I am a wreck.
Though I've been good at keeping my emotions under control at work, it's a different story everywhere else. I cry in the morning while driving to work. I cry on my way home from work. I cry at home.
My mother died on July 9, and I'm having a hard time dealing with it.
I cried when I canceled her newspaper subscription and cable service. I cried when I kept calling my cellphone from her home phone just so I could hear her ringtone and see her photo pop up on my screen.
I know I'm pouring salt into my own wound. But it's hard to stop.
I try to keep my emotions under control, though, when I'm around my grandchildren -- Tilleigh, 7; Evie, 4, and William, 23 months. I don't mind them knowing that I miss her desperately, but I don't want them to see me crying all the time.
And, admittedly, being around them helps keep the tears at bay.
They miss her, and, sometimes, they cry, too. Evie cried at art camp last week. We don't know what triggered her emotional outbreak, but thankfully, an instructor was sympathetic to her tears. Turns out, the instructor was Evie's age when her own grandmother died. Her words of wisdom calmed my baby girl.
The girls also got very emotional one night last week as they wrapped themselves in a quilt of Mother's while watching TV. In unison, they said, "This smells like Nannie."
But the great thing about kids is that they can go from feeling low one minute to feeling great the next. We were holding one another, all of us wrapped in the quilt, and crying when the movie we rented started to play. The girls soon jumped from my embrace, sat back and started watching the movie. I most likely would have kept on crying for awhile, but they showed me that it's OK to stop crying and enjoy life.
My mother would not want me to cry all the time, but she knew that I would. She worried about me. That's what loving mothers do. Just days before she died, she told me to take care of myself. I need to listen to my mother. Always.
I'll be OK as time goes by. I'm not sure when I'll stop crying, and I know I'll never stop missing her, but I will enjoy life and continue to devote myself to my family. After all, it's what she taught me to do.
Contact Karen Nazor Hill at email@example.com or 423-757-6396.
Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...