All These Things That I’ve Done

I found this song in a show a few years back and I think it was “A Million Little Things”. It stuck with me and made its way into more than one playlist on my phone. Sidenote: I miss the days of making mixed CDs – the perfect choreography of balancing songs (both the vibe and also the timing – nothing worse than running out of time mid-burn!). I consider myself a connoisseur of mixed tapes and this song makes me both hopeful and sad at the same time; which really is exactly how I feel at this moment. I got soul, but I’m not a soldier.

On Christmas Eve my mom passed away. She had been sick for 6-7 months prior but the ending came quick and gut-punched me and my brother and dad. She had made SO many recoveries, we took for granted this trip to the hospital would be like any other. Alas, we were wrong. For the first few days as I coordinated the logistics of a funeral (with my goal of burying her before 2021, why not end the year with the most final of goodbyes?) I found myself making massive amounts of lists. I love a list. List making comforts me.

Her favorite things.

Her nicknames.

Our final farewell playlist.

Things she taught me to cook.

Life lessons.

Silly things she would say or do to make me giggle.

Places we talked about visiting.

Ways to honor her.

Then I did something that seemed silly at the time, but significant in hindsight. I made a list of all the ways I’m like her and all the things she loved about me – for the days when I don’t love myself. Happy I did that because it turns out there would be a lot of moments where I question my worth in the wake of losing my best friend.

In this list of “all the things I have done” I also thought about all those things I always wanted to do – that I won’t have her by my side for…. And man, it sucks. Yes she is in my heart (and all over the house, I have a million little things that remind me of her from jewelry to coffee mugs) but she’s also shaped who I am as a person so much that the way I move forward will be by continuing to honor her legacy. She was an amazing mom; not just to Derek and I but to so many friends of ours. She was silly and sarcastic while being fiercely loyal. She was incredibly smart in a number of topics (that she would always say “I just picked up from living I guess”) and she always wanted to make people feel special. She would talk to anyone from the janitor to the head of a company with the same kindness and curiosity. What was their story? What made them love life? What were they excited about?

Moving on, and turning 39 and holding this weekend (a phrase my Papa coined that I am totally adopting) I need to remind myself of all the things she did, all things I did and will do in her honor. All of these things will be MY legacy.

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