10/21/2015

A Birthday Without A Mother

Holidays have a different meaning after a loved one dies.  Each holiday has special past memories and it is quiet hard to make new ones.

This is the first Birthday without my mother nor my mother in law. They each died within a month of each other.  I was driving home from Buffalo when I got the first of many calls telling me my mothers health was declining.  I didn't want to hear it and just brush them off at the beginning.  Then the calls got more frequent and I had to answer them. 


Once I got the phone call, with the details of how my mother had been living and how sick she was, I should have called back and spoke directly with my mother, I should have gotten on the next plane and flew out there to comfort her and to tell her I was there and that I loved her.  I couldn't do it.  Throughout the next week I received several phone calls, from neighbors, doctors and nurses about her condition, the surgeries and her convalescence.  I could still not get the courage to go out there.  I was scared. I had never seen her in a weak state nor in pain.  I did not want to see my mother in pain, or dying.  I figured that I wanted to keep her strong and wise in my mind at all times.  She was so alone and she had no one.Honestly, I did not want to see her die.  I was scared and I did not want to lose my mother.


I already had spent a few days with my momma as she laid dying in Buffalo, I told her goodbye, and cried in front of her.  She never saw me cry when Brian died, I couldn't let her see me in pain or hurting, it was nothing compared to what she was feeling after losing her son. I figured I had no right.  I was there for her. I was not there for my mother.  I held my momma and told her I loved her very much and that we were going to be okay.  I did not hold my mother, to tell her I loved her, or to tell her I would be ok.  Honestly, I would not be ok.  No matter what i did when I was a child or a teenager, my mother was always there to take me back into the house, or to forgive my past mistakes. She was always there, when I asked for help.  I was not there for her.  I will never forgive myself for this, and I punish myself everyday and hope that she forgave me and knows why I couldn't be there, to watch her die.  One night, I did start the drive out to California to see her.  I made it about 200 miles.  I turned around.  I couldn't do it. 

A few days later i started getting phone calls from the hospital that I didn't answer.  I didn't want to know that she was dying, I didn't want to know that she was going to leave me.  Finally, one evening I knew it was time.  It was time to confront my fears and own up to them.  I knew why they were calling me,  I knew the decision that awaited me when I spoke with the nurses and then a doctor.  I knew what they were telling me and I knew what they were getting ready to ask me.  I didn't want to make that decision, I didn't want to be the grown up.  I was strong and did not cry on the phone.  I was professional and told the doctor to make her comfortable, and not to provide any extraordinary measures to save her.  They said it would be quick.  that was at 9pm.  At 6 am the next day I had a few missed calls on my phone.  When I looked at the number, I knew who was calling me and why.  I knew she was gone.  Why couldn't she come to me in a dream and say goodbye?  Something.  I called the hospital, they told me of her passing.  I hung up the phone, passed the news to Bryant and then went to work.  I couldn't show emotion, I figured I was already out a few days for momma, and having another family member pass away was just coincidental. 

After my mother died, I was an emotional wreck, to not have 2 women whom I cared for and loved deeply was devastating.  I didn't have a mom.  My mother and I had huge ups and downs throughout her life and even though I wanted nothing to do with her at times, or I was upset and angry with her, she still loved me with every part of her heart and soul.  She thought we had this wonderful relationship that had been through so much. Instead of breaking that dream she had, or rather vision of us together, I kept the hurt and anger inside of me and never uttered a word.  Somethings you learn to keep within yourself so not to hurt others with words and actions that could never be taken back

I still did not accept that she was gone. I called the few people I knew of that I had their contact information and passed on the news. 
I waited and waited to call the hospital to have her remains taken care of.  I think it was at least a month before I called to have her cremated and the remains flown out here to me.  I still do not think I have accepted her being gone.  I wish I had one last phone call with her, one last conversation, no matter how mad it made me.  If I did have that one last chance, I doubt I would have taken it.  I doubt that I would have used it the right way.  This will forever haunt me.  She knows that I love her very much and that I miss her.

Last year on my birthday, when she was alive but very sick, she called and left a message on my phone, singing me and wishing me a happy birthday. 

My mind id wild right now, as it has been for the past year.  I don't know what to do or how to feel.  I just don't know.  I am glad that I have the last memory of her as a strong, healthy woman who made me laugh with all of her quirks and hoarding issues she had going on.  Of course will I was there the last time I saw her, I took out the trash, did the dishes and paid her for her garage sale items and proceeded to throw them in a trash can away from her house.  That was my agenda whenever I went out to visit.  She would go and get the items out of the trash in the early years, so I learned to take them to a different garbage can far away from her house.  I am glad that I was able to give her a television to watch all of her shows and movies on.  She loved her television, and we would always talk about the new shows and which ones we liked and which was were awful.  We both loved Big Bang Theory and she didn't like two and A Half Men once Charlie Sheen left the show.  We both though Rose was a hit when she was on the show. 

There are a few memories that I have of her growing up.  Times were tough and her addictions were tough on the both of us.  But there are some good times that I do remember, and I try to cherish those and focus on those when I start having flashbacks of the bad times. 

That's all you can do, for now.




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