disclaimer: this post is sad. but it's a sad topic! but i want to assure you, reader, that really, i'm okay. i'm not the first to lose her mother. and really, i'm lucky, because i had 28 years with a wonderful mom and that's a lot longer than a lot of people. but these are my thoughts and this blog is where i stick those thoughts.
"why was heidi hugging you?" i asked, worried. "what's wrong?"
ryan explained the company's decision and told me what his plan was to find a new job. places he could look, people he could talk to, appointments he could make...and i said supportive things and smiled and excused myself to go talk to my mother. i just needed to. i drove straight to my parent's house and walked straight into the bedroom, where my mom was reading. as soon as i saw her i dissolved. i think i scared her so badly that day. she let me climb on to her bed and she held me as i shook with sobs and comforted me when i calmed down. that day my mother was there when i went to find her, sitting up in her bed, almost as if she were waiting for me.
it is easy to focus on things like the sickness and how relieved i am that it is gone, or the strain on our relationship before she died because the stroke wiped out her compassion. it is easy for me to remember that she was really organized and that there was a list of things to do every morning when i was homeschooled. it is easy to remember how she used to count our heads before we drove off somewhere because she had six kids and she wanted to make sure she hadn't left any of us at the park or at church.
it is easy to forget that we laughed a lot when we were together, that we discussed everything. that she understood me so clearly. that she was the best friend i'd ever had. i talked to her every day. about everything. we traveled together. i could carry her luggage and mine, arrange for her to have a wheelchair transport in an airport, test her blood sugar and get it to the level it needed to be without breaking a sweat (well, not a major one anyway), i could take over when she could not keep going. i anticipated her needs. i took care of her. and she in turn was my companion. she listened to me. she fine tuned my thoughts. she corrected me. she was candid with me. she laughed with me. she offered insight. she taught me to be compassionate and loyal. she taught me to be a good wife. she was a good wife. she taught me to love literature and motherhood and god and food.
i forget that stuff. the really good stuff, the important stuff. the stuff that is so damn painful to do without that it's almost easier to pretend that i never had it at all. the words dead and died are the absolute most terrifying words ever. do you know what they mean? gone. empty. not for now, but for the rest of this life.
my mother is dead. she died.
i am without her. her comfort is gone. her guidance is never more. i will never be able to keep my stuff together until i see her and then fall apart while she holds me.
it is the emptiest, most desperate feeling i have ever had. it is final. it is hard.
when she had first died i sat in church and i thought of one of my favorite scriptures. it's in 1 corinthians 15:55, "o death, where is they sting? o grave, where is thy victory?" and i thought about how there is no sting, no victory because death is not forever and then i stopped and i thought, 'can that be? can i really hope for that?' and this sudden, beautiful feeling settled around me so strongly and i knew that not only could i hope to see my mother again, but i was going to see my mother again. there is truth in the scriptures. there is hope.
i am heartbroken. almost daily. i think about how heartbroken i am. i wonder if people can tell just by looking at me. when a mother comes to visit her daughter, when they go shopping together, or have lunch, when she plays with her grandchildren, or helps clean the house or look after a new baby, i feel desperate. i want to watch them together and see what it looks like. maybe imagine that the same thing is happening to me. when i was having sarah i came across a message board full of daughters who didn't want their mothers anywhere near them. i was shocked. i'd give anything to have my mother come visit me. if only those daughters knew...
i know she's out there. sometimes i have tiny glimpses. occasionally she has been in a dream, looking relaxed and pleased. the other day i dreamt that i was escorting her to heaven, to meet up with her parents.
i miss her. oh, how i miss her. it is an ache so deep in my soul i can easily avoid it. most of the time i do. if i don't think about how much i am missing i don't have to walk around missing it all the time. if i can pretend that i am missing a woman who had fell more than she walked in the grocery store, who had to be picked up from dialysis four times a week, who couldn't travel on her own, it is much easier than if i realize that i am missing someone who used to wear my bras on her head to get me out of bed in the morning, who would take me to the movies in my pajamas late at night, who used to watch the office with me every friday morning. who used to laugh with me for hours at a time and needed ice cream before bed every night. who, when i needed it, held me in her arms while i sobbed for an uncertain future with a jobless husband and a baby on the way.
i miss her, i miss her, i miss her. i know heaven will change her. i know this life is changing me. i hope we are still able to recognize each other in the next life, i hope our hearts still recognize one another when we are reunited.