i tend to mark time by certain events and sometimes very specific life details. it doesn’t have to be a monumental occasion but there has to be something memorable that can lead me back to the time i’m mentally searching for; to figure out the where and when of a situation. i can calculate the date of things based on their relation to when the girls were born, whether i was a blonde or brunette or if it was during the time i wore chokers with every single outfit. (years 1999 through 2001)
this past year, i’ve marked time solely based on one thing. my mom dying.
i remember things by how long it’s been since her funeral, the last time i drove out of her driveway, the week the girls stopped saying they missed her and how many days have passed since i quit absentmindedly picking up the phone to call her. i can tell you every single thing that’s happened, based on those facts.
i truly never imagined i’d miss her as much as i do. that sounds naïve and probably quite silly but i suppose it all boils down to me thinking she’d be around a whole lot longer. maybe i took her for granted. just assumed she’d always be here. she was the person that helped me with the girls the most and i suppose i thought that as long as they were little, i would always have that privilege.
i never referred to her as my friend. that’s not the kind of relationship we had. but we were close and we had shared experiences that forced us to want to protect one another. i also think that there is a bond between mom and daughter that is indestructible and basically indescribable. i’ve never really been able to settle on a word that seems perfect enough for it. it’s the sum of a hundred different things.
for now, i’ll go with powerful.
there were so many things this last year that i want to tell her about. so many things that i did. but more, all the things i didn’t do, because i was waiting for her to give me encouragement and tell me that i could, and that everything was going to be okay.
see, it doesn’t matter how old you get, you still need your mom to believe in you.
when she and i were caring for dad, we would take turns getting him to bed at night. once i was done, i would come downstairs to find two rum and cokes, a bowl of salted ripple chips and the TV all set to watch knots landing.
our relationship changed in those couple of years. she began to accept the saucy, tattooed version of me and i no longer saw her as just a mom. i saw deeper parts of who she really was. a caregiver, a fighter, an independent woman and someone who would do anything for her 5 children. she loved us unconditionally and imagined a much longer time in our space. learning to live without her and trying to accept the emptiness, has most certainly been one of the hardest things i’ve ever had to face.
but because of her, i am here.
i got to experience a special kind of love.
and i learned what it is to be a great mom.
because that’s exactly what she was.
it’s been 365 days since i watched my mom take her final breath and every single minute is the exact moment that i miss everything about her.