Happy birthday, Mommy

Today, my beautiful mommy would have turned 65 years young.

I just did the math, which isn’t easy for me, and realized that I’ve been living in this world for 19 months without her. But that’s not really true. Because she’s here. Even if I can’t always see her, I know she’s here.

Sometimes I see her in my dreams.

I remember, not long after she died, I had a dream that she was a spider. Now, I kinda-sorta hate spiders, but Mom taught me not to hate anyone or anything. Even birds. Whenever I’d curse at, or cower in fear of, the vile descendants of velociraptors, she’d look me straight in the eye and sing a song about God and sparrows. So, in the dream, I was about to squish the spider when something in me realized it was Mom. It took a few days, but Dad finally caught her and put her in a glass jar. I fed and watered her and sang her spider songs. I loved her, just as she would have expected me to.

Sometimes, my favourite times, I see her in the sky.

She’s my rainbow. The day of Mom’s funeral was bitterly cold, but loved ones braved the frigid temperatures so they could be there to celebrate the life of a woman who touched so many people with her kindness and joy. How fitting that her name was Joyce. Several relatives messaged us later to tell us they’d seen a rainbow on their way home.

On the days where I find I’m struggling the most, I’m stressed about something, or I just…miss her so much, I often see a rainbow.

I feel her in my heart.

A dear friend of mine, who lost her father unexpectedly at a young age, gave me the best piece of advice shortly after Mom died: Live your life for your mom, too. It’s so easy to stop living when the most important person in your life is no longer in your life, but that’s not fair. That would be an insult to my mother who did everything in her power to make my life so very wonderful. Her time on this Earth was cut far too short, and it’s my duty to make up for that lost time by enriching my days with exciting experiences, trying new things, taking risks, and living and loving like every day could be my last day.

I think Mom would have FREAKED about me going skydiving, but after it was over, and her baby had landed safely on the ground, she would have thought I was a total badass…and made me swear to never do it again. Truthfully, I did it for both of us. Being way up there, above the clouds, I felt like I could have reached out and touched her.

Sometimes I’ll go to restaurants and order something I know she’d love, just so I can taste it for both of us. When I see a movie advertised that I’m sure we’d both get a kick out of, I watch it with a big bag of popcorn drenched with extra butter, just the way she liked it. I wear her watches and jewelry. I spritz her perfume for special occasions. Hell, I’ve even grown to love her purses. This, coming from the girl who carried the same purse for a decade, until it basically disintegrated.

I just want to be close to her, always.

I’m picturing her partying in Heaven right now. Mom’s wearing knee-high rainbow toe socks, white shorts (after Labour Day!), and a soccer jersey, going against every bit of fashion sense she ever had…because she wants to be close to me, too.

Happy birthday, my sweet mommy. We’re all gonna eat cake for you today. xoxo

18 thoughts on “Happy birthday, Mommy”

  1. Laurie says:

    She was an extraordinary woman and the love you share is extraordinary too. (I will not say shared). Love you and I give you a hug in her honor.

    1. Deborah Anita May Techlowicz says:

      That is so very beautiful. It made me cry with sadness as I felt your broken heart… then they turned into tears of joy, because I knew you found a way to mend it… by living for her.
      You have a beautiful soul. You are super talented. You are able to express your every thought and feeling in wonderous prose.
      You have been blessed with a mother who loved you so very much and taught you well.
      You are your Mom. I am sure she is so proud of you and all that you have accomplished.
      I am sure she is well pleased πŸ’ž
      On a side note, today also happens to be my husband’s 65th birthday! πŸŽ‚for everyoneπŸŽˆπŸŽ‰

      1. Julie Evelyn Joyce says:

        Aww, Deborah, that means the world to me. I live every day to make my mother proud, and I know she’d be so grateful for all the support you’ve given me to help me through the toughest times. Happy 65th to your hubby! Give him a big hug for me! xoxo

    2. Julie Evelyn Joyce says:

      Aww, thank you so much, Mamalu! I love you, too! *hugs tight*

  2. Michelle Kelly says:

    *grabs a tissue* Waterworks flowing big time. I love you. Beautiful post.

    1. Julie Evelyn Joyce says:

      *hugs and hugs* Love you too, my Canadian sistah! Thanks so much for being there for me. xo

  3. Carol says:

    You are very brave, very wise, and a very talented writer. Now I’m going to pretend I didn’t read this so I don’t cry all day. I need to go find some babies to hug, since I can’t hug you. But if my arms were just a little bit longer, you’d be getting the biggest hug right now.

    1. Julie Evelyn Joyce says:

      I wish I could hug you right back. Whenever Mom and I would talk on the phone, she’d say, “Wrap your arms around yourself. You feel me hugging you?” I’d close my eyes and picture her right there with me. I love you and Mom loved you, and you are the best Almost-Mommy a girl could ever ask for! xoxo

  4. Lacey Techlowicz says:

    Happy Birthday to my beautiful cousin Joyce! You sound so amazing…thank you for your awesome beautiful daughter whom I gotten to bond with and know you as well. Love you Julie! You are amazing and I love you so much!! ((Hugs))

    1. Julie Evelyn Joyce says:

      Aww, Lacey, I love you, too! Thank you for being such a bright spot in my life. You have helped me through some of my darkest hours, and it means so much to know you’re always there when I need you. Mom would have loved you just as much as I do. πŸ™‚ xo

  5. Maggie Wells says:

    A mother couldn’t ask for a better tribute. I know Joyce is so proud of you!

    1. Julie Evelyn Joyce says:

      Thanks, my Bunny. Love you so, and I’m hugging you really hard in my mind. xoxo

  6. Kristan Higgins says:

    She would be so proud of you, Julie. I know you know that. I just wanted to echo it.

    1. Julie Evelyn Joyce says:

      I can never hear that enough. πŸ™‚ Thank you so much, Kristan. It’s your advice I was speaking of in this blog, and it truly changed my life. xoxo

  7. Martha says:

    Remembering a birthday and missing your mom too! Love your writing style.
    (So does your mom)

    1. Julie Evelyn Joyce says:

      Aww, thank you so much, Martha. Your words mean a lot to me. Love you! xo

  8. Lisa says:

    I miss her SO MUCH Julie !! — My sweet Auntie Joyce who spent so much of her time caring for others… Her hugs were so comforting… her thoughtfulness and love were never ending… and her laughter and sense of humour were things I loved most about her !! — She would be so proud of her independent and free spirited Daughter!! Today is a special day for us all to remember… Sending you BIG HUGS Julie… May you be blessed with SO MANY LOVING MEMORIES of your Mom today !!! xoxo <3… LOVE LISA xoxo

    1. Julie Evelyn Joyce says:

      Mom loved you for the same reasons, Lisa, as do the rest of us. Thank you so much for taking the time to share these sweet words with me–proof of YOUR thoughtfulness. I love you and I’m hugging you and blowing kisses from afar! xoxo

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