Seven years. It’s a life time for a kid, a year for a dog, and a blink for an adult mourning the loss of a parent. Yeah. Seven years ago today we lost my mom to breast cancer that went from curable to a death sentence in less than 6 months.
Growing up, my mom seemed this force of nature, a larger than life being that as I got older, made more and more intolerable mistakes. The only good thing that I can honestly say the cancer did was to humanize her to my, at the time, young adult mind. But all of us were still convinced she would beat it, that she would pull through and out in her yard again with dirt under her nails and ugly pants on.
It never happened. Once mom broke her hip it was pretty much a downhill slalom of doctor’s visits, treatments, funeral plan notes, and hospital stays. Her last summer not only did my Gran push her into a stroke, but it also saw my mom desperate for reassurances; “I should’ve never been a mom, I was too selfish, I was a good mom, right?”
Gods help me, after the hell she’d been through with her illness, her seeming apathy to what my brothers and I went through because of her bad choices in men, that she chose the yard and her plants over us, and that she usually chose what Gran advised over what we wanted, I didn’t have the heart to tell her no.
Being a mom has taught me, has shown me so many of the “whys” behind mom’s choices. She was right, she was horribly selfish at times. But she had her moments, too. Part of me wonders if she had me come home in late 2001 because she somehow knew she was going to get worse, or to help me go to school.
In spite of all the hurts, now that I’m an adult with children of my own that she will never meet, I miss her terribly. Once I became an adult, we had a very fragile type of friendship developing that deep down, I’d craved for a very long time. Once she was gone, the family seemed to dissolve. For a while I stayed in California, but Vegas called to me again. My step-father moved to his mother’s house, and my baby brother had already been back East for a while.
Mom was the rock, the defining force that kept us all together. I haven’t seen my brother J in six years. I saw my baby brother in 2009. I miss them both, but I’ve got facebook and e-mail. There are constant things that the kids do that I wish I could call her up and tell her about.
Mom. I miss you so so much. I was just getting comfortable being friends with you again. You’ve missed out on grandchildren, and the family’s not the same without you. I wish I could have another day, a week, a month with you, so that you could see your grandchildren, meet your namesake and marvel in all of them like I do. I wish you’d taken as good care of yourself as you reminded me to.