And Time Marched On

Six years ago tomorrow, my world stopped.
A phone call in the middle of the night turned my world on it’s axis.
I should have been sleeping the early dawn away.
Instead I was chasing it on a flight back to my hometown with a haphazard bag packed and my fiance.
I should have been wedding planning, but instead I found myself planning a funeral.
I should have done more about her alcoholism.
But what could a 25 year old do from 1000 miles away?

Should have.
Could have.
Would have. Haunting words, aren’t they?

Who stayed with her, working long past the time she was gone-
Because he couldn’t bear to leave her?
A paramedic who will ALWAYS have my heart, with whom I will always be connected.
Who drew the luckiest unlucky straw that night?
The night someone had to call me to say my mother had died?

Six years from the day my world stopped.
I am a different person.
A motherless daughter who is also a mother.
There are days when I march back to that March 1st.
Because I want to remember every detail.
The people who were already at the house when I got there.
The people who brought food.
The people who looked at me with such sympathy and compassion.

But there are days when I just to march forward.
To embrace this life I have now.
To not be sad, to not cry about a life that once was.
I once read a greeting card that said.
“Time not only has a way of healing us,
It also has a way of moving us forward.”
You know what.
It’s right.

This wild and precious life is mine.
Mine to honor her memory with.
Mine to love more.
Mine to forgive more.
Mine to embrace more.
Mine to be and do and see and go.

If I really dig deep,
Yes I am so sad she’s gone.
And I wish so much she was here.
But I am so happy at this point in my life.
A baby on the way.
A baby who isn’t a baby anymore.
A baby who speaks about the people he knows in heaven.
A husband who is supportive, kind, and everything wonderful.
A family of friends and family of blood- who know my story.
And love me always.

And me.
Oh how I’ve grown into a mini version of her in just the best ways.
A little sassy.
A lot of funny.
With a heart as big as the ocean and a spirit for adventure into the unknown.

I’m ready to dive deep.
To dive hard.
To give it all.
To be it all.
Because Time Marches On.
And so do I.

14 Responses to And Time Marched On

  1. Nancy@ThereIsGrace

    Oh, Nancyjo! My heart aches with your pain and I’m wiping tears even as I read. Such a beautiful honoring of your mother’s memory and anthem for your own soul to carry on. Carry on , my friend. Carry on.

  2. Nancyjo, I really appreciated your words here! I really love the good that came out of the terrible, but oh, I am sorry. I cannot imagine, and I will be remembering you tomorrow. I also truly loved “What Mama Did,” and the corresponding photo. Thank you for writing!

  3. andischroeder

    NancyJo, your words are beautiful, and your thought so clear and poetic. This is warm and heartfelt.

  4. Wow, this is gut-wrenching and beautiful. Pressing on in the best of ways… Marching back to honor and cherish. You are right, marching can go both directions. Blessings to you!

  5. Such. Great way to sum up the many conflicting ways we can feel when we lose a loved one. In the end, as a daughter, your best tribute to your mother is exactly what you are doing: living your life with happiness.

  6. Such beautiful, heartfelt words. I hope that your healing continues.

    I found you through the SITS Saturday Sharefest.

    Best Wishes,


    • Thank you so much for the kind words! I’ve found that each year it gets a little different, never easier, just different.

  7. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    I hope you know that your should have’s shouldn’t bother you. There really wasn’t anything you could do.

  8. So sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine the pain you must feel. I agree that the moving forward and honoring her with a wonderful and fulfilled life is the best.

  9. I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my own father to a long illness last year. He lived far away and I couldn’t be there for him like I wanted to be at the end, so I can relate to how you feel about your mother’s passing. Time and the day to day life with my children does help though.

  10. Molly Huggins

    Nancy, I love this … What a grace filled picture of grief and healing. Although, I have to smile a little because my post is how time DOESN’T march. Different context though.

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