Strange viewpoint from a 50something

Posts tagged ‘loss’

If only she could answer…

Hello?

Hi ya Ma,

Hi Sweetie,

I miss you! How is it there?

It’s wonderful! I’m with your Dad, he looks so good!! =]

You doing ok?

Oh yes! I’m off the oxygen and I can breathe again! I’ve even lost some weight!

That’s great Ma..

Dad and I have been doing a lot of dancing since I’ve been here…

I’m so happy for you.. you got a few minutes to talk?

 

 

3 years since I’ve heard her voice. I’ve dialed her number countless times. As it rings, I imagine words that will be said. All the things I want to tell her, those small victories to have her cheer about.. all the hurts I want to cry to her about.. all the love I felt no matter what I did or said.. all those encouraging words to lead me in the right direction..

If only she could answer..

 

 

 

 

 

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One question after another, conclusion.

25 questions concluded….

21. The saddest time that shook your world. The death of my Mom. A year ago this past Sunday. By far, one of the hardest years I’ve endured. I’ve wondered many times why her death has hit me so hard… I’ve lost many other important people in my lifetime. She was my Mom. She was my anchor. It’s true I am older but she always kept me grounded and she inspired me with her spunkyness. She was so many things to me. The void is very huge. And I still hurt.

22. The unfulfilled ambition that still haunts you. Throughout my childhood and into my teens, I was going to be a singer. And back then I could sing. Maybe if I hadn’t felt so insecure I might have taken a different path with it. But at that time, my sorry self-esteem did not go well with my teen years. I did a lot of things I shouldn’t have and ran with the wrong people, trying to find some sort of validation. Eventually delving into the world of drugs and mischief, and I didn’t look back for many, many years. The fact that I came out on the other side of the drug use is a wonder, but I did. And that I am fairly undamaged from the abuse to my body, has me perplexed! Unfortunately, the loss of my innocence and the loss of my voice changed that long ago dream.

23. 23 was actually a question I didn’t like. And because I am so mentally challenged at this time, I can’t even make one up.

24. Describe your funeral. I would like for there to be a gathering, just as we did for my Mom. We called it a Celebration of Life Party. Remembering the good times. Yes, there was a lot of crying. Remembering the good times. There was also much laughter. Remembering the good times. Just the way she wanted it. Always remembering the good times, that is how I want it. Simple as that.

25. The way you want to be remembered. That I helped other people realize just how wonderful it is to have life by the ass. Until that last breath… you’re in charge! No matter what the circumstances being alive is awesome. Keep making those good times. =]

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Dear Reader, I will apologize for the lengthy gaps in between posts. Hit a couple of personal road blocks that I had to figure my way around. The detours were plenty. Living the life, I am. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Is that the phone ringing?

Tomorrow is my birthday. And she is not going to call and sing to me.

Since the day I was born, she sang the Happy Birthday song. First, in my ear as a baby, next, over cake and candles as I grew older and later it was by phone. Last year was the first time she couldn’t make it through the whole song…. her ragged breathing made it so difficult for her. At the time, she apologized, and we laughed about it. In that moment, it didn’t occur to me that it would be the last time.

There is something about birthdays that only a Mom can understand. When you give birth to a child… that day is forever etched into your soul. That one day where you have that super strong connection to one person. The one day, and she never missed it, my ears would hear her sweet voice singing. For 55 years, she never missed it.

Tomorrow is my birthday. And the most awful year of my life comes to an end. I had no idea that on that day, one year ago tomorrow, when she couldn’t finish the Birthday song… that she had only a couple months left to live. Because of her death, I find that I just spin now…. in no particular direction. Not necessarily out of control, but with little purpose. So many aspects of my life have changed. I lost her. My career took a hit and changed dramatically. My relationship took a serious hit and I still feel the sting of that. I’ve had very little joy. I tried many times to write for this blog but I just couldn’t find anything upbeat enough to share. I have wallowed in this year of firsts… all revolving around the absence of my Mom. First Christmas, first Mother’s Day (by far, the hardest one… until tomorrow), first time returning to St. Louis to find that “going home” isn’t the same. Many things happened to me, a few good but mostly bad things. I am glad it’s almost over…. this awful year of firsts.

Tomorrow I begin again, another year on my own road. Yes, I am aware that I must continue without her… but I don’t much like it. I’ve had many precious people die in my lifetime, as we all do, but there is always the absence of that one important person that will change your destiny. I lost my Dad suddenly when I was 28, it was such a blow to my family. And because I was young and all caught up raising my own child, I didn’t get the enormity of it. Since his death, I’ve lost many… all my grandparents, some aunts, some uncles, a few friends… and even a grandchild. But none of those losses prepared me for the loss of my Mom. I still have little girl issues, I still stomp around and whine about how unfair it is that she is gone. My little girl heart is broken and will never be the same.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I guess I will be sing to myself…..

Snap out of it already!!!

Finally!

I thought I was going to drown in that wet paper bag I’ve been stuck in. Riding on a merry-go-round of misery of my own making. I have had a life full of great and wonderful times and some low moments I would rather forget. The hardest moment just occurred with the loss of my Mom. I knew her death was eminent, but the shock of it was more than I could bear. There have been many people in my world who have died. With each life that I knew, I grieved in a different way when their end came. With my Mom is has been different. I still fight with the sadness of her passing. It may last for the rest of my days… after all, she was my Momma!! My little girl heart hurts so much. Her soothing voice in my ear was something I relied on, I counted on. And the funny thing is, as wise as I thought she was, she never gave me advice! She didn’t tell me what I should be doing. She just asked the right questions and kept me talking until I could figure it out myself. I didn’t realize that until she was gone. I have had many moments since her death that I picked up the phone and dialed her number. The reality that she is not there is devastating.

Well, it took a little doing, but I feel as if I am shaking off some sort of hibernation, like I’ve been out of the loop. I spent a month going through and dividing all of Mom’s pictures. She had a trunk filled with envelope after envelope, all marked with date and occasion, and in order. Everyday a few more envelopes are gone through and divided. I watched my family regress in time, my grandkids and my kids, the sibs and their families all became younger! It was very cool to see all these events with my Mom’s camera’s eye. Most every picture told her story. I loved it. But it consumed me. Wanting the past… gosh I couldn’t let it go!

The thing is… as I was reliving my life backwards, I wasn’t living life forward. It wasn’t until I finished the picture division and put it all away that I realized I had checked out of life for a time. I was miserable. I went to work miserable, at home I was miserable. I didn’t want to do anything. I was on autopilot. I even saw it in my face. I lost my joy. I don’t know how it overtook me, I guess like all things in life… you let it go a couple days… soon it becomes the norm.

It hasn’t been just the loss of my Mom… I’ve had a couple of other setbacks, too. But enough happened all at once to keep me feeling as if I were failing, at everything. I wore failure all over me… like I was dipped in it. I was letting setbacks define my life… instead of using them as the stepping stones I’ve always used them for. Me and setbacks are true friends from long ago. Thinking back I know the minute I snapped out of this funk. I am so grateful for the eyes of a friend. All I needed was a spark. One powerful sentence from her and the furnace fire was lit. I spent the next day breaking out of the sadness I had been content to live in. Suddenly it’s not that damn dark anymore! I hope the world is ready for my return because I am back among the living! Hello Life!

Mom, we’re on our way…

8 hours of driving. Of wondering, speculating, crying, wishing and fearing the unknown. I went straight to the hospital where my brother met me. Never saw this before… the worry mixed with relief on his face. As we walked in, he talked a mile a minute, explaining what I was walking into. We got to her room and I peered in the window. Her frail frame laying in the bed. Angry looking contraption on her face. The tv was on and I kinda hoped she was awake, but she was asleep. Kenny and I decided to find some coffee and check in on her in a bit. Again, he filled me in on everything. Doctors, medical status, her paperwork… it went on. We cried and we laughed and we worried together for the first time in years.
Mom was asleep still when we checked on her again. I was tired. He was tired. So it was decided we would return in the morning. We got to his house and I think we were still a little wound up so we went through some of the paperwork, and the pad of paper he was reading all this overwhelming information from was in his handwriting. He has spent these last few days investigating all the medical aspects and all the legal aspects. The time he must have spent to have so much information! I was quietly impressed, and secretly relieved.
I am nervous as we drive there the next day… how am I going to handle seeing her in such a sad state? How will put on that brave face and not show the fear I feel? Every step closer to her room my feet seem to gain weight.
Deep breath, I walk through the door and there she is… sitting up, no mask with a surprised smile on her face… “well what are you doing here?” I was stunned. Kenny was stunned. Neither of us processing that she seems to be herself. Gosh I was so glad to see her! All that worrying about things unknown. It’s dawning on me, wait a minute, I had come to terms with this in my mind and now what’s this?? A reprieve? Hope? Please?
For a few days now I have seen two things… This woman, my Mom, is willing herself back to what she wants… to go home. But I also she the fear and acceptance of a life lived, of the reality of the end of her life. She knows it’s close.

My sister arrived Friday night from Switzerland. We had a telephone conference with Mom’s main doctor. Very thorough he was. With great respect, he delicately explained exactly where Mom’s health is. The beauty of the last couple days is my lovely Mom has been herself, joking and cuttin’ up. Being the sassy-self she is. The situation is very grim though, regardless of this wonderfully hopeful resurgence. Doctor tells us her choices are she goes into an assisted living facility and her medical needs will always be top priorty, they will use all means necessary to keep her alive, or she can go home with hospice, and ride out the rest of her days. Now, in either scenario, her time is (“I don’t have a crystal ball and can’t truly say how long”) really limited to just months.
After a long discussion between us, we will go in today, surprise her with Karen, and deliver the worse news anyone in any condition will ever be prepared to hear. This is where we have to be the strong adults she so diligently raised.