i was walking the other day with my husband...and it was a beautiful day. perfect weather. i wasn't pms, but i had this unshakeable gloomy feeling... and i thought and i thought what could it be and then i realized... july 8th marks the 3rd anniversary of my mother's death. and if she were here today...she would be 68 years old. i don't dwell on it all the time. not even kind of. i mean, yeah, she's always with me, and i have my moments of wondering what it'd be like if she hadn't died, and i miss her. a lot. but i am ok. it's just that the sweet/salty smell of summer brings memories of a hospital. and the last three days of my mother's life at home. it doesn't make me think of the beach and a carefree time. it fills me instead with heaviness and exhaustion. it reminds me of holding my mother's hand while she took her last breath. it reminds me of my sister and i laughing through giant tears while we let our mother go...together. it reminds me of chocolate covered pretzels that became my refuge. and egg sandwiches with cheese and turkey on kaiser rolls that were my sustenance. it reminds me of no-name hospital marble twisted donuts with a thick sugar coating so sweet it was almost nauseating. and i wondered how i got so extra fat while my mother was dying... the surreal nature of a sick parent... of a dead parent... still doesn't escape me. even though it isn't surreal at all anymore. it is still off and odd and weird and wrong. but it is real. and things like my dad remarrying soon. that's real too. and how it has propelled me to a totally different place now--one where i am arguably thriving--is maddening, fascinating and sad..all at the same time. maddening because my mother isn't here to see me now. this way. not fat. and a whole lot stronger. fascinating because i know i wouldn't be the way i am now if she hadn't gotten sick and left me to figure out how to live without her. sad because i miss her so much. my sister has been telling me lately that i look like my mom. and that i'm just like my mom. my mom was thin from 40ish on.. and she had a perpetually jiggly long ass (thanks mom!) and thin arms (thanks mom!) and not so lovely thighs (thanks mom!) and a huge personality (thanks mom!) and a whole lot of crazy (THANKS MOM!) and my mom had a warmth that was infectious. and a devotion to us that was ever clear. i'm embarking on a new chapter in my life... new website, new-ish radio show, book coming out, opportunities to chase and explore, risks to take, some rewards hopefully too. living life in my not so fat body. all exciting. all nerve wracking... and i wouldn't change any of it. we don't get to pick the defining moments in our lives. they just happen. july 8th 2008. defining moment.