(I don't think this is mainpage-worthy) My mom passed away seven years ago tomorrow. I was 22 - one month and two days shy of my 23rd birthday. I had had the opportunity to come to know her as an adult from when I went away to college at 18 - so almost 5 years of adult friendship, with a side of parenting. It was the most important relationship of my life.
Relationships between mothers and daughters are so tense, even the good ones. A lot of "I want you to learn from my mistakes" on the mom side, and a lot of "I want to make my own decisions" on the daughter side. We had some of that. We also had a lot of shared interests - TV shows we'd "watch together" over the phone, hobbies we shared. I sometimes struggle to imagine losing one of my best friends and closest confidants, but when I really think about it, I have once before.
So I pick up, I move on. I only cry a little bit over her death now. Usually close to anniversaries. Always on Mother's Day. That's why her death anniversary is only the second hardest day of the year - my mother's birthday is almost always over Mother's Day weekend - or at least it has been several times since her death, including the year she died, and will be again this year. It's so hard for me to do the things a dutiful daughter-in-law does those days with regard to my partner's mother. It's so hard for me to get out of bed, to put on a happy, smiling face, to work to make sure that while my relationship with her is rocky at best, I don't show it, not that day. And I always have the hope that she acknowledges my pain. "Hey - I know Mother's Day is hard for you - I appreciate you being here." I'm lucky in that my partner does say these things - he does validate my feelings. I suppose it could be worse.
Anyway, I suppose the point of this is to acknowledge that there was a woman who walked this earth who loved her children as friends, who enjoyed watching ER and House, and who died a while back. I do this, every few years. Mark the passage of time. I've hit two years beyond the number of years I knew her as a woman and not a mom.