Monday, October 11, 2010

One Year

One year and one day ago I went to visit my mom.  The moment I walked in, I knew the moment was coming.  She was losing her battle with lung cancer.  She could hardly breathe and was hardly lucid.  Not unkindly, after a very short visit she asked me to leave.  She didn't want me to see her like that.  It was the last time I saw her.

One year ago I sat at my dad's house, visiting.  It was sort of late in the day for a visit, not to mention a Sunday and Philip should have been at home getting ready for school the next day.  But he sensed that I needed to be around family because I knew what was coming.  When my phone rang, I was already prepared.  And yet I wasn't.  Nothing can prepare you for the death of a parent.  There is no feeling like knowing that I was never ever going to talk to her again.

Almost a year ago I sat in the church, numb and exhausted.  I hadn't been able to cry the entire week.  It was like my brain hadn't processed the fact that my mother was gone.  Until that moment.  As I saw my mom in the casket, and listened to the beautiful music coming from my friends in the choir, reality hit.  I couldn't stop crying.  I sat there surrounded by my sisters and we all wept together.

It's been a year and so much has changed.  I have a son now who brings me happiness and joy.  Michaela has grown one year older and is coming into her own as a little girl.  I have wonderful mommy friends who fill my days (and many a fun night out!) with laughter and understanding.

And yet there are things that still exist exactly as they were on that day one year ago.  Like the bag of fideo in my pantry, sitting unopened.  It was one of my favorite dishes of my mom's and I had bought it a week before she died, intending to call her up for the recipe.  For some reason, I always used to call her when I was elbow deep in the middle of cooking, looking to her for advice on how to salvage the dish.  I can't cook that bag because I know I won't be able to call her for help if something goes wrong.

There's a picture that my mom gave me last summer.  A beautiful black and white picture of a little girl looking to her future as a woman.  I always loved it growing up and my mom gave it to me.  I put it in my garage waiting for a chance to hang it up.  And now I'm terrified to, because it will remind me of my mom every time I look at it.  So it just sits in my garage gathering dust.

It's amazing how the littlest things can still set me off crying.  You would think that after a year, the grieving process would be over.  But there's not a day that goes by that I don't think of her.  That I don't wish I could talk to her or share with her the news of my day.  It pains me so much to know that she doesn't get to share in my joy of the kids.  She would have loved them and spoiled them rotten.  I would have rolled my eyes and complained to Philip, but it's what I would have wanted for them.

It's funny how after years of fighting and not getting along, I discovered how much I needed and loved her only to have her be taken away from me.  I wish I could see her one more time, or know that she's looking down on me.  I love you mom.  I miss you.


Tina said...

This is a beautiful post Andrea. I know you still miss her, but you still manage to be a wonderful mother, a caring wife, and a supportive friend. I know that she is proud of you, so am I.