Grief is a hard process. I will likely never get over the loss of my mom. While I am grateful she is no longer suffering, I think about her endlessly and miss the sound of her voice. I am incredulous that she will not see my daughter grow up or hear about my new job teaching elementary art or be here at Christmas. But I also know that she would want me to thrive. So I have been drawing throughout the day when I can steal time from the toddler whirlwind. Baby steps for me and my daughter, figuratively and literally.
As I read through emails from more than a decade ago, I was struck by how positive and loving my mom was. She was truly my biggest fan, but furthermore an incredible example of resiliency. As she overcame a horrendous violent crime against her by a serial killer, she emailed me this passage from St. Francis:
My mom, my #1 fan, passed away after battling pancreatic cancer (her third separate cancer case - all fought bravely). I can't really believe she's gone, and look to the flowers and sunlight she loved as a sign of her presence. She was a real free spirit and a beloved person. Her funeral was standing-room only in the back of the church and the reception was over capacity with well wishers and her favorite zydeco band, Lagniappe. She would be 62 today. Happy birthday to my beloved mother, Rebecca Gilliam.
For our baby girl's 1st birthday (!!), I didn't want to feed her the questionable (& delicious) grocery store cake the rest of us devoured. I'm hoping she can avoid my turbo sweet tooth.
I used this recipe (but subbed butter for coconut oil since that's what I had), and the adults that tried it (since not everyone wants to eat super sugary cake) loved it: http://www.fitmamarealfood.com/babys-first-smash-cake-healthy-no-sugar-banana-cake/