For some reason this song popped into my head tonight and led me to think about the people who move in and out of our lives who we are no longer accustomed to. And that led me to Mother. How is it a person can spend twenty-eight years of their life with someone and almost without their realizing it, they vanish from the day-to-day? When someone you love dies you’re supposed to expect to see them walk around the corner, right? Or you pick up the phone to call them and suddenly remember you can’t. Or what about the one where you wake up and for a few heavenly seconds you forget about reality? I never experienced this. Reality was my ever present sidekick from day one. After Mother died I never expected to physically see her in the house, never thought she’d walk around the corner, and, except for one time, never picked up my phone to call her. So, how can I, her daughter, who was more than accustomed to her presence, have allowed this to happen so quickly? How did she disappear from my life? I know there are theories galore about this topic, and being a student of memory, I can offer a few of my own, but it’s different when one’s life is the clinical trial. Everything happened so quickly and with a loss of speech, paralysis, and then inability to take care of herself, I suppose my reaction was inevitable. Mother’s role in the family was lost the day she was diagnosed with cancer. She took her last steps mid-December so when she died two months later I was accustomed to her not walking around. Speech was touch and go from day one. Phone calls became the rarity and then non-existent. I became the caretaker, and she became the patient. When she died my brain was used to this ‘new normal.’
I wrote this the other night before going to bed. I knew if I didn’t take time to commit my thoughts to paper (or in this case, my computer) these ideas would roll round and round in my head, and I would never fall asleep. For me grief is a very private emotion. I rarely talk about it in a public forum, preferring to share my deepest thoughts and feelings with a trusted few, but every once in a while I feel compelled to be real and honest and reveal that part of myself. Because while grief no longer overtakes my life, it will always be part of me, and I’m learning it’s okay to acknowledge it, even live in it for a while. So why share this? Why now? Honestly, I have no idea. It just seemed right. Transparency isn’t a trait I embrace often on my blog, but I’m learning it’s okay to just be me. It’s okay to question and feel sad and, sometimes, mad at this crappy card life dealt. It’s okay to for people to know everything is not all right, and while I’m finally able to ‘move on’ with life, there are seasons when I miss my mama more than others. Sharing life’s ups and downs doesn’t make me less of a person or mean I’m somehow compromising a part of myself. Rather, it’s the opposite. It’s natural. It’s me. And it’s okay for people to know that.