Today, I wore a thick silver chain with a large antique-looking oval charm on it.  I’ve worn it for eight years now.  Only two people have asked who is that lovely young woman in the small back and white picture framed in the charm.  And I’m glad, for now I simply feel uncomfortable answering.  Don’t want to make anyone else nervous or bring someone else’s day down. 

The picture is of my mother, who died eight years ago today.  Someone said she was about fifteen in the photo, with her bright, girlish smile and short bouncy curls.  Her charm hangs on a chain I got from one of her jewelry boxes after she passed.  I wear it to continue paying my respects to her in my hectic life. 

The thought processes that occurred when the cancer took her were interesting, but fitting for me, the youngest born of four.  But wait; I still need a mother.  I’m not finished with you yet because I have my own child to raise.  I’m not done being your daughter.  The shock, the grief and mourning eventually pass, yet the emptiness of the loss remains.  I continue to realize the true losses when someone dies.  I won’t ever eat her chili or Mexican casserole ever again.  She won’t beat us all at the family’s favorite card game any more.  No more of her pecan treats, even when the tree grows back after that damn tornado tore it in half.  She won’t hear about my son’s school plays or band concernts.  She won’t see her great grandchildren.  Mother’s Day. January 4th.  My parents’ anniversary.  Saint Patrick’s Day.  These dates will never be the same for me.