The events of a year ago are flooding back in as if they’ve been out to sea for a while and have decided to return for a visit. I remember very vividly hanging up the phone with Mom and being profoundly affected by the change in her voice. The effects of her last radiation treatment had left her with slurred speech and this hit me like a ton of bricks. It was the beginning of a loss so great it shatters one’s soul. I remember crying at the thought of never again hearing the sound of my mother as I’d known it all of my life. It devastated me and fueled me into an all out search for anything that had Mama’s voice on it. I can remember replaying messages in hopes of rediscovering it. One night, as I sat idle in my car under a blanket of foggy night sky, I called my brother and confessed my concern of never hearing my sweet Mama’s voice again and how selfish I felt for even wishing to. I knew I should be focused on comforting and supporting her as opposed to fulfilling my own self-centered wishes. I couldn’t help it though. Just once I longed to hear the sound of her unaltered tone.
Somewhere in all the sadness and longing, I realized what the alternative would be and soon embraced a new hope that all would be okay and her eloquent dialogue would return. My aunt reassured me that there was a good chance that the effects would lessen as time marched on. The exhilaration of knowing this was almost too much to contain. I called Mama at various times in the day to listen to the differences. It was evident that morning was always a bit better and as fatigue set in; the evenings were more of a strain. One morning in particular she was very clear and glimpses of her former quick witted tongue were evident. I look back on that phone conversation in particular and realize it was just a few days later that I boarded the plane to return to her. We are approaching that day now. I know this is why I am faced with sleepless nights and an increasingly aching heart.
It’s always in hindsight that you realize you should embraced each moment as they come; because now, I wish I could hear anything associated with her, her laughter, her tears, her humor, and yes, even her slurred speech. I would welcome any sound from her and hold tight to it with every ounce of my being knowing full well how precious each utterance is.
The most amazing thing is, right now in this very instance………I can hear my wind chimes ringing…..and you better believe I’m going to embrace it wholeheartedly!
This month has been an exceptionally difficult one. The constant reminder of Mother’s Day in my classroom has just added salt to the wound continuously. I think the fact that I realized early on that I would want to spend this particular Mother’s Day all alone, scared me just a bit. Not knowing truly what emotions it would evoke, I set my decision in stone. I wanted to sit alone in all the memories. I wanted to cry, laugh, and remember all of those moments that made Mama so special, without attempts to coast just above it and just make it through the day. So I gathered up the courage and developed an idea I thought would carry me through the day.
I had considered writing a post that highlighted all the best parts of what made Mama so unique. Then I realized I don’t want to rush this process. One of the things I love most about my Mama Memories is that they come to me just at the exact moment that they should. It is in that instance that I share them through written word. So although I could easily list all the wonderful things that encompassed her, I choose to peel back the layers gradually and through time, just as our lives naturally evolve over time.
Instead, I have filled the day with a balloon prayer, Broadway musicals, pajamas, popcorn, orange slices and a bit of snuggle time with my little, furry man. Mom’s love of Broadway Musicals is what ignited my brilliant plan. I know that there will be tears today; but, I also know that there will be laughs, happiness, and the comfort of memories that nestle close to the heart and fill it full of love.
So as I spend my day being the best mommy I can to my little guy, I will also spend time remembering the best Mama for me that I could have ever hoped to imagine and dream for!! I miss you, love you, mean it, Mama!! Happy Mother’s Day!
Yesterday, as I was looking at my list of friends to send an “invite” to for my Facebook page, I stumbled upon Mom’s name again. It took me aback, as it does every time, and soon I was fully enveloped in sorrow. I know without any hesitation that Mama would have supported me and that her “like” button would have been the first one pushed. I found myself wanting to click on it, even knowing that there was no one on the other end to receive it. It is moments like these that are so difficult. It’s when there is a flash of a picture, or a flash of a name, or a flash of a moment and that ever so brief flash turns into hours of pain, tears, and loneliness.
I cannot precisely explain the feeling that washes over you, other than genuine shock. But much more of a confused, baffled shock than typically occurs when upsetting events present themselves. I think most often when I am stunned by something, it affects my brain. I tend to sit in wonder of the how and why of it all. Strangely enough, when the shock comes from a picture or lost moment of Mama, it affects my heart. It latches onto it and squeezes so hard I can barely breathe. I know of no other shocking situation that does that, only the death of a loved one.
There is no time for rational, only time to react to the agony of it all. What I have learned in these bits of heartache is that if you just take a moment to sit in it all and cry out the loneliness, anger, frustrations, and feelings of deep loss…..there is always a sense of relief and a glimmer of light in the end. It’s as if our loved ones that are watching us from above are guiding us through this and have opened that door at the end of a very long, dark hallway. There is something about that idea and belief that I genuinely “like.”