Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.     —Marcel Proust

Last week, Mark’s mom died.  As you might imagine this was extremely difficult for me.  It’s so hard for me to put into words just what she meant to me.  Besides just being a wonderful and kind person, she was my connection to Mark.  We had her wake and funeral this week and it was just surreal.  Not only is this our first “big” death since Mark, but it’s also someone who was an important part of our family.  So yesterday while making plans with Mark’s brother to come see if there is anything from her house that I wanted for me or the kids, I realized I still have keys to her condo.  They were keys that were always on Mark’s key ring.  After he died, I kept them.  Never once did I use them, there was never any need.  But when I took them out of the drawer yesterday and held them in my hand for the first time in years, I was overcome with sadness.  Somehow, these keys, the keys to Nancy’s house, knowing I would be turning them over, somehow represented another HUGE loss for me.

These keys are a symbol.  A perfect metaphor for what will be missing from here on out.  Nancy was a key to my connection with Mark.  We had a special relationship, one where I could be open and share with her.  She was one of the only people who would still talk to me about Mark, often.  She had so many stories for me and the kids to keep him alive for us.  And now that she’s gone, so are they.  All these special moments vanished with her passing.  Moments that existed at one time, never to be remembered again.  Mark loved her so much, and so did I.  We were so lucky to have her in our lives, even when things were difficult.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t always perfect.  But never once did I doubt what the kids and I meant to her, even after Mark was gone.  If I could say one thing to her it would be thank you.  Thank you for loving me and Mark and our kids.  Thank you for always trying and for always thinking of others.  We always said “I love you” but I don’t know if I ever really told her how much I appreciated her.  I truly hope she knew.

Please say a prayer for me and the kids.  This has been a really tough loss for us.  The biggest thing that brings us comfort is knowing that Mark has his mom once again.  That’s exactly how she would have wanted it.