April 3, 2008

The worst year of my life

This is a picture of my mom & my oldest daughter Rachel exactly a week before she passed away. This woman doesn't even look sick does she???? My mom fought a brave fight against her illness. I truly am glad she isn't suffering any more. Today has been surreal? -not sure that is the word I'm looking for, but for the moment it works. I haven't been overly weepy missing her today. Tried to keep myself busy so I didn't have time to really think about it. But this morning I was definitely thinking about it. Recounting in my mind exactly what was going on that day a year ago. My sister-in-law called me about 4 am that day. They had re-admitted my mom to the hospital on Monday. When I talked to my s-i-l on that Monday I asked her if she thought I needed to come back up. She said no, we'll call you if/when that happens.
My husband & I got up & threw stuff in the van & were on the road by 5 am. Now, I need to tell you how my husband drives- like a grandpa! If you get him talking in a conversation he'll slow down to about 60 on the freeway. So to my amazement & admiration he was doing 80-90 on the freeway that morning in hopes we could make the 6 hour drive to the hospital before my mom actually passed away. In fact it was totally the Lord that we didn't get pulled over on the Mass Pike. We were in the high speed lane, he was doing about 85. All of the sudden a car comes up behind us & flashes their high beams at us to move over & get out of the way. He pulls over as soon as he can & much to our surprise a state highway patrol vehicle speeds by us.
I got to talk to my mom on the phone during the trip & tell her I loved her; that I didn't want her to suffer any more & we were on our way, but if she couldn't hang on until we got there it would be okay & I understood. We were about an hour/ hour & 1/2 tops away from the hospital when my brother called me & told me she was gone. They said they'd wait for us at the hospital so I could see her one last time. When I walked in that hospital room, she looked so peaceful. And the most important part was she was no longer in pain.
After we took care of all the stuff at the hospital we went & ate lunch at a Wendy's, then my husband & I went & picked up the girls' 2 year old pictures that my mom & I had just had taken a week & a half ago at JCPenney's.
It is still hard to believe she's gone. She was the one person that I could call at 10 or 11 at night & talk to & she never cared.
My mom was a truly amazing woman. Very strong & independent, a survivor. She taught me so many things, I don't think I could even begin to list them all here. Don't get me wrong we had our ups & downs. Not too long after my parents got divorced, we must've gotten into a knock down drag out fight; because I wrote her a letter telling her I wanted a divorce from her too! She kept that letter for years in her wallet.
I happened to be living at home for my 25th birthday. She told me not to drink & drive & that no matter what time it was or where I was to call her & she'd come get me. She did! The next day my brother & sis-in-law & my 2 young nephews came into town to visit. I was sooo hung over, but we all went & picked up my car & went to COSI in Columbus.(COSI stands for center of science & industry)
She was one of those mean moms- always needing to know where I was, when I'd be home, who was going to be there for chaperones, who was going to be at the event, etc.
She instilled values & morals in me. She (& my father) gave me my foundation for my faith. But even that wasn't always an easy walk. When I got saved I wanted to get re-baptized. She would have liked to have a cow, thought I was in a cult, didn't understand why I needed to do that as I had been baptized when I was a baby. Then when I moved to RI to go to bible college & I totally knew it was the Lord, she was furious at me that I gave up my massage therapy career that I'd just spent the last few years building up.
She tried to teach me how to sew. But that was something I have NEVER had a desire to learn. Okay, maybe minutely, but that has just been recently. She was an awesome cook & an even better baker; but knew others were also as good if not better than her. I never liked her meatloaf, but I do like my aunt's.
I could talk to her about anything- yep, sex included. She didn't always approve of my lifestyle(then again I'm not too proud of parts of my past)but I knew I always had her support.
She was a proud woman, but not too proud to accept help. The things that woman taught me! I knew I'd miss her when she was gone, but I didn't think I would miss her this much.
If I could be half the mother to my girls that she was to me, I'll be doing okay.
Mom, I miss you. Can't wait to see you someday.


3boys247 said...

I am so sorry for your loss. No one should tell you to get over it or let it go. It is your grief and you will have to deal with it as you are able. I think you are doing a great job. I lost my mom 2 1/2 years ago and not a day goes by that I don't think of her.

We keep her spirit alive for the boys by telling them stories like "Grandma always made your choclate milk with syrup, not the powder." Now they ask for Grandma's special chocolate milk.

You have gotten through all the firsts, believe it or not it will begin to get a little easier.

Karen said...

Sorry about your mom. It's nice to have pictures and good memories. Aren't "mean moms" wonderful?!

About my blog... I never really LOVED the bubbles.. then I found this FREE template at Cutest blogs on the block (link on my site). My friend Judith also helped me get the header picture just right! So I've managed to figure it out for free so far, but I've seen some REALLY cute ones that people have paid to have done!

JT said...

Wow, this blog really made me think about my own family and encouraged me. I am sorry for your loss and it sounds like your mom was good to you.

It's amazing when you look at your life and how you turned out, you can see those people, like your mom and how they shaped you. It sounds like you are good mom to your daughters. Keep going :)

Peggy said...

That was a beautiful tribute, Gail. Thank you for sharing your heart with all of us. It takes courage to relive memories sometimes. Your mom sounds like an amazing woman!