15 days since I have heard my Mother’s voice without the interference of a bipap mask.
13 days since I felt her hand squeeze mine for the last time as we both knew goodbye was imminent.
On her last really good night (Saturday), I fed her baked potato, salad, and a few bites of a frosty from Wendy’s. We laughed. Tommy, Melissa, and Chad sat with me as I fed her. Andi was finally getting some sleep, the few precious hours she actually got over the 5 day stint in the ICU. Mom looked at Chad and told him how much she loved his beard. I’m sure other things were said, but I can’t remember them right now. She was precious; We brushed her hair and put her lotions on, we made sure everything was so-so just as she liked it. She was our Queen (she loved that term for people.. and cats), we doted on her and pampered her in life and ultimately in death. And she deserved it. If anyone ever deserved love and affection, it was Mommy.
The kindest soul I have ever known, my Mom never had a bad thing to say about anyone. I mean that, I’m not just saying it to make her sound good because she’s gone. On the off chance she did say something, she would stop and ask God to forgive her for being ‘in her flesh’. She always wanted me to be softer with people (and myself) because she knew my heart better than anyone else. It’s pretty big, believe it or not. Mom was an empath; she felt your loss, your wins, your happiness, your sadness, and she felt it all deeply. She fervently prayed for people she had never met as if she knew them personally. I find myself in those words. I always did, but in this sea of grief, I hurt so deeply for others who have felt loss of this magnitude. Things that once seemed important, being “right” or having the last word, no longer matter. Maybe they will again, but I can’t be sure. I don’t know if I want them to be important again.
She would’ve loved a morning like this; crisp air, fall leaves, the sabbath. She loved dreary days as much as sunny days and found beauty in everything and everyone. I mean it when I say that she was my hero. My Mom, my best friend, my spiritual advisor, my Dad; She wore so many hats and she wore them well. She was everything.
I can’t say I know how to navigate this grief and this loss. I lost all of my grandparents before I was 30 and the truth is, that pain isn’t comparable. But, I am trying. I’m working in my house today, grocery shopping, I might even have the energy to workout. I’m trying to figure out this new life without my Mom. Not because I want to, but because she would want me to. The void is deep and wide, cavernous and seemingly never ending. But, I have to try.
Hug your sweet Mother today. Tell her you love her and never leave anything unsaid.