The night started off with an hour phone conversation with Dad about careers.
Then I had leftovers and one of my cupcakes from my birthday.
I painted my nails a shimmery shade of maroon as I watched re-runs of Say Yes to the Dress.
My mind couldn't help but think forward to the day when I will pick out my [second] wedding gown.
I texted pictures to my mom back in 2010 of the dresses as I tried them on and she was there in 2011 to lace up my dress and hug me tightly.
One year and exactly one month from my wedding day, she was gone.
She won't be there next time.
I can't look to her for approval and to see that little smile of hers.
[Exactly two years ago today, watching me get ready]
As the sadness began to overwhelm me, I reached down onto my coffee table and started re-reading a book from my dear friend Shayna called Motherless Daughters.
"But wherever I traveled, I carried within me a sadness I couldn't leave behind, no matter how forcefully I tried. Someone dies, you cry, and then you move on: This was no mystery to me. Far less clear was how the effects of this loss were likely to appear and reappear throughout the rest of my life."
I sat there on my couch on a Friday evening, sobbing.
Unable to control the sounds from my mouth and gasps for air.
I just need my mom.
I needed her when she lay there helplessly and hopeless in the hospital bed.
I needed her the week before she went to the emergency room.
I needed her when I took her back and forth to her doctors' appointments.
And then I suddenly became a 26-year-old woman, still trying to heal from my own heartbreak when she, my mother, my inspiration, my best friend... was taken from me. Never to give me a word of advice again.
And that became my life's biggest tragedy.
This is on my heart so often.
Learning how to live without my mother.
How to continue growing on my own as a woman without the one woman who was always there to guide me.
I know I'll never stop needing her.
I know her presence will always be missed.
I know my life has been forever changed.
I know the effects of this loss will appear and reappear throughout the rest of my life.