My Mom died 4 years ago today.
In some ways it seems like yesterday since I have seen her. Other days it feels like she has been gone for a long time.
She died the evening before my 42nd birthday.
Dan and I were out to dinner celebrating my Birthday. I knew she was not doing well, but I didn’t think she was going to die that day. I told my Dad earlier in the day when he expressed concern for her health that she won’t die today.
I was wrong.
Mom and Dad had just gotten to Florida for the winter when she got sick and went into a nursing home. I saw her once before she passed away.
Anyway, Dan and I had just finished dinner and we got into the car and I smelled Tic Tacs. My mother ate them religiously and I remember looking at the clock, 8:26 PM, and thinking “I’ll bet Mom is gone”. I knew when I got home that night there would be a message on my Voice Mail.
When we got home the first thing I did was check the phone and there was a message from the nursing home asking me to call them. The next message was from my brother telling me to do the same.
I didn’t need anyone to tell me what I already knew. She was gone.
When I finally got the “official” word Dan reached for me to hug me and I held up my hand and said “no”. I took a deep breath and got it together. I never once cried about her death.
I remember calling my best friend on my Birthday and she asked me with suspicion, ” why are you calling me on your birthday?” I later went out to lunch with my friend, Pam, and then I called other people to let them know of her passing. It was a weird Birthday.
And of course she passed on my Birthday. Well, it wasn’t the actual day but close enough not to matter. We had our challenges, Mom and I. I definitely didn’t always agree with her values and her priorities. I think it’s ironic she passed on the day she did. My friend, Sara’s theory was that she couldn’t hang on until after my Birthday and didn’t want to die on the actual date so she died the day before.
I look at other women with their Moms and I am envious of their relationship, but we never had that kind of relationship anyway. We struggled to understand each other at times.
What I miss is her sense of reason. If I started to get dramatic ( yup, me) she would bring it back to reality. In my darkest moment the first person I called was my Mom and I completely lost it, which freaked her out because I don’t do that. She was the voice of reason and calm. No drama with Mom. She told you like it was and she told you the cold, hard truth. No bullshit with her. I need that calm force when I am being totally unreasonable.
Since her death, though, I can say I have been able to step into her shoes more and judge her less. Some of the things I judged her so harshly for I can understand why now. I am starting to understand and look at her flaws with an open mind and realize she was just a person too struggling in this sometimes difficult world.
It’s hard to not have a Mom anymore at 46 years old. I don’t have much female influence in my life anymore. I sometimes crave an older female voice to share their wisdom.
I dream about her a lot. She is often in my dreams and she is healthy and happy.
I hope she knows that now that I am older and wiser myself I can look at her with less contempt and more compassion.
I hope wherever she is she is healthy and happy like in my dreams.