When I started this blog, I made a promise to myself that I’d post something at least once a month. Usually, in practice, that meant the last week of the month. As loyal readers of this space have surely noticed, I’ve broken that promise for the past three months. Apologies.

I enjoy sharing snapshots of my life, crafting little essays that capture my current state-of-mind for posterity. Unfortunately, any snapshot I would have shared of my life in November and December would have been too painful. The last week of November, my mother entered a hospital in my home town for tests regarding abdominal pain. One month later, on Christmas Day, she took her last breath.

It’s a strange thing, to lose your mother. We all expect to, someday, I assume, but nothing can prepare you for the absence created when it happens. In my case, it was unexpected. A previously healthy woman, she was diagnosed with endometrial (uterine) cancer a few days after she entered the hospital. The cancer spread wickedly with a gusto no one, not even her doctors, could have anticipated. Lightening striking. A flash, then gone. Forever.

Perhaps at some point I’ll be ready to share more about my loss. But not yet. The personal is still the private, in this case. That’s okay. But, since I’ve opened this box to share with you my joys, I felt the least I should do is to acknowledge – however fleetingly — my sorrows, as well.