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within 7 years

Within 7 years, a child learns to walk, talk, converse, write their name & even start to read stories. They have memories that stick, they know who they are and who their parents are, what love is.

Within 7 years, a teenager grows into an adult; dealing with hormones, sex, experimenting and learning.

Within 7 years, you grow, recede, and grow some more. You learn and discover more of yourself, your values, your intrinsic self.

Within 7 years, every cell in your body is replaced by a new cell. Every cell who once knew her is gone.

Within 7 years, she had built her family and had her last baby on the way. She had two more 7 year cycles with us. The third cycle sees her baby turning 21 without her.

Within 7 years, I have become accustomed to a life without her and yet not used to it at all. I have thought of her every day, have cried out for her and only wished to be immersed in a mum hug.

Within 7 years, the weight of the words ‘I miss mum’ become heavier because they become lighter for everyone else. Because time has passed, it’s natural to miss her, but it’s assumed the hurt isn’t as present. You tell people it was 7 years ago so they think you’re okay with it now; you’re used to it now.

Within 7 years, you learn that some days the pain feels as fresh as it did on the day you passed. Other days it’s just a distant beat of a broken heart.

Within 7 years, you discover that making constant mistakes is all part of the human experience and sometimes you will let in people who will only hurt you some more. Sometimes, it intensifies the hurt of losing her; others, it pales in comparison.

Within 7 years, you realise that perhaps, time doesn’t heal all wounds. Patience and a desire to heal is the only remedy.

Within 7 years, you learn that grief nestles itself into you. It becomes a part of you, not your entirety, and sometimes it’s so quiet that you don’t even know it’s there; nonetheless, a part of you.

Within 7 years, you adapt to a new normal but some moments, it still shocks you. You go to pick up the phone to call her, or you think of a question to ask; there’s a sweet, blissful moment when you don’t remember.

Within 7 years, you step more into who you are and find more pieces of yourself that reflect who she was. It makes you proud and breaks your heart all at once.

Within 7 years. Ma, I’ve thought of you every single day. I have felt comforted in the idea you’re around somehow, somewhere. I have felt broken, not knowing how to get through to you or tap into the part of me that knew you. I have yelled into the abyss for taking you away. I have cried silent tears, and I have laughed when I remembered small, happy things about you. I have had days where I struggle to remember good moments, and those are the moments that hurt the most. But within 7 years, I have held on to the love from you and pushed through. I love you always.