I'm taking a little break from Stationery Show stuff to talk about something that I've been thinking a lot about - which is my mom and dad - and how you teach your kids about people you love who are no longer around.
Mother's Day is a bittersweet one for me. I've been without my mom for 16 years now - nearly as long as I had her. I remember when she passed away, someone told me that it would get easier. And I remember feeling like I didn't want it to get easier. I wanted to feel her loss - because to feel sad was a reminder (although painful) that she existed at all. That she hugged me before leaving the house every morning. That her voice called to me "Elizabeth, dinner." That she was at all of my games and brought me a little bag of black jelly beans - my favorite. I remember wanting time to freeze so the days and months without her would stop stacking up. But of course, time goes on, and those days and months have become years - stretches of time without her, my mommy.
And now I'm the mommy. Without a mom or dad myself. But I loved my parents, and I want my kids to know them. So the other day, I was taking Griffin to school and we were laughing about something and for no particular reason, I said, "You know who was the funniest person I ever knew? My daddy. Your Pop." And I proceeded to tell him a story about Pop & how he had dressed up as a werewolf to scare people one Halloween (in good fun of course) - and we were both laughing. And then a couple days later, I heard Griffin speaking pretty theatrically to himself in his room, and as I got closer, I realized he was retelling the exact werewolf story I had been telling him - and in exact same way I tell it. The emphasis on certain words, the pauses. I was surprised and elated and my heart grew a little bit in that moment. I didn't realize the power of storytelling until then. He brought my dad to life - for both of us.
So for now, I know how I'll keep my parents alive for my kids - and for me - no matter how many days and months turn into years.
[top photo of my parents; bottom photo of me with Griffin (sleeping on me) & Louise over the weekend]