So Long, Summer

For most of 2017, I had a hard time making any kind of travel plans. What if something happened to my mom? That fear was always in the back of my head, every single time I got on a train or a plane to somewhere that wasn’t Franklin Lakes, NJ or Manhattan.

I made so many contingency plans: if “it” (the “it” obviously being her passing that we couldn’t put into words for fear saying the words would make it true) happened when I was away, I’d obviously come back right away. After going to Australia the week after a big emergency surgery she had, I was afraid to book any new travel and anything I did book, I bought travel insurance for and knew there was a chance I might not go.

Hook Windmill

But when she did pass away on July 8, I knew I wanted to get away. Once it became apparent this spring that she might not make it through the year, I started telling friends I just couldn’t wait to get away after. To get on a plane and go somewhere different than where I’d spent the past 9 months worrying about her.

A number of my friends have moved to LA recently, and so LA became my destination. I had this weekend, Labor Day, booked in the Hamptons since earlier this year (and have done the same for the past 4 Labor Days), and I ran into friends at the Junior League that said they were going to East Hampton in early August, did I want to come? I would have taken any plane, train or automobile to be in some sort of new surroundings and I spent as much of August away as I could. 

Griffith Observatory

The past few weeks have become a new level of hard as the shock wears off and shifts into accepting the cold, stark reality of my new life without my best friend, my mom, but I’m proud of how I salvaged the summer.

I wrote on Instagram how the end of summer is always sad to me (Team Summer ALL THE WAY here), but obviously the end of this summer is bittersweet as I close this, the most difficult season of my life, and enter a new season and encounter even more “firsts” with the holidays coming up and as I attempt not to play the “this time last year/2 years ago/10 years ago, my mom and I were ____” game.


For that reason, I want summer to end as much as I don’t. This summer was so painful and sad, but also beautiful. Every day/week/month/season that goes by makes me feel that much more disconnected from our time together, and I’m hanging on to time, as I’ve learned how precious every single second is.

2 comments on “So Long, Summer

  1. Anne

    I just wanted to say that I cannot even imagine what you are going through, and your strength, openness, and willingness to share as you live each day without your mom…. is amazing. You put a human face on what can be a very abstract concept, and one so difficult to articulate. Thank you for still coming back here, and writing, and helping those of us who *don’t* know what it’s like to have maybe a teeny tiny inkling of just how hideous it is to lose a loved one to this hideous disease.
    Cancer sucks.

    1. Theodora Blanchfield Post author

      Thank you so much <3

      Writing is definitely a lot of how I process things — my mom used to call me sometimes after I wrote a particularly vulnerable post and say "I didn't know you felt that way," and I'd often say "I didn't either, until I wrote."

      A few friends lost parents before me, and their writing during their moms' sickness, and through the grief, was so helpful to me, to know I wasn't alone, and I want to do that for others.


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