Mother's Day is here and it's my first one without Mom. My mother, Evelyn Levine, died on April 19, and it was a huge personal loss as well as the end of an era. She was the last of the Greatest Generation in her family. More importantly, she was an amazing mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, as well as my biggest fan.
Twelve months in and you accept that the month she died will always be the hardest. It's been 364 days since you held her hand and pulled the plug, but you still can't bear to listen to old voicemails, afraid of what her voice on tape might do to you (even though you've heard her laugh every day since she died).
Leah was only 23 years old when her mother and father died from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning leaking from a water heater in their home in Africa in 2007. Though their deaths were sudden, shocking and devastating, Leah has developed, thrived and maintained a close connection to their memories.
Not a day goes by that I don't look for him in other people's faces. Not a day goes by that I don't grasp to hold the memories together. Not a day goes by that I don't try to hear his voice again so that I won't lose it. Not a day goes by that I don't try to question him for the answers to my doubts.
I want them to hear my voice, through movies and through my words. I want them to see themselves through my eyes, through my pictures. I want them to hear us laugh together. I want them to see that I could not stop kissing their delicious cheeks. I want them to see that I was happy. Because of them. Because of the love that enveloped us every day.