I’m already crying and haven’t started typing…I precede this post with a forewarning of sorts. I’m here to get out of my head and put what’s been in my head and heart today in black and white. I don’t write for sympathy or comforting words, just to verbalize my thoughts/feelings on this day.
On this day three years ago I was holding my mom for the very last time. I held her as she left this world. I hugged her, felt her touch, and smelled her one last time. On this day three years ago my life changed in a way I never imagined it would. On this day three years ago I lost my best friend.
I still can vividly recall how the whole evening unraveled on me. I still sometimes feel like that lost girl wandering through the events of a loss. Getting jerked out of mourning to plan a funeral, play host to the many people who come to show their final respects, getting shocked back into reality through having to continue living your own life without her. Reliving memories through every item of clothing pulled from her closet/drawers. Wondering if there was something that you could have done to prevent you from being in the moment your are currently in–without them. Having to face people asking you day in and day out “how are YOU doing–no really?” Knowing they mean well but so tired of being asked the ‘loaded’ question. Suddenly thinking about every future life event that they will no longer physically be a part of. Finally figuring out you’ve fallen, deciding whether or not you want to get up, and then figuring out how to pick yourself back up.
I need to state this…I have an AMAZING support system! I have friends who are family to me. I have family who I’ve grown leaps and bounds with through all of this. I’ve found my life–the one that God was just waiting on me to dry my eyes to see clearly enough in front of me. I’d give anything to have my mom back in my life physically. But I’m also grateful for all the blessings that have come since her passing. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today if I hadn’t lived the life I have–the good, the bad, the ugly. I would go back and live it all over again–even the hardest parts.
When my mom really started to lose her battle she had a surgery she was going into and she promised us she was going to make it b/c she had so much left to do for us (in particular marry and produce grandchildren for her). She lightened the moment with that and I remember the smile that lit up her face as she saw a little of the fear leave my eyes. No matter what, she’d always kept her promises to us and I knew she would keep that one. She fought through a whole lot more for 30 more days after that moment to prove that she was keeping that promise too. When this day came three years ago, I made a promise to her. She fought long and hard to stay around for us. Make as many memories as she could before she knew she couldn’t anymore. Holding her, I told her that it was ok….it was ok to go now b/c we’d be ok. We’d take care of each other and she didn’t have to be in pain anymore. And at that very moment I knew it was true and I meant it. Even sitting here tonight I know and feel the same way about that promise to her. I’ve lived three more years without her and I’ve been blessed in more ways than I could count. I’ve not only survived but I’ve thrived. I’ve kept my promise to her and seen her work her ways to keep her promise to me.
On this day every year I’ve mourned her loss, but on every other day of the year I live out our promises to each other and celebrate the life she blessed me with. On this day, some year I will only cry tears of joy and not of sorrow. On this day every year I’m reminded of how precious of a gift life is through her. On this day every year I’m reminded just how strong I am by surviving my (always feared) weakest moment in my life. On this day, I’m reminded of the best female role model I’ll ever know…my mom.
In Memory of JFH 9/12/47-8/31/08