I have such bittersweet feelings about the Olympics starting this evening.
While I've always been a huge Olympics fan (though, admittedly, I've always preferred the Winter games), and I love all the pageantry, pride, and drama of the games, this year feels different.
You see, four years ago, as the Beijing Olympics got underway, Mum was dying.
For two weeks, we sat side by side, always with the Olympics on. Mum was a lifelong sports fan, and always loved the Olympics, so having two weeks of uninterrupted sports I think gave us all something else to focus on, to watch, to appreciate, even as I know how awful she must have felt as the cancer slowly took over my beautiful mother's body. I quilted or crosstitched, Michelle knitted, and Mum monitored our progress, even stepping in with knitting lessons as needed.
I watched more coverage in those two weeks than in any previous Olympics games - it didn't matter if it was sand volleyball at 1am or fencing at 9:30am, we were watching.
I slept little, and neither did she, but I never left her side while I was home, sleeping on the couch as she dozed in her chair, always with the television on in the background.
I spent much of the two weeks hand quilting a baby quilt for my friend Denise - working on a quilt that would celebrate bringing a new life into the world, as another was exiting.
The irony wasn't lost on me.
Just shortly after the Olympics concluded, Mum passed away from breast cancer.
I would give anything to get to watch these fresh Olympics with Mum by my side, especially since she would have loved - LOVED - that they were back home in London.
I plan to cheer, watch, craft, celebrate, and yes, probably cry a lot, during these Games.
I hope somewhere Mum is too.