With each holiday and milestone this year, I find myself thinking of the “what ifs” and asking myself “what were we doing last year?” So today marks one of the hard milestones; Mother’s Day. I have dreaded this day coming, wondering how I would get through the day.
I can’t remember the details of last year, how we spent every moment. Did we do anything special? I don’t recall. Last May was a month of preparation, planning for Julia to go into the hospital for the stem cell extraction, still hopeful for a miracle. Last year was a “normal” day and that in itself was a blessing. But I can’t remember the details and that causes even more heart ache.
As I struggle to remember last year’s Mother’s Day, I do recall spending time thinking about my own mother. It was the first year without my mother being here to wish a happy Mother’s Day. But, I didn’t realize that it would be the last year with my baby. I didn’t know that in only a few short weeks our world would once again be turned upside down and inside out.
As I write this, my mind wanders back to the day of my mother’s memorial service. Julia had told me that she wanted to say something at the service to remember her Mom Mom. We talked about it and Julia wrote down a few of her thoughts. I told her the she could wait until that morning to decide if she really wanted to say anything.
The day of the memorial service arrived and when we get to the funeral home, Julia told me she wanted to do something. After the eulogy, Julia walked up to the microphone and with more poise and strength than anyone I have ever known said, “Hello, my name is Julia Grace Eveland and I want to sing one of my Mom Mom’s favorite songs, ‘Tomorrow’ ”. With that, Julia sang “Tomorrow” from the musical Annie with all her heart. It was perfect, it was pure, and it was Julia.
I think back to that day and realize all that I have learned from my little girl, from my baby. I have learned more than I could ever have taught her.
I miss Julia so much. I miss her hugs, her kisses, her voice, her laugh, her touch. There have been so many days that the clouds have blocked the rays of the sun; that sun that I wait to have come out again, the sun that make us feel so warm, so alive.
But Julia taught me that the sun would come out tomorrow. Through the foundation that bears her name, I have learned that there is sun. There is sun in helping others and in bringing a smile to the face of a child and to their families. Through Julia’s love and generosity, I have learned so much.