In Like a Lion

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Today, March 7th, is my still day. It is the day I hold my breath and try to fathom how eight years have passed since my mother died. I vividly recall trying to catch my breath after hearing the news shortly after 7:00 am, swinging my legs over the side of my bed and letting myself sob uncontrollably while the poor woman on the other end of the phone was so lovely and let me cry until I was able to pull myself together. The hours that followed were a blur. They were filled with emotional embraces with my brother and his family, endless phone calls and the inevitable trip to the funeral home. Many days it feels like it happened yesterday. Today is one of those days.

Tomorrow, March 8th, is my bridge day, the day I allow myself the time to rest and let the well of my emotion refill before I am required to dip into it again. These early days in March are saturated with a blend of sadness and tears, but they are also filled with a joy that is hard to describe as my family and I share the stories that will always make us laugh and still feel loved by those we have lost.

The following day, March 9th, is another melancholy day. It is the calendar day my father passed away sixteen years ago. Regardless of the weather, March always comes in like a lion for me. And although the 28th of this month is the day I came into this world many years ago, the beginning of March will always be stained with a sadness I am unable to remove. The two most important people in my life were taken away, and these three days in the month of March always deliver a swift punch to my gut.

As I recover from the annual blow, I remember how much I was loved. I fall back on the memories of their laughter and the fun we used to have, and I take solace in the fact they would be overwhelmingly proud of me for pursuing my dream to become an author. My dad was an avid reader, and he would be thrilled I have self-published four novels in the last fourteen months and have ideas for many more. My mom was my biggest fan, and I know she is always around me, telling me to ‘stick to my guns’.

Although the darkness surrounding these three days is oppressive, remembering their smiles will be the light that helps me find my way back to the happiness I know they would want me to embrace.