Welcome to Blogtoberfest Day #11
My mom died 16 years ago. She was only 63.
She had fallen down the stairs six weeks before and broke her ankle. It was a bad break, and she had been in a wheel chair ever since. One morning, she called to my dad and said she wasn’t feeling well. By the time he got in to her, she had passed out. He called 911 and the paramedics arrived quickly. They worked on her at the house and all the way to the hospital, but they were unable to revive her. She had apparently thrown a clot, an embolism, I think they called it, which had lodged in her heart. She never knew what hit her. In the blink of an eye she was gone.
My mom and I had not been close in years. Really, not ever, if you compare it to the “close” that I am with my kids. But it wasn’t a contentious relationship. We talked occasionally. Not about anything important. Just the “hi, how are you?” kinda stuff. But towards the end, she was on meds for depression that didn’t seem to be working – “over-medicated” in my opinion. She just didn’t seem to “be there.” Talking to her left me feeling sad, even mad sometimes, so I did it as little as I could. She had plenty to be depressed about, but that really isn’t what this story is about. I was pretty much on my own. I got accustomed to fending for myself. She wasn’t there for me to lean on (and conversely, it would be fair to say I wasn’t there for her either.) We were both busy with our own lives – my kids were teens, I was crazy busy with my business and she was recently retired and still raising my brother’s daughter (more dysfunction…) while dealing with medical issues and my sister’s crazy life. (uh-oh – lightbulb moment here – she probably REALLY needed me, and I wasn’t there for her…gulp. Just what I need – recognizing how selfish I was – on top of everything else I’m feeling.)
Anyway – I barely even cried when she died. I wrote her eulogy and delivered it at her funeral without even breaking down. Just matter-of-factly. As if I had been an employee at the funeral home. Or a member of her church that didn’t know her very well.
In all the time since then, I think I could count the number of times I’ve really MISSED her on one hand.
Today is not the anniversary of her death, or her birth, or anything else. But today, I suddenly miss her.
I have been on a bit of an emotional roller coaster lately. I’m almost certain at least part of it is a bit of a mid-life crisis – albeit a bit delayed, as I’m pretty sure I won’t be living to 120! I’ve written about how I feel like I’m floundering. I get messages from the Universe and from several inspirational/motivational bloggers in my inbox every day, and they all tell me that I am amazing just the way I am. That I am enough. That I am right where I need to be, doing what I am supposed to be doing. And as hard as try to believe it, I don’t. At least not right this minute.
A friend posted a link to a life coach named Tiffany Moore and for some reason, her post today pushed me over the edge. It has been gnawing at me all day. They are the words I need to hear, just not from the person I long to hear them from.
I feel like a scared child, typing through my tears, and I need my mommy. I need to have her arms around me telling me it is going to be okay. That I’m going to figure it all out. I need her to tell me I’m enough. Which is really strange, because she never did when she was alive. Maybe I’m thinking that with the perfect wisdom we attain in the afterlife, she would now?
Anyway. She’s gone. She is never going to tell me I’m enough, or that it’s going to be okay. So I’m going to have to parent myself. I’m going to have to love myself through my problems. I’m going to have to tell myself the words I’d love to hear from her. Maybe, just maybe, if I say them enough, I’ll begin to believe them. And if I am very still, maybe I’ll even be able to feel the comfort of her arms around me.
It’s a reminder that no matter how wrapped up I get in my own problems, that I need to make sure I am available to my kids. That I make sure they know how much I love them, believe in them. That they never have to wonder if they are enough. That their mommy’s arms are always there for them.
Life lessons. They just never quit coming, do they?