First day of September. October. November. December.
First day of school.
First day of fall.
Everyone says the firsts are the hardest after death. I assumed people meant the "biggies" like Christmas or birthdays but it's more than that. It's the firsts of everything coming and going--how they make me ache. The first of each month heaving a sigh--the first month of its kind without her.
That first snowfall remembering how we'd hunker down with black tea with cream and sugar and play cards. Remembering how we'd never hunker down like that again.
That first Halloween without her. No sending photos of Tinkerbell and David Beckham. No recounting how Paxton ran from door to door yelling "Mo' Candy!" A silent holiday.
That first Thanksgiving. Making her stuffing by myself. Looking at the empty chair near my father. A lonely holiday.
But it goes beyond--so far beyond. I'm nearly overwhelmed by their infinite number and how firsts won't end--even when the first year does. Mom will miss Pax's first loose tooth. She'll miss M.E.'s first broken heart. She'll miss his graduation. She'll miss her wedding. She'll miss Matt making partner. She'll miss me getting my Ph. D. And I know with all of these firsts I'll be haunted with that thought--that nagging, gut-wrenching feeling that "Mom would have loved this."
21sts are no better. Today is the 21st. I generally love to celebrate this day because it's my wedding anniversary to a man my Mom regarded more highly than most men on earth (my mom and I both have impeccable taste). Now 21sts come like a tick-tock of a clock counting off the months since she died. Four months now. Four.
People keep saying it will get easier--the firsts, the twenty-firsts. A part of me hopes so.
But a part of me hopes they don't because I never want to forget those little things she would have loved. Never want to take for granted each first because I never know when it will be my last.
What I think is firsts and 21sts haunt me--and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Thank you to Shell at Things I Can't Say for letting me vent my sometimes depressing thoughts.