16 June 2012

A Day Without Mom is Like a Day Without Sunshine, Now Its Been a Year.

As children, we believe, for the most part anyway, that death can not touch us or those we love. When we lose people when we are young, we realize they are gone but somehow our little kiddo minds heal and our hearts mend.  When we are adults, we rationalize, we feel guilt, and we grieve in ways our child-minds could not. I've lost people before, but the grief was not like this. When I lost my sister, I had made peace before hand and somehow that made the process easier for me. I missed her terribly (and still do), but was not consumed by grief like my mother was. When I lost my grandmother, I was so sad. I wished I had spent more time with her, but I knew she was free from the prison the final strokes had locked her in.  I could not be sad for that freedom. I've lost others, don't get me wrong, I have lost friends and family in my adult life. I have lost many that I have cared about. Some how losing momma was just, different.  I'd lost my mom, my mentor and my friend.

Looking back at the last days, I can only think of the time we spent watching her sleep. Watching her breath, and wondering if each breath was her last. They told us at hospice many of the patients have a "second wind" and sit up and talk and chat when they haven't for days.  Mom did.  I believe the last person she spoke to, before she slipped away into the dark, dark coma before the Light, was me. She said "well hey Shelly".  I spent my 34th birthday at hospice with momma before she started to be asleep more than awake.  She and I had cupcakes from that shop over in Taylors. I think that was about the last thing she ate too.

Mom gave me one last gift the night she died.  We had been at hospice all day and into the wee hours of the morning.  I could not stand another moment awake, and I told my Dad I had to go home to go to bed. With the Meniere's being aggravated by stress, I didn't want to have an attack, and I felt close to one. Dad and my sister shooed me away, telling me they thought it would be much later in to the next day before the end came. So Don and I reluctantly headed back to Greenville. I climbed into bed a bit after 1:30am, and fell asleep at once. At about 3:20am we got the call that momma was gone. I told Don she was hanging on just until she knew I was out of the room, because she knew I couldn't handle being there at the last second. I realized she had passed exactly one year, almost to the minute, that my battle with Meniere's began.

People must have thought I was crazy at how strong I was for the funeral.  I gave the eulogy. I barely cried, it seemed.  Sometimes I think the heartbreaks so hard the tears fall later. I spent the next three months swimming in a pool of depression.  I cried, no I sobbed every night for months. I look at things, think of momma, and cry again. I went to grief counseling. I fought anger, I still fight anger.  I stand back in awe at the world that continued to go on without mom.

It will be a year on June 17th. A year without mom.  A year I have missed phone calls to ask questions, a year she hasn't seen me learn to quilt, a year she hasn't been there for me to hug. Its been a year without that sunshine. I'm ready to let the grief move on, like a fog drifting away in the morning to let the sunshine back into my life. I'm ready, I know momma would be ready for me too.
Mom, before the "C" monster took her away.

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