This month is my least favorite. Many of you love the crisp fall, the changing of leaves, the beginning of the holiday season, and the bringing together of families. I use to love it too. It’s not the same to me anymore. Tomorrow is my mom’s birthday. This is 5th one that has come and gone without her. She died 12 days after her birthday, 6 years ago. See, I was with her that day and every day before it, holding her hand, watching her sleep, but I could never fix her as hard as I tried. It wasn’t possible. There she was dying right in front of me. She had no fight left and I didn’t blame her. She gave it all she had but it was stronger than she was. Her body had been ravaged with a disease that had taken her prisoner. Her mind was still strong but she had no way to communicate except with a little movement left in her feet. It was that slight movement that answered my question, “Are you ready to let go?” The answer was, “Yes.” Two taps of her foot meant yes and it took all of her strength to tell me. A tear came to her dry eye. Even that she couldn’t control.
My mother was a strong, determined woman. She love me fiercely with a force that left me never to question her love for me. I was her baby. Her only girl. I was her dress up doll with smocked dresses, big bows, white ruffled socks, and black patent leather Mary Janes. I was her dream come true. A baby girl. Pink. She gave me lots of hugs and kisses, took me everywhere with her, taught me to sing, and helped me form my faith. She showed me by example how to care for others, how to trust in God and to lay my worries at his feet. She taught me how to laugh big and she really loved to laugh. She’d laugh so hard that tears would fall from her eyes and her giant laugh would become silent because it was that funny. I loved her so. She was larger than life.
I remember her hands the most. She had gorgeous hands. Long piano playing fingers. Beautiful natural nails. She cared for me with those hands. She’d smile at me and pat my little leg when I was really young. Pat. Pat. Pat. Always 3 pats, lovingly. She’d put my shoes and socks on. Always taking her hand to quickly wipe the bottom of each foot off before putting on a sock. She stretched those fingers across the keys of the piano, singing as she played. Calling me to sing with her. So proud. She’d hold many books to read with me at night while I was growing up. She believed that opening up the world of literature would open up the world to me. It was true. I can get lost in all types of written word. Long stories and short. Fiction and nonfiction. Even How To books would take me to another place where I could make anything I wanted or fix anything by myself. My mother wanted me to be just like her and in a lot of ways I am. I just wish I’d gotten her hands.
My mother never let me fall without being there to pick me up, even those times she had to wait for me to ask. She was always there to wipe away my tears and to cheer me on when I fought for a win. She would brag about my art and force her friends to go see my paintings hanging up for display. If I had new interests or visited places she’d never gone, she’d read books about it to be able to discuss it with me. When she found out I had ADD (ADHD) she read book after book after book and made copies of every article she found. She felt guilty that she missed it for so long. She didn’t need to do that, I wasn’t angry with her. I survived without knowing, even though knowing made many things so much easier. She wanted to figure it out with me, every step of the way. She was one of a kind. She was the best mother ever.
She let go of this life November 21st 2010. Her last gift to me was to wait until I left to go home from my time with her that day. She knew I couldn’t handle watching her take her last breaths. She knew it would be too hard. My brothers and my dad were with her as she died and at that same exact time I made it home safely from their home. I had just placed my keys on the kitchen counter when the phone rang with they heartbreaking news. I knew this was her final chance to mother me before she began the journey to the eternal life she so deserved to live. Her unwavering faith paved the way.
I don’t know how I’ve made it this far without her. My world fell apart not long after she died. I’ve only made it this far because of the strength and resilence she showed me, watching her as I was growing up. She told me all my life that I could do anything I wanted and make it through every challenge I faced, if I just believed in myself. She’s still with me every day. I hear her voice in my thoughts. I know she guides me from above but I still miss her so much. The pain from losing her never lessons. It doesn’t get better with time. It just gets more familiar. The loss is still as heavy but I’ve gotten strong enough, overtime, to carry the load.
Happy Birthday. I love you Mommy ❤️.
I also lost my sweet dad this month, 3 years ago a week from tomorrow. 11/16/2013. Im sure they’ll be more to come. Deathvember is a hard one for me.