I am 52 years old today, but it is my first birthday without my mom. The regressive feeling that permeated through my veins, missing that first call, that lunch, that love. It is bound to happen in the year of firsts, and I dreaded the day. However, when the sun was shining in the morning, I thought I needed to get out and smell the lilacs, take that walk, meet with my amazing sister for lunch, enjoy life in her honor. As the black clouds rolled in later in the day, I was reminded that with the sun, comes the need for rain, symbolizing the tears I was holding in, holding back. We take for granted the love of a mother, until that day when it is gone. Then, miraculously a group of sister friends appeared and I saw how the warmth comes even during the storm. There will be another cycle. The life force is like that...it is wrapped in confusing and evolving emotions and the gift of family and friends do sustain us. My mom would have wanted me to know that.