Mom you know what time practice ends, it’s the same as every day!
Mom I told you like 3 times I have a track meet.
Mom we said we would go tonight remember?
Mom. Mom is a special word. One that I never thought I would take for granted. Two and a half years later and I wish I could say the word mom and have it followed by the smile of a beautiful face or the stern tone of a nurturing woman.
Sometimes the best therapy is to share.
For months my mother began forgetting smalls details, making notes to remind her of things she might forget, and using words that didn’t always make sense. It was a brain tumor the size of a tennis ball. A tennis ball. My mom, wife, mother to three teenage girls, teacher to twenty-three, eight year olds was doing her best to live her life with a tumor the size of a tennis ball pressing on her brain.
From the very beginning my family was overwhelmed with support. There was not a day that summer we didn’t have a visitor with us at the hospital or a loving text message helping us through the day. We spent the hot summer months in the cafeteria deeming it our playground and grew to know the staff well. My mom was crowned mayor of the hallways, always smiling and greeting every passer by. No surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or clinical trial was going to stop her from being the sunshine of our lives.
Throughout the three years of ups and downs, I learned the strength of a community.
While in school so many of my friends and their parents helped us to carpool, our neighbors made us dinners-because lord knows all my dad could make was chicken noodle soup from a can, and everyone reached out with their love, strength, and support. The hardest part was learning to take it. To take the help we were offered. We are only human and we can’t do it all.
So often I heard people say to me “I don’t know how you do it.” But I didn’t, I had help. I still do. Take the help; it makes others feel as though they are able to soften the burden and it certainly does.
The hardest part about losing my mother was how close I had truly gotten to her when she was sick. We slept in her room when my dad left for work, we made her breakfast and got her pills, we got ready for the day together, we spent hours watching every television competition on Earth. We became inseparable. I had precious time to talk with her and learn everything I could for as long as I could. Now, I could not be more thankful for those hours, minutes, even seconds I spent so closely with her because I would have otherwise never.
Remembering holding her hand as she left us will be with me forever.
To this day it is always a struggle. When you lose someone close, you never truly realize how it will manifest in your thinking, your actions, really your heart.
For me, it took a year and it was tough. I am thankful for those that stood by me in my in my meltdowns, in my rage, and in my empty silence. There is no cure for missing someone. I will always miss my mom. Every special event in my life will be like looking to an empty chair. But that’s okay. I am lucky to have someone so great to miss. I am lucky to have known a woman so strong and so selfless. I am lucky to have someone to look up to, really look up in the heavens to.
We all have hurt and we may not always understand it but I am so thankful for those that tried; for those that did not give up on me. We will always miss someone, and Mommy, I will always miss you.