And no, I’m not trying to be Polish here (it comes naturally).

It is 2:20 am and I am, once again, unable to sleep. If my sleep deprivation can be divided into two categories, one being insomnia, the worst is the one I am now: Sadness.

When you don’t sleep because you just can’t, it’s annoying. But when you can’t sleep because of so many (depressing) thoughts running through your head, your exhaustion just exasperates your sadness, and it becomes an on-going cycle that only ends if you’re lucky enough to just crash into sleep.

Tonight, I am unlucky. Each thought perpetuates another. If I actually reach the point where I replace a thought, the replacement grows to be worse than the original; I find myself wishing for the first. And each brings more tears.

It’s not that I lay down and decided it’s time to think about my mom. Just the opposite. What got me through the 1 year anniversary of my mom’s death was the knowledge that exactly one month later I would be celebrating my 1 year anniversary with The Boy.

We’re planning on taking a trip up north and doing some hiking. So here’s the thought process:

1) Find a cool place up north

2) Have a wonderful weekend

3) Think how incredibly unbelievable it is that I have been with someone for a year (not to mention such a great one)

4) Think back to how lucky I am that he has such a great family

5) Think back to the first time I met them

6) Think back to me crying in front of him for the first time because he wouldn’t get to meet my mom

7) Think it’s not fair

8) Cry

9) Sniff

10) Sit up because I am choking on my years when I am lying down

11) Pick up the picture of my parents from about 10 years ago that is, probably, the best picture of my mom, other than from her wedding

12) Cry

13) Sniff

14) Think it’s not fair

15) Stare at the picture of my mom, trying to animate it, unsuccessfully

16) Miss my mom’s smell

17) Think it’s not fair

18) Blow my nose and hoping I’m quiet enough that I won’t wake The Boy

19) Look at the clock, realize it’s 2:45 am, and know I’m headed for another day of exhaustion

20) And I haven’t even been close to sleeping yet.

I don’t know how to get rid of these thoughts. All I can think of is how unfair this all is. It’s unfair that she died so young and is no longer part of our lives. It’s unfair that she won’t be around, and won’t hug us anymore.

Its unfair that she won’t be able to dispense invaluable advice, such as what type of washing machine not to buy and what detergent for sure gives me hives.

And, man, how I miss her smell. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed your moms have a smell (everyone does, duh). But it’s just different. I don’t know what it is about her smell that makes me miss it so much, maybe the comfort that comes along with it.

Before she died, when she was basically gone and no longer knew what was going on around her, I hugged her when I was leaving the hospital, and I accidentally “sniffed” her and realized that her smell was unique. I don’t think it was something I had noticed before. But from that day on, I always “sniffed” her before I left, fully knowing it could be the last time.

Something about the combination of the feeling of her skin with her smell, which was clearly not related to perfume or soap at this point, was still a comfort of sorts, even with the knowledge that it would soon be gone.

I know it sounds weird, but it’s just there. Next time you hug your mom, sniff her, you’ll know what I’m talking about.