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Three Years

Tomorrow will be three years since my mom died. I hate calling it an anniversary (because those are happy…or they SHOULD be), but I don’t know what other word to use. Somewhere, there’s a gap in the language, and there’s no right word. So, I’m settling for anniversary, since it is a remembrance.

Does it get easier as time passes? Not exactly. It is just a different ache. Think of it this way: you have surgery to fix your knee. The pre-op pain is one thing. The post-op pain is another. And then the pain you feel, even years later, when it rains – that’s its own thing too. It’s still pain, still a reminder. And some days are worse than others. You take Advil and you get on with the day, as much as you can.

It’s like that. And yes, tomorrow is going to be hard, because you always miss what you love. Who you love. And I loved my mom. And she loved me. Even when she did not like me.

But what I want to do, right now, is give you some advice. And that is to tell you to wake up. To stop holding back. To stop being so practical all of the time. It is important to take risks, to fall in love, to shout that love out loud, and to be the bravest version of you – braver than you even thought you could ever be. Because life is painfully, ridiculously short. And a single phone call, word, kiss, or adventure could change your life.

Point being: change your life. Change it for the better. Surround yourself with people who lift you up and make you laugh. Take a day and play hooky with someone you adore. Tell your siblings you love them. Tell your parents. Tell your kids. Hell, tell that one other person, who you maybe have never told before.

Do not assume someone KNOWS they are loved, even if they do. There’s a difference between feeling it, knowing it, and hearing it. Saying it out loud matters. Even if it fucking scares you, even if it is just to SAY it. Say it, for god’s sake.

Go on one random adventure a year. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant one. Go visit a friend. Go hiking someplace new. Take a road trip with your best friend. Get a massage. Read a damn good book. Sit out in the sun in a hammock. Find out what you love, and do that. Don’t let yourself stay still because there’s comfort in routine. Because you’re afraid of what people might say or think. Because you’re afraid of not knowing how it will all work out. It will work out.

Make art. Make something. I don’t care if you superglue horse shoes together. Or make a macaroni frame or sand art. Make something. Hell, make a cake. Some cakes are pretty. Mine are not. But the world needs beautiful things.

And you need things in your life that make you smile. The day will always have the same 24 hours in it, but surround yourself with people and things that make those days count. And for god’s sake, if you miss someone, tell them. If you appreciate someone, tell them. And as I already said, if you love someone, tell them.

Don’t keep anything in a drawer for someday or one day. Wear heels to the grocery store. Wear a dress to work. Kiss someone in a car or a parking lot. Be silly. Laugh. Hug your dog. Get a dog. Go to a convention. Cosplay. Dye your hair an insane color. Get a tattoo.

Which is all to say: live. Don’t just exist. Don’t just count the days until the weekend, until the clock stops. Because it could always stop in an instant. You may not have any warning. You may have a warning. Neither way is easy.

Take a risk. Take a chance. Make sure your people, blood or otherwise, know they matter. Don’t leave ever a sliver of doubt there. Don’t chance it with someone else’s heart. And never underestimate the power of showing up, stepping up, and showing how you feel.

I forget who said it, and this isn’t exact, but there’s a quote that goes something like: people won’t always remember what you said, they won’t always remember what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.

Words are good. Actions are good. But feelings, man – they matter. And in case I haven’t said so lately, you matter. You matter to me. Always. There’s no getting around that. There’s no sidestepping my heart. I’m a big ol’ CareBear.

So, in case you forgot, in case you are doubting, in case you maybe can’t seem to fathom this truth – I love you.

Now, go on. Get out there. There’s no damn time put aside for wasting.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. mandy
    August 6, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    I make ugly cakes too 🙂 but we can run a wicked good art studio together as Barbie’s 😉 I will be sure to keep you, your dad, and brothers in my thoughts tomorrow. Your mom was so special to everyone who’s lives she touched. My childhood has its soundtrack based upon riding in the backseat of your mom’s car. Billy Joel, rod stewart, elton john, and musicals galore (although I think that was more you and your aunt Debbie than your mom’s choice lol)

    • August 7, 2015 at 10:29 am

      Is it ridiculous that I still remember our slogan? Arts R Us: if you can imagine it, we can draw it! hahah That cracked me up. Thank you, Mandy, for everything you said — and for reaching out. It means a lot, more than I can say. And oh man, yes! All of that music reminds me of her, and you, and stopping at Sandy’s for Nutty Buddies and gummy fish. Thank you for making me smile! Love you!

      On Thu, Aug 6, 2015 at 10:24 PM, alwayscoffee wrote:


  2. August 7, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    In honor of this post, I just wanted to say that I always can’t wait until you post something new in case no one’s told you that before.

    • August 9, 2015 at 10:33 am

      That is the absolute sweetest thing — thank you SO much for telling me that. Totally made my morning. ❤

      • August 9, 2015 at 1:09 pm

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