appointment, and once more after that. I spent those visits (after meeting with the nurse) spiriting Elvis’ things, as well as extraneous clothing, out of mom’s apartment a little bit at a time so she wouldn’t see a sudden change and become upset. Mission accomplished.

The community closed down early, before the WHO called the pandemic. We tried a Zoom meeting for mom’s birthday in early April. Her care staff manager saved that debacle by using FaceTime and handing mom her phone. Mom and I were able to have a birthday connection while the rest of family had a good Zooming time. Then mom called me, with help no doubt, on Mother’s Day before I had a chance to call her. That was the last time we talked.

The rest of 2020 did not include any of those ‘days’ that we would have been able to gather with mom. We were all isolating (new modern verb usage?) by encouragement if not regulation. I was also buried in work and settling the estate. I missed being with her, particularly on days we’d always together, but because that wasn’t an option, there was a buffer of sorts.

Mom’s birthday is next week. I am feeling rather fragile suddenly. Not because we’d necessarily have been able to spend it together, and now can’t. She would have been vaccinated by this time, and I am still not eligible. It bears additional pondering to help me wrap more eloquent words around how I feel in the face of the first of my mama’s birthday’s in my lifetime where she won’t be here to connect with on this plain.

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