My blog has become my online diary of things that happened or are happening in my wonderful life. But the truth is that we all face trials and tribulations, and ultimately, these are the things that I feel I need to write about the most. Personally, writing changes everything. Being able to sit by myself with just my own thoughts and feelings to analyze (scary thought, I know!) can be such a releasing and freeing experience. The thought that my words may help somebody heal or put part of a life into perspective is rewarding.
This brings me back to that mother of mine. I didn’t realize how much I think about her or how much my situations including her have affected my life and where it has come. I was recently doing a Facebook project called “30 Days 30 Pictures” which I purposefully changed to “My Dirty Thirty” because God knows I would not be done it in 30 days. Actually, its been close to a year and I still haven’t finished! Anyways, you just fill in the blanks, so to speak, and include a photo and a little write up. It pretty much touches on all the important people in your life such as “name somebody you could not live without” or “a picture with a friend you have known the longest”. It also touches on your most valuable possessions and memories. Well as awkward as it was at some points, most reflected something about my mom.
Im thinking of her especially today, as January 19th marks the anniversary of her surrender. It is a weird day, just like all the other cold January days, but its just that much more icy. Is it weird that I cant help but let it take me back to my last minutes with my mom? With so much of my life around that time “blacked out” sometimes I just wonder why I couldn’t forget the years that surrounded the dysfunction. And that, I think, is what brings me back to the hardship of it all; wanting to go back and wish away years of my childhood.
Don’t get me wrong. Many years of my childhood, most of them actually, were the greatest days of my life. Cruising up and down the back alleys on my bike, fighting with my brothers, playing Barbies non stop, all my dolls, teddy bears, my pink bedroom with lace curtains, I had it all. My mom raised us in the most straight edge household she possibly could. No alcohol, drugs, fighting, nothing. Zero tolerance. We were loved. So much. She raised us on her own, no doubt, but with our church family as well. Mom was a devout Christian, instilling in us kids so many valuable morals and values. She planted her seeds where she could water them and let the sun shine down and she watched us grow and blossom. And she was the greatest example. But I cant lie; she had the best sense of humour and I definitely get my pervertedness (definitely not a word) from her!
I have always felt like I have dealt with the loss of her in my life very well. I obviously have struggled at times, but overall, I feel like I aced the recovery. That is until I was given a book from my aunt called “Motherless Daughters”. A girl was in a similar position as me, a young teen who lost her mom and felt like she had bereaved well and surprised herself with her “maturity”. Later on in life, when she turned the same age as her mom was when she passed, she had a breakdown. This showed me that there isn’t a “good” way to do it. We all have our own ways of dealing with things and although I feel like Ive been successful in this journey, you just never know when its all going to come crashing down. And this my friends, is the truth.
It’s the triggers…. Those small things that take you back, and then break you down. It’s seeing her favourite flowers or smelling her perfume on a passer-by. It’s when you get a little older and when you start seeing your young self in somebody else, and you realize you cannot relate. You just don’t get how they think and feel because, quite frankly, you just weren’t in the same place at the same age. I have a beautiful little cousin, Shanea, who is turning sweet, sweet sixteen shortly. I have been fortunate enough to get to know her over the last few years with living in the same city as her. We talk about boys and school and cheerleading and normal teen pressures and as much as I think I can relate, can I? When I started high school, my mom had only been dead for 5 months. Was I really thinking about boys? No, I wasn’t. I was thinking about how I could not let myself break down at school because everyone would think I was crazy. I was trying to be like a “normal” kid. I tried to stay focused on what Roxy t-shirt my allowance could buy next or the tryout for the softball team. It was just a little tougher when other moms would come to pick up their kids from school and I watched them from the bus stop.
I think what gets me now is seeing my friends have kids, and those insane feelings between mother and children being in such close relation to me. Seeing some of my closest girls have their own children and even as close as I am with them, knowing that I will just never understand until I have my own. A relationship between a mother and child is unexplainable, “a love you just can’t explain” says my cousin Angel. I believe that, because I think it must be similar to a daughters’ unexplainable love for her mother. I wouldn’t completely understand a mothers love for their child until I have one, but I feel a child doesn’t completely understand their love for their mother until they are no longer there.
My day to day life is filled with mostly ups but there are always the odd downs in life too. I definitely think of my mom everyday but almost always in a way that makes me happy. Like when I see the photo of her on my dresser from her trip to Hawaii with her cousins and I know how much she cherished her memories and loved looking at her Hawaii photo album. It just makes me happy, knowing that photographer caught her at one of the best times of her life, and that’s the face I get to see in that frame every single day. But I also have my bad days, when I miss her so much. Most recently crying my eyes out on a flight in Australia from Airlie Beach to Brisbane. I had just got off an amazing 3-day sailing adventure and got to dive with sea turtles and did so many cool things and I was so upset because I just wanted to tell her about it.
That’s where I am at now. I am just sad I am missing out, and I feel even more sad that she is missing out. She would love my stories these days! I have so much to tell her and even though I talk out loud and pretend she can hear me, it’s just not quite the same. She never even got to see me finish elementary school, let alone high school, or that I followed in her footsteps as a beauty college queen. She won’t get to make my wedding dress like she promised and she wont get to hold her grandbabies. And that makes me sad for her, because I know those things she looked forward to most in life were not fulfilled.
Its been twelve years today since I was gifted the best guardian angel. That means that it won’t be much longer until I have lived half my life without her. Its so strange to have friends I have known longer than her. Yet a part of me feels like nobody has ever known me better, and I definitely know that nobody has loved me more.
But at the end of the day, I wouldn’t trade my thirteen years with her for a hundred with anyone else. Miss you mama.