I’m writing this ahead of time because I’m not sure what my mood will be in the morning. You see, 2 years ago today, my mom was alive. Sick, yes, dying, yes, but alive. In fact, we were due to be visiting 2 days from now. Celebrating Busy B’s birthday up there in New Hampshire, one last little hurrah before Baby B was born.
My heart broke into a million pieces early in the morning on July 25, 2009. Mom wasn’t responsive and my OB had told me driving that far away wasn’t a good idea, my blood pressure was rising and they wanted me to stay put. I’d called my dad to touch base and tell him I wasn’t going to be able to come up with the kids, and how disappointed I was….and expecting like normal to just have him say “here’s mom.”
I remember cleaning up from lunch and deciding I better call RIGHT NOW to tell mom, just once more, that I love her. Once more. Hurry, before its too late. Only my dad beat me to it. The phone rang as I was reaching for it, rinsing dishes, multitasking as most of us do. “Dad! You beat me to it! Can you hold the phone up to moms ear?” “Mom’s gone, Brett. She’s gone. She died a few minutes ago.”
Tears, pain, shock, sorrow, sadness. Heartbreak. She wasn’t supposed to die. She was supposed to fight, at least a little longer, so she could meet the new baby. My new baby. My last. Her namesake. It took my breath away. It still does sometimes.
Empty. Lonely. Confused. Hollow.
Thirty years of a tumultuous relationship and 5 years of wonderful mother-daughter friendship. It wasn’t enough. It isn’t enough. It has to be enough.
13 days later, on August 7th, my water broke and Baby B descended into the birth canal fast and furious- and both feet first. My blood pressure was 195/120 and wouldn’t regulate. Baby was fine. In no time, I was fine. Physically, anyway.
I’m better. The heartache is there, but the heartbreak is waning. At least, most days it is. Right now, writing this, it is not. It is taking my breath away.
I’m finding more and more that I’m sharing things about my mom with the kids. I guess that’s how she’ll live on. In the stories, the memories, the shared love of books, of helping others, championing the underdog, and really, the love of family. That’s what I’ve got. That’s her legacy.
I just wish she could have stopped smoking because had she been able to, this post wouldn’t be written. She’d be here, anxiously waiting for the new Harry Potter movie to be available for pre-order on DVD, sending us links to new recipes she found to try online, knitting sweaters, weaving baskets, sharing newly beloved books and rediscovering formerly loved books.
If you got this far, bless your heart. This is apparently a therapeutic post and I got long winded (yet) again. Apologies. But if you have read this much- hug your loved ones. Life is short. Too short.
Love a lot.