One week from today marks the death of my best friend, my protector, my fountain of wisdom, my champion… my Mom. I find it hard to believe that it has been a year. I still cry every morning… I call it my, “Mom Time.” I have adapted to my new daily routine as a non caregiver. My life does not revolve around doctor’s appointments, therapy sessions, meal planning, and helping with dressing and bathing. I sleep through the night without having to help anyone to the bathroom. I have a full time job now that pays the bills and do not worry about how long I can go without bringing money in to pay for home health aides and medical supplies. I do not have the nagging feeling when I am out that I must get home soon, because my mother needs me to make a meal or help her get into bed. My back does not hurt, as it did from transferring someone from recliner to wheelchair, wheelchair to chairlift, chairlift to wheelchair, wheelchair to toilet, toilet to wheelchair, wheelchair to bed. I do not have the many arguments, about the least important things, that my mom and I would inevitably have. Wow! Sounds like my life is so much better now… it isn’t. I miss each and every worry, pain in my back, financial woe, and what I wouldn’t give again to have a full blown argument again with her. I would do anything if I could just see her infectious smile, hear her joyful laughter, or feel her tender touch again. We were always close, but our family triumphs, tragedies, and losses that we experienced together created an unusually strong bond. While I am stronger because of her, I am also weaker without her. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss her. She was a survivor, I am a survivor. The world is just not quite as sunny, or funny, or loving, or tender, or poetic, or special since she left us… almost one year ago.