A family's story

Posts tagged ‘Missing Mom’

Missing My Mom

Last night I excitedly prepped a new crock pot oatmeal recipe for this morning. I figured that the warm pumpkin-y goodness would be welcome after my 5:30 a.m. walk around the neighborhood. Fall found its way to our neck of the woods…even if for a brief while, and the chill in the air has had me craving comfort food. I thought of my mom and how she loved oatmeal. It was one of her favorite foods…and how she was always giving me recipes to try to “spice” it up. Once it was set to go, I excused myself, ran upstairs and threw on some pj’s.

Hubz and I got the kids to bed, and eventually, I settled in for the night. As I was futzing around with my phone, it hit me…like a ton of bricks. Tomorrow is three years. Three years since Mom died. Three years since we said goodbye after her short, brave battle with pancreatic cancer. I looked down. *gasp* I’m wearing her tie-dyed shirt. The one I hastily grabbed from Mom’s dresser the night before she died because I forgot pj’s. Suddenly, the tears flowed…I wasn’t even thinking about what I put on when I got ready for bed..and somehow, I chose to wear her t-shirt. It was like she was giving me a hug from above.

As I drifted to sleep, I thought about all of the things that have happened in the three years since Mom has gone. How big the kids have gotten. How much they have grown, physically and developmentally. How there are two more little ones in the family now. How there are so many questions that I want to ask her and never got the chance to. I felt my heart race. I felt the queasiness of grief take hold of my stomach. Again. After three years. It’s easier to move through the day to day, but moments like these…when it is the anniversary of certain events, that grief rises up and rips me to shreds.

I find it confounding, really. Three years later, and the reminder of her passing away, the anniversary of her death, it just can bring me to that awful place. It’s hard to not think about those awful last days. I try to push out the gut-wrenching images, the sounds, the smells…but they all come back so vividly. I feel overwhelmed. This ache is raw…and it never completely goes away.

Then, then I get a little angry. It’s not fair. It’s not. I never get to see her smile again. Or hear her laugh. Or hear her voice. Or get annoyed with her. Or call her just because. Or see her play with my kids. Or meet her for lunch. Or ask her to watch my boys so we can go on a date night. Or see her get overly excited about her newest grandson. (My sister had her 2nd baby last week!!) Cancer interfered. Stupid, stupid cancer. I focus my anger on the cancer. Because I can.

I think about the boys. Their memories are fading. I retell stories ad-nauseum to remind them of the times we spent with my mom. But, Jake was just shy of 7. Tate was 4. Cole was 14 months. Cole only recognizes her because we reiterate over and over and over again who she is. He doesn’t have any real memories of her. And.that.eats.at.my.soul. Jake recounts a few old stories. But even his memories are often regurgitations of stories that I have shared. And Tate. Tate remembers which nursing home she rehabbed at. And the hospital where she was sick. He knows her by sight in pictures…but it eats at me that he may or may not have his own memories of her.

I fall asleep. It’s fitful…and I have vague dreams. She’s in them…but not. I awake with a sense of calm. I know that today will be okay. I’ll be okay. I go for my walk, and when I return, I post to Facebook. Several people leave words of support and reassurance. And while my heart is heavy, I feel lifted. I feel less alone.

I’m grateful that today is sunny, crisp and cool. It’s the type of autumn day that Mom would have loved. I suppose she may have put in a request today. For a gorgeous day for us, so we don’t have bad weather on top of our heavy hearts. As I walked outside this afternoon to get Tate for therapy, I imagined Mom breathing deeply, walking determinedly, and happily “earning” her sweet treat. (She was always on a diet.)

But, what it all boils down to is this. I miss my mom. Deeply. Profoundly. And nothing really can fix that. *sigh*

Few Words Friday

After almost 15 months, my mom’s headstone was installed. It was worth the wait. She deserves this monument to her life. She was so beautiful outside and in.

Miss her so much. Today…always…

Signs from Above

I have had a rough couple of weeks. Holiday stress is in full force. Big family gatherings are just not easy for our little family…at any moment, due to any given circumstance, joy can turn to anguish as we help Tate cope with sensory overload and meltdowns. There’s the guilt we carry for our other 2 sons, Jake and Cole, who didn’t ask for this..who don’t deserve to know some of the things they know in our crazy life.

In addition to the stress of helping an Autistic child through holidays, I miss my mom so.freakin.much. Why did I think “the seconds” would be easier than “the firsts”?? Last year I almost felt numb. I was getting through some serious PTSD from watching my mom go from seemingly healthy to seriously ill, to terminally ill, to dying. All within 4 months. FOUR FREAKIN’ MONTHS. It was all about surviving. This year?? The emotional punch of her absence is so strong. It is like someone is standing on my chest, grabbing my heart, and trying to pull it up through my throat. It gets knotted there, I choke-up, and the tears begin to stream down my face.

Hubz and I have talked…and I keep saying that while  we have to make the most of what we’ve got, this is definitely NOT the “pick-your-own-adventure” I would have chosen. Not at all. In fact, right about now I’d like to go back and change a few things. Except I can’t. Because it’s not my call. Yes, sometimes things in life stink, and in the dark times, I wonder, “what the ef?!”

What am I getting at here??? Last night I was reading a blog where she was talking about signs she has been blessed to receive since losing her son. I was so touched by that blog post…and have spent a bit of time thinking about signs from above…Since my mom’s “graduation to heaven”, I really feel that, at times, she is trying to let me know that it’s ok…that she’s ok…and that I will be…O.k. Once I could smell her in the breeze that blew by me as I walked outside on a cool October day. Another time, there was a beautiful rainbow in the sky after a weird rain shower. (My mom always loved rainbows.) And there is the song.

See, the night my mom died, we were sitting around my parents’ living room, surrounding her bed with love. My sisters and I were there, our aunt and cousin were there, my mom’s closest friend was there. We were waiting, talking, crying, sharing. In the background, the finale of America’s Got Talent played while no one in particular was watching it. The show opened with a song from La Roux…”Bulletproof”. My ears perked up…I listened to the lyrics…I was drawn to that song.. I listened during the entire performance of the runners-up, and then moved on. Over the past 14 1/2 months, I feel like the song plays on the radio exactly.when.I.need.it.most. It’s been uncanny. It’s almost always when I’m wistfully remembering my mom. It brings a smile to my face…and I feel her presence.

Today was doubly goose-bump inducing. I was driving home from picking Tate up from school, and was thinking about how proud my mom would be of his accomplishments. Cue the radio..cue the song. While it played, I let my mind wander, and began to think of how much I missed her, and how much life stinks sometimes. .And then, it happened. The next song on the radio was “Good Life” by One Republic. It gave me chills.

I hope know that  my mom was telling me something….that in the “next life” we are all bulletproof…and that this life here, it is a good life…and just like that, my spirits were lifted….

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