Monday, April 20, 2009

Frailty of Life

I've been missing my mom the past week, more than usual. She died November 15, 2004 of cancer. I was there when she took her last breath, when I was almost as far along with Butterfly as I am right now with this baby.

I don't know if it is because of the hormonal changes when pregnant that I get way more sentimental about her death or what.

Sometimes I forget she is gone and I almost grab the phone up to tell her about the funny things the girls say and do! I even forget that she doesn't know them (in the sense that she's in a mortal body and hanging out with them, loving them, letting them get to know her, etc.). It's almost like she's known them anyway and I don't even have to say anything. Just smile and know that she knows.

One thing my mom said to me often when I was a teenager was, "You'd make a great mother to boys!" I never really understand that. I still don't. I can't remember the context when she'd say that or what I was doing/saying to make her think that. So I guess that gives special meaning to finding out this little one's gender (BTW, you can vote on the top, right corner- so far it is split down the middle).

When I have an especially trying day or someone just makes me really angry and upset I end up crying for my mom. Crying because I want to talk to her, to vent to her, to tell her I don't want her advice but listen anyway. I wish I could ask her about her pregnancies and more about what we all were like when we were little (she had FIVE babies!). I missed that chance, that opportunity. It's one thing to hear it from other relatives and quite another to hear it from the very woman who carried and cared for us.

So this is a post dedicated to all of you out there who have lost a parent and wish they could just have one day to ask all the questions, or to just stare at them in comfortable silence.

I admire my mom for being a single parent and raising the youngest two of her five children (that would be me and my little brother, Matt). For going back to school and living off student loans and food stamps to become an RN. For finally finding something that made her happy and want to live again, her nursing career. It was a short-lived happiness, only a few years of nursing, but she got to take her last breath in the very hospital and on the very floor where she had worked, with her daughters and friends surrounding her.

I am at peace with my mom's death. I'm not bawling as I type this. I know in Whom I believe and I know that my mom can finally breathe again with her Creator. I've never visited her grave because I know she isn't there. I don't talk to her because even if she can hear me I already got to say everything I needed to say before she died (even if many of my questions about her life went unanswered).

But I just had to get all of this out because I miss her very much. And I wish I could physically SEE with my eyes how proud she is and hear her say how beautiful my babies are. I wish she were here to spoil them and teach them and read to them. It won't happen but it's nice to dream.

Funny story- At the funeral home they always put up a blown-up picture of the deceased. Somehow I ended up with the huge picture but I haven't been able to bring myself to hang it so it sits behind a piece of furniture in my dining room.

One day I asked Butterfly where my mom was... to get a conversation going about my mom. She got up and ran to the dining room where the picture is hidden and pulled it out. My girls love to stare at her face, and sometimes they appear to recognize her. It gives me goosebumps!


Anonymous said...

Oh Joy. . . I'm so sorry to hear about your Mom. I cannot even imagine how hard it must be. I think it's great that you are at peace with it, and I have no doubt she is looking down from heaven, so proud of the two little girls you helped create. (and that baby growing in your tummy)

Jess said...

I'm sorry hon...I know you are at peace with her death, but I am still sorry you can't reach out to her and talk to her right now. I know she is watching you with the proudest momma eyes!

Becky said...

Awww, Joy...of course that's perfectly natural to be thinking of your dear mama at a time like this.

That story at the end about the photo made me all teary eyed.

Maybe you just need to write out some memories about her for a while...perhaps think back to all the little things you can remember her telling you about motherhood, or about caring for children and other such things. Maybe there is something that she said somewhere along the line that you would find helpful now. Some bits of wisdom.

I think you make a pretty good mama to girls, too, but maybe there'll be some boys in the future **wiggles brows**


The Mommy said...

I think being (and once again becoming) a mother makes you feel so much closer to your own mom. ((Big Hugs))

Anonymous said...

That's really funny that Butterfly pulled the picture out! ha ha ha...

Weird, I've been missing Mom lately too. I know what you mean about sometimes you just want her here to hang out with, or talk to. I think it was a week or so ago, I just really wanted her here to see my girls grow up. Maddie changes so much and she's a hoot to watch, and I felt really sad that Mom is missing out. And I know if she were here, she'd be spoiling the kids rotten. I always MISS her, but I don't always think about her. If that makes sense. There are times when I feel like I'm suffocating or hyperventilating when I think about her and the fact that I'll never see her again in this life. I get upset at the unfairness of it all. Emmy is so sweet....she comes up to me all the time and says, "You mom live in heaven now?" "Yep, my mom lives in heaven now." And she'll say, "I like you[r] mom. She's nice." LOL

Well, I know there's nothing I can say to make it all better, but atleast we're in the same boat. Pregnancy and postpartum were always tough for me after Mom died too. {HUGS}

Stacey said...

This is a lovely post about your mom. I'm so glad you shared it. I cannot imagine how hard it must be not having her here in the flesh, but it certainly sounds like you've made her a very proud mother and grandmother.

I admire your strength!

Photogrl said...


What a beautiful post about you Mom.


Our mother's stories our SO similar it's kind of frightening. My mom passed when I was 7 months along with Miss O., she died of cancer, was an RN, but only for a few years. She was a single mother, who earned her nursing degree the same year I graduated from high school.

I struggle with not being able to pick up a phone and talk to my Mom as well.