Friday, February 15, 2013

Dear Mom, Two years later,

There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
There's a pain goes on and on.
~Les Miserables~
Dear Mom, 
Two years ago today, you succumbed to breast cancer. I still have the pervasive thoughts of... This is still so hard.  I didn't want to do this. I want to rewind the clock so badly, before there was cancer, hospice, and a funeral.  I woke up this morning and thought about you and the last few weeks of your life.  Those last few weeks were so hard, and when you passed away there was relief knowing you were not suffering.  Even though it was hard, I'd go back to those weeks in an instant to be able to see you one more time. 
A few weeks ago, I went to a women's conference and the speaker spoke about losing her mom and how hard it was. I envied the speaker, because she was 62, and had just lost her mom.  She had almost 30 more years with her mom than I did.   I still feel way too young to navigate my life without my you.   When I said this to a friend whose mom passed at the age of 96, she said, "Everyone feels that way,  no matter how old you are."  
Dad has a new life, and he is happy, which good, but the little girl in me feels like I've been orphaned. I know I'm being immature. I know this,  I should be happy for him.  When planning Christmas, there was only Mr. Man's family to coordinate with, and I felt a little left out.   Mr. Boy is still furious with Grandpa for moving "too far away to see my soccer games".  He refuses to talk to him on the phone or send him a letter. Last night AK burst into tears talking to Grandpa and just handed the phone to me and said, "I miss him too much, you talk to him."  Mom, I took for granted your presence in my life and my kids lives. I hear your voice in my head saying, "You need to forgive your father, he doesn't cope the same way you do."   I'm trying... well,okay, I'm not really trying, but I will someday.

I still wish you were here to help me figure out how to navigate the school system. Your knowledge as a teacher would really help right now. AK has some serious learning challenges and I have all these meetings with the school... IEP, SST, RSP, SECC.  Sometimes I feel like they are blowing smoke or trying to check off a box on a checklist.   I wish I had you here to prep me for these meetings so I can go in armed with knowledge.  Instead I'm trying to decipher and translate this all as I go along.   As for Mr. Boy, you'd be proud, he reads ALL the time, and his grades show it.   Right now he is struggling through fractions and I tried to tutor him.  Apparently, fractions aren't my forte because I taught him how to do it wrong!  I still vividly remember moaning and crying while I rolled around on our burnt orange shag carpet while you tried to teach me fractions and screaming, "I'll never ever need to use fractions again in my life."  You were right, I needed to learn it, because now I have to teach my son how to do it.  I wish I listened more. 

Mom, it still hurts.   Two years later and your loss is still painful.  I'm okay, I really am, everyone says it gets better... easier...and it has, but I still get these pangs of grief.   I just want to hear your voice one more time, to get some reassurance that I'm doing things right.   I see my friends with their moms and I want to tell them, "Oh, I know she makes you crazy sometimes, but  trust me you'll miss it so much when it's gone."   

The kids love to hear stories about you, we talk about you a lot.  The kids take comfort in knowing you are watching over them.   They love to hear about the time you got mad at my 2nd grade teacher. They also love to hear Part II of that story which hasn't been written down yet.   I am grateful that I grew up knowing I always had you in my corner.   I am trying to give my kids the same gift that you gave me, that no matter what, mom is on your side.  

You were such a vibrant person, and embraced life.  I'm trying to be more like you, and take advantages of opportunities as they come. When I would tell you about something, a trip I wanted to take, a pair of shoes I saw, you would say, "Wendy, make it happen. Life is short."   Today, to celebrate the life you lived, I will take my kids to the beach, I will laugh and play, and I will buy those shoes that I've been eyeing for a month.  Life is short, live it to it's fullest, you taught me that.  I love you. I miss you.


Laura said...

She's very proud of you.

Brooke said...

Well said. You do an amazing job despite being "orphaned" - you're a great mom.

... said...

I love your mom and when you write about her! I live vicariously through your past! =) (That's not weird, is it?)