How curious it is that so often the most enormous days of our lives can simultaneously feel so close and so far away. Today marks half a decade since mom died and yet it seems both like it was only yesterday and like it was another lifetime. My two year old is now seven and I have a two year old again.

Neither of them will have any memories of their paternal grandmother. The older one only met her twice and long before he was forming legitimate long-term memories. The younger one was born years after her death. She’ll exist to them both only in the words I’ve written here, pictures in albums and shoeboxes, and the stories I tell; and that will forever make me a little sad.

I miss her as much today as I did in the months before she died, when she was already gone but still living. But it’s different now, of course. The cannon balls haven’t stopped, but they’re muffled and hazy most of the time, as if they’re happening to a different ship.

I miss you, mom. And I wish you were here. I’ll probably never understand why or accept that you’re not, but I don’t think you’d want me to be as sad as I was then. I’m not. But I still miss you.