Seven Years.  Today my mother has been gone from this earth for 7 years.  It's crazy to think about all that has transpired within seven years, that she has not been here to witness.  She has walked with me in spirit all along the way, I know.  But oh the things I wish I could sit down and talk with her about.  The difference in who I have become from age 25 to 32.  I guess actually I am a completely different person, since I have heard it takes 7 years for every cell in our bodies to die and renew themselves.  But in so many ways, I am such a different person.  I wish I could sit down with her, through all the things Ive experienced and learned, and have real heart to hearts with her.  I'd love to still get to know her more deeply as a person too.  I'd love to inquire about so much.  I'd love for her to still be my best friend, here on earth.

One thing seven years has also brought though is peace.  Peace with her being gone.  I'll never stop wishing she was here, of course, but I am so much more at peace with the reality of it these days.  This summer will be 4 years since my daddy has been gone too.  I think part of the peace comes from the time gone by since I lost him too.  Just as I was gaining peace a few years ago with my mom's death, my dad was suddenly gone too, and the pain started all over again.  Some days life is simply just odd without them here.  Some days it just hits me.  Cuts to the bone when I know I will never be able to touch their skin again.   Some days it feels like I never had parents to begin with.  I know that sounds strange.  But there are times, when day after day of them not being here, it begins to feel like they were never here.  I can't describe it.  I feel so thankful when they visit me in my dreams, or show themselves through an animal in passing.  Those little moments that bring them back to life in a flash. 

Seven years ago I lost the most amazing woman I have ever known.  I am so blessed I was HER daughter.  From what so many people tell me, she lives on through me in so many ways.  I hope people never stop seeing her when they look at me. 

I have a photo of her that I keep next to me on my desk.  It was from a day her and I had a date at a local (gone) coffee shop called Fool Moon.  We sat outside in the sunshine, drank coffees, talked, and got silly with the camera.  It's a picture of her sipping her coffee, and her eyes just radiate.  Everyone in my family has a copy of it, and they all say its their favorite picture of her.  I remember the fun and joy we had with each other that day, and it radiates from her eyes.  I would kill to sit on that bench with her one more time and tell each other all of our secrets.  But since I know I can't, instead I have heart to hearts with her in my mind.  I talk to her through the trees and with the birds.  I seek the love she held day after day through my own living.  In my heart, she will always be alive.