This song makes me think of the 80’s and the sing-a-longs we would have as a family in my mom's white pearl Mercury Sable with the crushed velvet interior (so soft!). Along with "Time Of My Life" (Dirty Dancing classic) and "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" (from Mannequin!) "Time After Time" was a favorite of ours - especially because Derek at age 4 always called Cyndi Lauper “Cyndi Whopper”.
"If you're lost, you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall, I will catch you, I will be waiting
Time after time"
When mom first passed away, multiple people told me that the only thing that would help with grief was time.
‘Give yourself time’.
‘Time heals all wounds’.
‘All you need is time’.
People had a variety of platitudes to offer about how my feelings would evolve as time went on and assured me that these feelings of all encompassing grief would not last forever. Turns out - they were both right and wrong. Here we are approaching the 8 month mark and I am surprised how different things look today. Am I still grieving? Yes, part of me thinks I might have a layer of grief forever. I knew the world wasn’t “fair” and I knew that awful things happened to wonderful people - but the magnitude of this was not one I had experienced to date. Yes, I lost my mom, but I also lost my best friend, the person I call 5 times a day to tell random things, the person who knew me better than I knew myself…. The gap of all those roles combined feels palpable some days; most days to be honest. I pick up the phone a half dozen times a day to call or text before realizing I can't - or something silly or funny or crazy happens (like a deer running straight in front of my car in a busy intersection!) and she's the first person I want to share the story with...but I can't.
As time has passed I’ve gained an increased awareness, (perspective perhaps?), of how lucky I was - how blessed to have had a mom so dedicated, so involved in every aspect of my life that we could share work stories, celebrity gossip and baking shows the same way we shared wishes, fears and dreams for the future. I almost said the same way we shared clothes, but really our “sharing” was me borrowing and never returning, I can admit that after going through both our closets!
In the day-to-day thick of life you (and I) are wishing for Friday, for payday, for the project you're working on to just wrap up already. We're feeling the grind without realizing the brevity of the moment we're living in. Time is funny like that - it passes both slowly and quickly. I'm happy that I have so many wonderful memories to draw from when I'm missing her, but I'm mad at myself for all the days I spent on my phone multitasking instead of enjoying our time together, or wishing for things in my life to be a little further along rather than appreciating where I was in the moment. In those instances, I wish I could rewind, take the phone out of my hand and just absorb every detail about the encounter, building myself a little movie memory I could replay later.
Time it seems, has made living with this loss more bearable. I can make plans for the future, knowing they don't include her but knowing she's in my heart. I can figure out what comes next while being opened to the possibility that greatness is still an option. But I can also still be brought to my knees when I hear songs like "Time After Time" or while scrolling through Facebook and catching images from a friends girls trip to Hawaii with her own mom. All those experiences we didn't get to share (or I didn't fully appreciate if we did) break my heart.
Derek sent me this quote by Wesley Snipes and it actually pissed me off at first read - "Healing also means taking an honest look at the role you play in your own suffering". At first I resented it - I'm not preventing myself from healing! Then (as I usually do) I paused and got honest with myself....am I preventing healing by reliving painful memories and coming up with alternate possible endings or envisioning scenarios we didn't get to live? Yes, yes I am. So I've decided that I need both time and compassion for myself. I did the best I could at the time and now that I know better I will strive to do better. That's all we can hope for isn't it?