I miss them both dearly, with something very near a sting in my chest, but I am reminded of and comforted by the wise words of my eldest son recently.
"We have a time machine, Mama," Bright said. "Our memories plus our imaginations."
So even though I have now thrown away the lipstick-stained paper cup which Mom used the morning she left, all I need to do is close my eyes and think about her and I can feel her cheek against mine, powdery soft and still without a wrinkle. I can hear my mother-in-law's delightful southern drawl. I can see Mom's green eyes twinkling, I can feel the cool skin of her hands covering mine as I tearfully bid her goodbye.
Because those are the keepsakes I will always have. My memories, brought to life by my imagination.
Everything else is just lipstick on a paper cup.