Hey all, hope you’re doing well. Sorry for my longer than usual absence from the blogging world: the start of 2021 has been crazy, but I guess that’s true for everyone. Back in January, I did want to write about recent events — namely, the horrifying attempted overthrow of a democratic process by white nationalists, spearheaded by a Nazi-sympathizing ex-president — but personal events prevented me from making the time to write (more on that in a sec). In any case, by the time of this writing, we’re now a few months into the Biden administration, and while there’s still a lot of work to do, it is at least a relief to finally have a competent administration handling the COVID-19 pandemic. My wife, as a healthcare worker, has already received her second dose of the vaccine — which is great! — though I probably won’t be eligible to receive it until May or so, based on the current NH timeline.
Anyway. Those are all things I wanted to write about. However, the first few weeks of 2021 threw another curveball my way, with the sudden death of my mother.
It wasn’t COVID-19, but instead, cancer-related. And it also wasn’t necessarily “unexpected” — she was given a terminal diagnosis years ago, and amazed us all with her perseverance throughout this time — but her death itself happened far more rapidly than we’d anticipated, and even now, I’m still processing a great deal of it. Losing a parent is something that I don’t think you ever stop feeling — I know this, having lost my father back when I was 17 — and there’s something especially gutting about losing both parents, and the stark separation that creates from one’s childhood: suddenly, those memories seem so much further back in the past than they did before. The reality of it all weighs heavily. The knowledge that my own daughter won’t grow up having any in-person experiences with the loving people who raised me — other than through stories, photos, and their individual legacies — is hard not to dwell on.
Of course, I’ve spent many years learning to deal with the lifelong grief of losing my father. And now, thinking back on my mother at this point, now that she’s gone, I still feel a sense of closeness to her, and thankfulness for the safety, comfort, and love that she provided me when I was young. I am who I am because of her, in so many ways, and the memories of her feel as alive as ever. Meanwhile, I feel lucky to have this little one here, my baby-turned-toddler (!) daughter, to brighten every moment with her endless joy and enthusiasm for a world she’s just beginning to discover, day by day. While she won’t get to physically meet any grandparents from my side, the legacies they left in death will live on in me, and through her. May their memories be a blessing.