She left us on a Sunday. It’s so weird to say it, even now.
Moms are supposed to be there for the big moments: college graduation; new jobs; marriage; babies. My mom won’t get to see any of that. She’ll be there in spirit, I suppose — that’s what counts (or so I’ve been told). But she won’t be there to make sure my hair looks good; she wasn’t there to see me off to my first day in the big city.
She won’t be there on my big day when I walk down the aisle and say ‘I do’ and find myself in marital bliss (or strife, there’s a 50/50 chance). She won’t be there for me to call at 2 AM when the baby’s crying and I’m at a loss of what to do and I have to be up in three hours for work. She won’t be there to show up and take the baby and send me on my way with bloodshot eyes and a thermos full of coffee.
She won’t be there.
It’s been six years. I still remember precisely what happened the day she left. I remember going to the hospital the night before. I remember MomMom and Greg and me staying awake with her. I remember crying so hard and telling her I loved her. I remember her trying to say it back, but not being able to.
I remember holding her hand that night and telling her that I would be okay without her. I was lying to her, I knew that; but I didn’t want her to feel guilty for leaving me. She told me so many times throughout the course of her illness that she wouldn’t leave me because she didn’t want me to be alone. I told her I would be okay, though. I was brave, if only for her sake.
I remember going home the next day to shower. The doctor said we had time. I remember my uncle speeding us back to the hospital when we heard she didn’t have much time left. I remember watching her gasp for her breaths. I remember putting myself on one side of her and holding on tight to her hand.
I remember wishing it was all a dream.
We sang her home with “Amazing Grace.” My uncle read her a scripture. Even the nurses were crying at that point. I think even they were pulling hard for her to survive — even under the circumstances.
I remember her smiling one last smile for all of us; letting us know that she was happy. She was home. I think this is one reason I’ve never doubted the existence of Heaven, or God. My mom’s smile that night told me she had arrived. She’d see us on the other side.
Breast cancer is one of the roughest diseases a person can have. I hated everything to do with it for awhile – the walks and the charity drives and the people who offered me a bracelet for just a dollar. I had one person tell me to “have a heart” when I said I didn’t want to buy a bracelet. He apologized profusely moments later when I told him I’d lost my mom to breast cancer.
I miss my mom everyday of my life. I miss her smile and her laugh the most. I miss curling up next to her on days when I’m sad. I miss telling her about boys and girly stuff that no one else cares about. I just miss her; plain and simple. Six years ago today I was going into the hospital with her.
I won’t be able to post tomorrow, on the actual anniversary, so I decided to post this for her tonight.
I just want you to know I’m okay, mom. I want you to know that every single day of my 19 years with you were the happiest times of my life. I hope you aren’t worrying about me and I hope you’re enjoying yourself up there. I know one day we won’t have to say good-bye ever again. That is what keeps me going.
I love you. I miss you. I’ll see you soon.
“I thought of you and where you’d gone; and the world spins madly on.” –World Spins Madly On, The Weepies