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…that is how I start every thought (or that is how it feels).  

Last 4th of July I left my friend’s beach-side condo, and naturally the party, to get sit in my mother’s living to watch the fireworks on TV with her.  Because every year I watched the fireworks with my mother, no matter what. And we always went to the beach.  But last year we had to watch them in her living room.  Naturally my mom being my mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday and my first reaction was for “my mommy to get to better so we could be at the beach next year to watch the fireworks”.  And I really meant it and I really believed it would happen.  Because at 29 I could not fathom that my mommy was dying.  

And at exactly this date last year my mother checked into the hospital for what turned out to be the last time.  And me and my family moved into a hotel right down the street so that we would not have to drive the hour each way to see her.  And I hated and I hated my aunt for wanting to do that.  And I became resentful of my mother for not getting better.  

As the days countdown to the one year anniversary of her death all I do is think of where I was this exact date last year.  Because the last month before my mother died is a very vivid memory.  I remember everyday of that last month; who visited her, what I wore, what I ate, what my mom would not eat, the TV shows I watched with her, the day my brother and me signed her into hospice, everything.  

I think maybe the first year after death is the hardest because of the memories like this.  At least it is for me.  Because maybe this time next year I will only look one year back and this time this year does not include my mother’s impending death.