March Days

What’s up with March this year?  All sunny, spring like, daring me to leave coat behind and linger in the sun awhile.

I don’t like it.

Here in my northeast corner of the country, March is typically cold, dreary skies with drippy, dirty snow everywhere.  Roaring in like a lion proves true.  March doesn’t saunter in with a bright smile.  It’s foul weather for foul moods.

March is the month my mother died from breast cancer and ever since, March reminds me of death, not the birth of spring.  No matter how hard it tries.

Though some years, it takes a few days.  I’ll go about my business without a thought of that moment twelve years ago, but inevitably I’ll wake one early March morning with a start, swearing I’d forgotten something, enduring a nagging, clinging feeling that lasts all day.

What have I lost?

Then I remember, all of it.  And it all seems so familiar now, like scenes from a sad movie.  Memories of a family holding vigil by a bedside, quietly coming and going. Whispered voices, a sleeping face, a turban askew.  The chilly, dark weather providing the perfect backdrop for the grief within the house, inside all of us.

I can’t write of happy things in March.  Even now, years later.

Sorry, March — I know it’s not your fault.  You’re a victim here, caught in a tragedy, forever to be seen as the month of endings.  Wrong place, wrong time.

Now, I spend these days pretending this month is like any other, but reminders are everywhere forcing me to face my loss.

In my son’s school for library duty I accidentally come across the Kindergarten in the hall. My son’s teacher calls out.  He’ll be happy to see me, she says.  Someone is missing Mommy.

Near the end of the line my little guy was walking, head down, mouth turned under bearing some unseen weight.  He hadn’t yet spotted me, but when he did he made a beeline for my side.  Without words, I knelt down, scooped him close and hugged as if our lives depended on it, as if I needed it just as much.

I hugged hard remembering someone who’s gone.

I hugged hard because I’m still here.

I hugged hard enough to carry us through the unknown years ahead and I hugged hard because I knew how he felt.

After a minute I pushed away asking if he would rejoin his class.  He said yes and went off to finish his day cheered up by an unexpected rush of mommy love.

I went off too, feeling a bit better, hoping the power of that hug in this month of March when I’m missing my own mother, will last a long, long time.

9 thoughts on “March Days

  1. This makes me cry, Stacey. How hard March must be for you, coming in like a lion. October and November are my months to endure, when my beloved father and mother respectively passed away. I can't face the beginnings of those months without hugs from my sons. The first family member I saw after 9/11/01, after driving for 3 hours, was my oldest son. I'll never forget our hug, a long poignant one filled with survivor guilt, but also thankfulness that we had each other. I'll be praying for you this month, sending welcome thoughts your way. It's never easy and no words can ever totally assuage the hurt. Hugs, Jan


  2. What a beautiful post, Stacey. My eyes filled with tears as I read it. I can see why March is so painful to you, how the loss gets to you. March is, for many regions, a turbulent month, so I also see how this is so fitting to your mood. I'm so glad you could be there for your son. What a beautiful story and what a great mom you are!


  3. Jan, thank you so much for your comment and prayers. I'm sorry you have two tough months to face, but happy your children can provide some joy. We're lucky we have that. Hugs from me, too.


  4. Hi Beth, I think it takes one great mom to know another. I was teary writing this, but only because it's all so true. I wish my boys could know my mother. What a loss for them, but what is there to do? Stop breast cancer from taking anybody else, I suppose! Thanks for writing, Beth.


  5. Stacey,Well, as you know, I lost my mom in March too, so I can really empathize. March can be pretty brutal can't it? This post is so touching. I'm glad you were there to give your son a hug at that exact moment. I wish you could still get hugs from your mom. You've missed a lot in those twelve years. All you can do is carry the memories of your mom (and her hugs)in your heart. Sending you a hug now.


  6. Hi Nancy, I remembered your mom was also March. Seems fitting with the weather. I can't imagine that kind of grief in bright summer, can you? It's getting hard to remember my morher's hugs. That's why I want so much to remember my sons'. Hang is there. Spring is coming. Love to you.


  7. Stacey, remembering those awful days and also the bittersweetness of your wedding day and welcoming your boys without her. It's been a difficult journey, to say the least, but not without glimmers of joy like the one you so eloquently captured here. Hugs today.


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