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Remember that post I wrote back in October when I said my mother had had a stroke and was in the hospital? That was 5 months ago.

She came home Saturday.

Home to a drastically rearranged apartment that will accommodate a wheelchair and a walker and a big-ass oxygen tank.

I haven’t said anything here because I haven’t said anything anywhere, really. I didn’t want to jinx it.

Life is going to be different now, but different doesn’t necessarily mean bad. Things have changed. I’ve changed. She’s still MoC – still feisty and amusing. She still has the same smile and the same laugh. Other than the fact that she can’t navigate without the walker, you probably wouldn’t even notice a difference.

But I do. I am so happy and grateful that I don’t even have words for it. Trying to find the words is making me cry, actually. But I am deeply scared, too. I am 44 years old certainly old enough to realize that everyone is mortal … but I always thought MoC was invincible. These last months have taught me some pretty hard lessons.

The most important lesson I learned is that we can’t hold onto people – not really. The harder we try, the faster they slip away. The best we can do is love them with everything in us and know that somehow, even though it doesn’t seem like it, that will be enough.

It has to be enough.

The alternative is unthinkable.