Mom…New Year’s Eve is over.
I tried not to remember…
But I did…the shrimp cocktail, cheese and crackers, creamed herring and more that we had chosen for our feast last year. I threw it all out eventually. I kept the goofy spray cans of cheese the longest. I tried to tell myself I would spray it on a cracker and laugh eventually. I couldn’t enjoy any of it…not without you. Last year you were so sick…I wanted to take you to the ER. I knew we were losing you. Mumbling in your sleep, unable and unwilling to eat or drink anything at all, but still telling me you loved me.
I tried to keep the boys protected from what was happening in that green chair – we even laughed about your mumbling to lighten the mood. I was so scared. I remember sitting on the floor next to your chair, crying and begging you to let me take you to the ER. You wouldn’t you got mad. I made you promise we could go in the morning.
I am a nurse and I couldn’t help you. What was happening Mom? Was it simple dehydration or had the cancer moved into your brain? Was it a stroke? These thoughts plague me every day. What was happening to your body and mind? Could I have done something to stop it? Should I have made you go that night? Nothing would have changed the course of your life ending – I know that – but I want to know what it was that killed you. Sepsis from aspiration? Complication from surgery? Brain cancer? Stroke? I’ll just have to settle for not knowing…eventually. For now, I keep wondering.
But that was just last year! What would I have done without you during all those other times? Remember the Y2K New Year’s Eve? Pregnant with Adam, I was alone except for you. So many years it was you and me together. No one knows how much we went through together, do they? How many times we helped each other through the stuff. Those bonds are so strong…you were so much more than my mom. You were my best friend. You were my cheerleader and champion. God alone knows just how much I love you.
Yesterday, I tried to not think about missing you until late at night…worked pretty well actually. I’m trying so hard to remember “permission” and “limits” are necessary to get through grief. So, on New Year’s Eve I limited myself to feeling sad until I got home. Then I gave myself permission to miss you and relive last year for a short time. Okay, actually Alex gave me permission to cry. He and Adam both kept asking me “what’s wrong?” I tried to blow it off. Finally Alex got me – and I started crying. He said, “Gramma? Mom, she’s right here with you (he pointed next to me) and always right here (and he pointed to his heart).” Amazing…the vision of kids…
After that, we watched Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve and I tried not to think about last year. I got crabby (as I usually do when I’m keeping it inside) but we did stay up to watch the midnight show on TV.
I can’t believe it’s been almost a year without you.
I really gotta get it together.
Why is this so hard? Mom, it would be so much easier to get through this if you were here.