This was the last picture I took with my mom. She would be REAL mad that I let people see it! She was swollen from the meds. Had bed head. And she hated her crooked smile. But I cherish it. It was the last day I heard her laugh. One of the last smiles we shared. I made her laugh because the first picture we took, she was making an odd face because we caught her in the middle of a cough. I remember saying, “mom, can you please not look like its completely awful to take a picture with me!” On this day, she finally got to leave the room and we took her for a walk to the tower of MD Anderson. This is a room where you can look over the city of Houston. I know she enjoyed getting out. She smiled and laughed a lot.
I get asked a lot as to how I am doing. It’s really hard to put into words. One word comes to mind: Suffocated. Some may think this is a strange word. Mindy put a good definition to it. It feels like the weight of the world is bearing down on me like a bad dream and I just want to wake up. I feel it the most when I go to my parents house alone without the kids or dad to distract me. I find myself rushing to do what I need to do and get out of there. It shouldn’t be that quiet. It shouldn’t be that clean. I should hear the TV going. I should hear her laughter. I should hear her talking on the phone. The smell and seeing her stuff everywhere triggers emotions. I try not to look around my childhood home, which is sad in itself. I have amazing memories there, but I now have haunting memories. If I have to go into my room, the air is sucked out of me as I see flashes of her in there as well as my grandparents.
Lately anytime I am alone, the silence is so loud. I see her. I hear her. If I’m in the car, I should be talking to her or she should be next to me. When I’m alone, I think of what we would be doing if she was here. I pause and think, this can’t be real. I think some may feel we had a strange relationship. People say their mother is their best friend, but in my case she absolutely was. We did SO much together. I helped her and she helped me. It wasn’t that she couldn’t “cut the cord” or I couldn’t grow up. We just really enjoyed each others company.
This time last year, I took her to the mall so that she could buy me and Brandon our morning birthday clothes. She wheeled herself around the store so I wouldn’t see what she was getting. I turned my head as the clothes were rung up and when everything was safely stored away in bags, she handed me her card to pay.
When I’m in the car or shower lately, I have flashbacks of how much fun we had. How much we did together. And then flashes of her last weeks. October has been a really tough month and I know the next two months will probably be worse. I actually had one person tell me that their mother has cancer as well and it sucks knowing the inevitable, but life goes on. I know life goes on. I felt like telling the person that, but I worried it wouldn’t come out as nice 🙂 Life does go on and one day I’ll learn to live life without her. One day, I MAY go a day without having her face flash in front of me.