Monday, November 30, 2009

The Truth...

I have many fun things to report and update on my blog, but with the joy comes pain. What kind of reporter would I be if I constantly sugar coated everything just to ensure that my readers didn't feel uncomfortable or upset?

When my Mom was sick it seemed as though the world was involved. Friends, pastors, teachers, neighbors, doctors, nurses, family, relatives, missionaries, politicians, people I hadn't seen in decades and people whom I'd never even met before. It was a frenzy of involvement within the confines of the bubble of protection that we had to create.

After my Mom passed away the world grew quiet. People tiptoed around and occasionally checked in. A few faithful people remained rocks that I could cling to, but overall, life carried on. After a month or so, the world decided that the grieving process had run it's course. Did they not know that THAT was actually when it all began? It was after the Memorial and the cards. After the meals and the calls. After the swarm of family and friends backed away and carried on with their own lives that the reality of living without a Mother set in.

It will never be the same.

I will never have another birthday card signed by my Mother.

I will never have a Mom that I can ask questions that a daughter needs her Mother for.

I am blessed to have women who have stepped in to fill this void. Blessed to have women that I can call from the grocery store to ask how many ounces are in a cup! I am lucky that way. And I know it. I realize it and am incredibly blessed by it.

Everything now has a first. Some are more difficult than others. Still the fact remains that there are very few who actually know what it feels like. A pain and loss that I wish on no one. For the most part the 'firsts' have been doable, and so I survive. Valentine's Day. St. Patricks Day. Mother's Day. Her birthday... Each have come and gone and with a breath and a prayer, I have (somehow) made it through.

Thanksgiving was a whole new ball game. Not so easy. My Mom made Holidays fun. Those who knew her know that it's true. Well, that's gone now. Now we each are left to carry on in our own ways but in a form that's a little more hazy. My sister has her boyfriend and his family. My Dad is moving on with his new 'lady-friend'. And there is me. Caught in the middle of childhood and adulthood. Temporarily living at home so that the family could regroup - and I could help pay bills.

Forced to stay in one place in order for everyone else to move on.

My Mom and I spent Thanksgivings together. Always. My Sister and Father always made the bird and the stuffing. My Mom and I made every side dish, every pie, set the table, made fun table settings...we did everything together. There are so many memories with her that even the thought of Thanksgiving caused my eyes to well up and my heart to begin to panic.

I wanted to close my eyes and wake up on Black Friday. Completely pass over Thanksgiving all together.

I pulled on the few people that I knew I could - to let them know that it was hard - that I couldn't breathe. And so Thanksgiving came and went. Laura at her boyfriend's. Me at home with my Dad. I told him I didn't want to make any sides. It was too much for me. Not this year. I told him I wouldn't do it. He has no clue. He doesn't deal with emotional things. He yelled upstairs for me 3 times to come downstairs and prepare fill-in-the-blank, as he went out to the porch to smoke.

I hate smoke.

Each time, I took a deep breathe and prayed as I walked into the kitchen to cut veggies, make dip, make the mashed potatoes, make the deviled eggs, etc. I wanted nothing to do with it yet was thrown into the deep end.

I sat at the junk covered table, alone. My Dad saw me, and came in from the living room where he always eats lounged in his chair. He squeezed in beside me. I couldn't believe it. He grabbed my hand and said grace. He never does that. He prayed and thanked God for the blessings that we have, even though there was 'an empty spot at the table.' She is now celebrating Thanksgiving with the Lord, but we miss her. He choked up. I cried. Not super hungry after that, I'll tell you that much. And we ate. In silence.

I packed up the leftovers, cleaned up the kitchen, and I missed my Mom.
The traditions.
The fights.
The nagging.
The games.
The hugs...

Throughout the day I had friends checking in with me that reminded me of the love that I have. My life is changing. My world is changing. I am blessed to have a core group of women in my life that 'have my back' so to say. I felt loved and protected.

My birthday is coming up, and every day that passes I think of the fact that I will not open a card from my Mother. I will not have a mushy sentimental note of love, a reminder of someone being proud of me, to roll my eyes at and smile.

It sucks.

Christmas is coming and I can't even think about it. There will be no tree this year. No decorations. There will be no presents or Christmas pajamas. There will be no story read by Mom.

The truth is, we move on. I miss her more today than I did last week. I will never stop missing her. Holidays will get easier and a part of me is sad about that. So for now, I just want to remind you to cherish what you have. We all have our time to check out of this life. Value those around you. Tell them you love them, even if they drive you crazy. One person can have more of an affect on your life than you will ever know, until they are gone.

My Mom taught me that. I was blessed to have that relationship with her. I knew she loved me, through all my flaws. And she knew that I loved her and was afraid to face life without her but knew that I'd be alright. I'd survive.

I was with her till the end. And I know that someday I will see her again. Until that day, I will do the best I can with what I have left.


Nancy J. Parra said...

*hugs* - thank you for sharing.

The Mac's said...

I love you.