One year ago tonight, I was tucking myself in under a warm fuzzy blanket that I refuse to bury myself beneath a year later. My stepfather was snoring across the room on an uncomfortable makeshift chair, my aunt was rolling around trying to find comfort in turmoil, and my mom’s breathing was labored and erratic in the hospice bed next to me. We had been told by the nurse that she was nearing the end, and not to expect her to live through the following day, possibly not even through the night. Sleep was teasing me, as well as my aunt and stepdad, and was as erratic and unpredictable as my mom’s breathe.
The anticipation was just as intense as the dread, and I remember thinking of the similarities that exist between the waiting for the birth of a baby, and waiting for the death of my mom. I knew that Heaven was waiting just as intently as me, but didn’t the angels, didn’t God know I wanted her with me MORE? At that thought, I remember chuckling a bit under my breath ‘Life isn’t fair’. I could still here her say it in the same voice she used when I was little. After six weeks of sleep deprivation and keeping it all together, I could feel my own sanity starting to slip a little, but I wouldn’t let it. Mom taught me strength as much as she could. In retrospect, I was strong. In the last year, I’ve had many moments where that strength has diminished into weeping wails of sorrow, and I’ve been told by friends who have also lost their moms that it doesn’t get easier.
Maybe it doesn’t. Only time will tell.
What I do know is that for the last year, I have felt my mom’s presence, heard her voice, seen her blessings, and sensed her approval. I’ve experienced difficult times, when I didn’t know which way to turn, but I’ve also experienced incredible times when I felt that I may explode with happiness, only to realize my mom isn’t here to share in those joys. But with every step, every tear, every breakdown, every giggle, I feel her and imagine that she’s wrapping her arms around me. Sometimes I think that she has more pull in my life now that she’s up there with the big man himself, and maybe she does. The other possibility is that maybe she taught me well, and maybe – just maybe- she knows that.