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The first birthday without my mother


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It will be my 22nd birthday next week and also my first birthday without my mom. I am a senior in college and I lost my mother about 7 months ago. We woke up Thanksgiving morning to find that she had gone home to be with the Lord in the middle of the night. Let's just say that I have been taking it extremely difficult...it was a complete surprise and the events that morning still haunt me every day. My dad in a panic, my boyfriend performing CPR until the paramedics came, me starting to go into an asthma attack in front of the police, my grandmother helping to calm me down while my boyfriend gave my older brother the news...I remember every detail perfectly and I still wake up in the middle of the night having to catch my breath. Christmas, New Year's, her birthday, Easter...they were all difficult. Mother's day? I was a wreck. I wasn't in church 5 minutes before I was bawling my eyes out and having to leave. I even shut down from pretty much everyone the rest of the day...and now with 7 days before my birthday, I'm going into that depressed swing again... 

Every year on my birthday, my mom made it such a big deal. She would always wake me up early that morning and make sure she was the first one to wish me a happy birthday. She would sit on my bed and tell me how much she loved me, how proud of me she was, how special I am, and how I was her miracle. This was always the best thing to me because my mom made sure she felt well on my birthday and if she didn't, she faked it. Most of my memories of my mom were of her being sick. I never blamed her with her extensive medical history that I won't go into...but you see, when I was born, I was a literal miracle to my mom and she made sure that she told me that all the time. My mother did everything she could so that I could have a good birthday and for that, I am eternally grateful. 

With my birthday getting closer by the day, I will admit that I am going downhill emotion-wise. I even told my boyfriend that on my birthday, I don't want to do anything at all. I agreed to a dinner with my friends and a baseball game a week and a half after (he knows how much I love baseball), but I told him other than that, I just don't feel like doing anything on my birthday. Lord only knows that the dam will break at some point during the day. I know that it is my day and maybe it isn't best for me to just lay around the apartment...but my mom, she always made me feel special on my birthday (not saying that no one else makes me feel special). 

I went to her grave yesterday and I'll be honest, I cried like a baby. I then yelled at her gravestone that this is a nightmare and that I have to wake up...I eventually fell in front of the stone and I just kept saying that I didn't want to have my birthday. I begged God for answers and for why he took her. I kept telling her that I loved her and that all I wanted for my 22nd birthday is to feel her with me. I got a tattoo in her honor a few days ago and while my boyfriend was helping me clean and bandage it, I just broke down because all I wanted was my mom. I knew that her time on Earth was about to end but in complete honesty...I was never prepared for the pain that I've been feeling these past 7 months and for the pain I'll feel the rest of my life as I'll go through major milestones without her. My heart broke as I bought a "birthday girl" ribbon that she loved for me to wear on my birthday. I felt as though I was completely alone as I cried myself to sleep last night and God only knows that my 22nd birthday will be the hardest birthday I've had to celebrate...


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Dear Hanban,

I'm so sorry, I know how hard it is to go through a birthday without a beloved parent. The world just doesn't feel right or fair.

Your tattoo is a beautiful tribute to your beloved mom.

Keep taking it moment by moment. Please know we are with you. Thinking of you.

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