I’ve only cried a handful of times since my mom died. I haven’t addressed my loss, our family’s loss, over the past year very often. It hurts too much to think about it.
At this time last year, she was still in the hospital fighting for her life. Chemo failed. The doctors failed. Our hope failed.
I was watching the end of a terribly boring movie this evening called King of the Corner. During the final scene the husband reaches for his wife’s hand. They danced together on the grass. Their teenage daughter watched them from a chair nearby. It struck an emotional chord that melted through my emotional wall.
I started to think about the fact that I would never see my parents dance together again. It made me feel deeply sad for my dad. He and my mom loved each other so intensely. I also felt sorry for myself. I miss having my parents as a unit. I miss observing their love for each other. I miss observing them.
I remember feeling so content and proud while watching them dance. Their rhythm was perfect. They were beautiful. I remember feeling their love for each other. It made me feel so happy when they shared it with me and my little sister.
We were so lucky. My parents bought us Sesame Street, Muppets and Free to Be You and Me albums. They would sing along with us in the living room just as spiritedly as when they listened to their own music.
I miss being in their presence. I miss the feeling that I got just being in the same room with them. I felt safe. I’m so sad that I’ll never feel that way again.
I remember squeezing in between my parents on their bed. They would relax sometimes after dinner and discuss their day. My dad would teach me silly tricks and I would tickle both of my parent’s all over. My mom laughed so hard. She was extremely ticklish.
They used to tickle me, too. My dad used to sing a silly song that his Swedish grandmother taught him, while his finger made circles in the air. "I think I'll bore a hole, and I don't know where...I think I'll bore a hole...right--in--there!" The whole song made me squiggle and giggle until his finger poked me in my side or underarms. My mom liked to sing it and she used to make me squeal with anticipation, too. I loved that game. I taught it to my kids when they were small.
I miss the way my dad gazed at my mom from across the dinner table. I miss her big blue eyes. Sometimes when I catch myself in the mirror, I see her eyes looking back at me and it startles me. I never realized how much I looked like her, especially her eyes.
I am grateful for the time that we had, but I am also angry that my mom died fairly young. I hoped that my parents would turn 60, 70, 80, 90 and even 100 together.
I’m still shocked that she is gone. I’m so sad that she suffered. I’m so sad that she died so quickly.
My daughter cried for her grandma again last night at bedtime. She thinks out loud about her at least once a week. She misses cooking with her every weekend. She misses doing art projects with her grandma. She misses her hugs.
I miss calling her for advice.
I still want to ask you for help, mom. I still need you.
Did you hear me talking to you while my little sister was trying on wedding dresses last week? Didn’t she look like a little doll? Did we pick the right one?
How will we get through the wedding without you? I’m sad that her children won’t ever get to know what a good person you were. My kids were lucky to have you for a gunmom/gomom. I think that you loved them and worried about them as much as I do.
I learned to be a good mom because of you. I know my sister will great mom, too, because of you. You always made us your highest priorities.
I miss you so much. We all do. I miss your pretty face—every part of you so much. I wish that I could hug you one more time.
I know that dad is suffering so much worse than the rest of us. It’s hard for him to talk about you too much, although he likes when we talk about you around the house. We talk about you all of the time. We are using your recipes and teaching your granddaughter how to cook some of them. We always say, “Wouldn’t mom be proud?” And, “Wouldn’t mom love this?”
We’ll never forget you or stop loving you.
I hope that you are at peace. I hope that there really is a heaven and that your grandma was there waiting for you. You certainly deserve a gorgeous pair of wings. I hope to see you there after I am done with the job of raising my children. I love being a mom and understand why you looked at us that way. I look forward to seeing you again someday.