500 days

505 days ago my mother died.

520 days earlier, she received her first chemotherapy treatment. She’s been gone nearly as long as she was sick.

Much can transpire in a single moment.  The moments gently layer upon each other, and accumulate mostly unnoticed until maybe a year and some change later you look back with a gentle shake of the head and say to yourself, damn, a lot has happened in the past 500 days.

Maybe you conceived and delivered the baby who is suckling at your breast.  Many of my friends did.

Maybe you lost your mind, the last remnants of your freedom.  My grandmother did.

Maybe you became a vegan and lost 40 pounds and now spend your free time hiking in the mountains. My stepfather did, and does.

Maybe your marriage ended. My sister’s did, my best friend’s did, mine did.

A handful of months, 500 days or so– enough time to snuff out a life, to create a life, to reclaim a life.

And what will I do with the next 500 days? What will you do?

19 thoughts on “500 days

  1. Connie Howard

    This somehow captures it… how endings and beginnings and grief and hope co-exist in an endless spiral. It also somehow captures my new emotional temperature (more contemplative aware one perhaps?) since my own upheaval. Thank-you.

  2. Laura Roe Stevens

    I’m so glad that I stumbled upon your post. Your words have inspired me at a time that I find myself at a loss. Nothing dramatic…just looking back on loss and feeling a bit stuck. Thank you.

  3. liz

    and so it is with life. changes, pain, sadness, and yet, always hope. for me, my wife has been in the hospital for 4 months out of the past year, battling anorexia and i’ve fought my own battles knowing what and where i need to be. here’s to the next 500 days. may we make it the best we can. thank you for this post.

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  5. Kathy

    Great post. I lost my mom to pancreatic cancer 1,627 days ago. Sometimes it feels like just yesterday and there are other times when it feels like she’s been gone for longer. What always struck me is that my mom’s life stopped, but the world around us just kept going like nothing had happened. Something catastrophic occurred in my life, but life kept moving forward. There were times when I stopped too, gotten stuck, merely existing instead of truly living and I know I’ve blogged about this. Too see what has changed since my mom died, all I have to do is look at the faces of my kids and how much they’ve grown. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Barb

    As Mary Oliver said, “‘Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” I don’t think we ever truly know, and for that reason we are always reinventing ourselves. I wish you peace in whatever path you choose for this next leg of the journey.

  7. runningonsober

    “And it seemed to me
    That every plan
    Was a tiny prayer to Father Time…”
    Death Cab for Cutie’s “What Sarah Said”

    You know, I hope my family and I are blessed with my 500 more days. I hope there will be no goodbyes. I hope I can live in the moment and feel gratitude swell in my heart each day.

    It’s so nice to see a post from you. You’ve been missed. ~ Christy

  8. lifecorked

    Thanks for this. Today, it’s been 7 years since my mom died of pancreatic cancer. So much has happened over those years, yet it seems like yesterday. I miss her. That will never change. But, I have hope in the future and that gives me peace.

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