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I never pictured myself without my mama at only 26 years old. I never saw a life when I couldn’t just pick up my phone to call you after the worst day at work. I never thought I would be crying over one of your recipes at Christmas time because I just can’t make it taste like you did. I never thought I would be jealous when I heard my friends talk about meeting up with their mom for a girl’s day. Here’s the thing, yes I knew it would eventually happen, but I pictured the both of us a lot older and with a lot more memories.

I never pictured you starting to lose your memories in your 50s, or how scary it would be when you forgot how to draw a clock. I never imagined how terrifying it would be to watch you struggle to find the right words and get so frustrated when I didn’t understand. I never imagined you would get lost on your way home from the beach, somewhere you went every single warm day you could. I never imagined the strongest woman I know, who had been through so much trauma in her life, having to fight yet again another unfair battle. I never thought I would hear the diagnosis is dementia.

I pictured you as a gray-haired grandma who still gets her hair dyed blonde because she “wasn’t old enough to be gray yet.” I pictured you in your 60s, retired and finally getting to live her life. I pictured you going on trips with your friends, without a care in the world and doing all the traveling that being a mother never allowed you to do.

I pictured you in the delivery room with me when I had a baby for the first time, and knowing I would be the one having to talk you through it because you hated hospitals or going to the doctor. But you would have been there, and that would have been enough. I saw you in your red Mini Cooper with the windows down, driving over your favorite bridge at the beach. You would be lying in the sun, soaking up every ray it gave you, just so you could save it up and let a little bit of sunshine back into the world whenever it got dark.

That’s what you did, it’s who you were. You were the person who could enter any room and light it up with your smile, your contagious laugh, your quick wit. I never in a million years thought the only way I would be able to hear your voice would be through your voicemail or old videos that I am so thankful I saved. I never thought I would drive myself crazy recounting all the days until your last, wondering if I missed something or if there was anything else I could do. I never dreamed I would see a sun rising or setting over the water and pray that, in some way, it’s you coming back to me and letting me know the sun still shines even though you are gone.

If you still have your mama, pick up the phone and call her, just because you can. Take her out to lunch and sit for way too long, just because you can. Ask her questions and make her tell you stories that you have heard 100 times, just because you can. Tell her she is the best mama in the entire world and that you love her more than anything, just because you can. Truth is, one day you won’t be able to do any of those things, and you never think it will be you . . . until it is.

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So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Madison Anders

I'm Madison! I am a wife, teacher, and the daughter of an angel. In my spare time, you can find me reading my favorite book or binge-watching a show on Netflix. I write because I am grieving, and I hope to help others who are grieving too.

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