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In February, you will have been gone a year. How is that right? It was just yesterday. I still remember the day we got the diagnosis. One I knew was coming but still prayed wasn’t true. I still remember promising you that everything was going to be okay, and knowing that it wasn’t. I still remember the first time I saw you and thought to myself, “The dementia is moving too fast.” It was just yesterday.

I still feel your hand in mine as I sat next to you in the hospital bed. You were talking and humming along while we sang your favorite song. I still remember them wheeling you in on the stretcher and moving you to your hospice bed. It was just yesterday, right?

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I remember the urgency and can still hear my own heart beating out of my chest when the hospice nurse called and said, “I think it’s time.” I can feel the wind in my hair as I ran up the steps from being gone on a walk, praying to God I didn’t miss it. I remember the elephant lifting off my chest when your heartbeat came back, but also the punch in my gut because I knew you were in pain. It was just yesterday.

I hear the broken record player of the rattle in your throat. I still feel the motion in my hands as we put lipstick on you because you wouldn’t dare let people see you like this without it. I still feel my body numb as I stood at your bedside and knew that you were gone. The same bedside I left for one minute, just sixty seconds. I still feel the weight of my body as it hit the ground and the burn of my tears as they rolled down my face when the stethoscope didn’t pick up your beautiful heartbeat. It was just yesterday.

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I still remember begging God not to take away my mama. My best friend in the entire world. I feel the rain coming down on your red coat as I waited for the hearse to arrive at your house. I feel the leather in the backseat sticking to my legs as I thought, “I should have worn tights.” The way you looked after they shut the casket for the last time. The stare of everyone you have ever loved watching me as I tried to find the words to say goodbye to you. It was just yesterday.

But it wasn’t, it was almost a year ago. So why do I wake up every day and ache for you? Why can I still hear you call my name and tell me you love me? Why can I still hear your contagious laugh? Why does it feel like time is flying by and me and my grief can’t catch up? A girl shouldn’t have to be without her mama, but I know you are in Heaven saving me a seat. Until then, I will pretend, it was just yesterday.

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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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