My mom would have been 72 today.

At yoga this morning, I was swept by such an intense wave of sadness that I had to fight not to burst into sobbing tears. A few little tears leaked out, but I brushed them away and kept going. But it made me realize that the sad is only a step away, not as far gone as I’ve been thinking as I prep for Thanksgiving.

A long, long time ago, I read The 5 Love Languages. The basic concept is that everyone has a way in which they best express and receive love, a love language. The five are 1) acts of service, 2) words of affirmation, 3) physical touch, 4) gifts, and 5) quality time. My mom’s love language was one or maybe all of the first four. I don’t know that she cared about receiving gifts all that much, but she loved giving gifts. She liked our Christmas tree to be piled high. In years past, this time of year would spin her into a cycle of doing — decorating the house from top to bottom, baking cookies and breads to share with family and neighbors, shopping and buying and wrapping, and the Christmas music on from morning to night.

I know that it wouldn’t be better if she was here now. The last couple years of her life were difficult. She hated what was happening to her and hating it didn’t make it any better. But I miss her. I want time to move backwards and just give me another day, another hour. Instead, I think I will make a shopping list that includes ingredients for Christmas cookies. I shouldn’t eat them, but this year, I think I’m finally ready to remember and celebrate my mother as she would have liked.