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Mother's Day and My Alternative Universe

I wake up to the pouring rain. It seems appropriate weather for this Mother’s Day. I have been in a funk for the last few weeks, so the rain only seemed right. It was like Mother Earth just wanted to show the world how I have been feeling inside.'

I lay in bed listening to the rain and trying to pinpoint when this feeling started. There is always a bit of sadness that hides inside me, but something had triggered it to rear its ugly head in a way I hadn’t felt in a long time.

It was the mail. Yes, as crazy as it seems, it all started with a letter. It arrived addressed to “The Parents of Julia Eveland”. Normally I rip these up without even reading them, but for some reason that afternoon was different. A simple form letter –

“To the Parents of Julia Eveland,

Now that your child is getting ready to enter high school, join us for a free college planning session….”

I think that afternoon it hit me. High School…how could so much time have passed.

The mail has continued to arrive over this past month. More college planning information, advertisements for private high schools, and ironically, a letter addressed to Julia informing her about her eligibility for great rates on life insurance. All these letters reminding me of what could have been.

I dress and get my cup of coffee. My mind wanders as I begin to think of what today would have been like if Julia was still here. I can imagine all of it, the cards, the smiles, her voice wishing me a happy day. I have lived a dual life for the past five years. One in this world with my reality and another in an alternate universe with Julia, the place that could have been.

The day continues. I receive a hug from both my sons, one in person and one from a distance. They mean more to me than that they could ever know, but it doesn’t change the fact that one hug is missing.

So, it is Mother’s Day - so many are celebrating, but for me it rains.

I keep busy trying to push aside the longing for that hug. I check email and write a “to-do” list. Five new hospitals have made requests, so John and I spend the afternoon assembling the Hug Boxes based on Julia’s list. As we work, my mood picks up as it always does when I build these boxes and know they will make others happy. My mind wanders as I work and I hear a voice coming from that alternate universe, a voice singing so sweetly, “…the sun will come out tomorrow…”, a voice reminding me to be happy.

I smile, the rain continues outside, but the clouds that surround me begin to clear.

It’s Mother’s Day and I can smile again because Julia showed me how.

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