Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mother's Day

warning: this is going to be a sad/woe is me/I don't know how to deal with my feelings post. I think I'm allowed one of these every once in a while, right? it's time to cash mine in. I'll also warn you that this post may not make much sense. I really need a place to get all this out, and I'm going to do just that. my thoughts on this blog, and let it be.

it's almost Mother's Day. I hate Mother's Day. maybe when I'm a mom, I'll love it and enjoy celebrating the holiday, but NOT having a mom on Mother's Day fucking blows. there are three days a year that I take to myself - either to mourn or to celebrate her life - her birthday, Mother's Day, and the day she passed.

for those who aren't aware, my mother died when I was 16. here's the "long story short" version - she became aware of her sickness in December 2002 while I was away on a vacation with my dad and my brothers. she had passed out at home (my little brother was with her, who was barely two years old at the time). my aunt reached us by satellite phone on the cruise, but I was pretty oblivious to what was going on... I just knew she was "sick." we came home and she was in the hospital - they found cancer in her ovaries, and subsequently performed a hysterectomy and hoped they would catch everything. after the hysterectomy, they let her come home to her family for Christmas. deep down inside, I think they knew it would be her last Christmas with her children. on January 5th, she was readmitted to the hospital, where they found big masses in her left lung and was diagnosed with lung cancer. it was too far advanced to try any treatment, so they basically let her live out her days in the hospital. it got to the point where she could not breathe on her own, and her body started shutting down. the machine was unplugged on January 18th, and I was holding her hand as she took her last breath, at 36 years old. it's amazing to me that I can even type all that out without bursting into tears... it took a long time to be this way.

witnessing the slow deterioration of my mother was, by far, the most difficult and painful experience of my life. my mom was one of my best friends - we were extremely close before she died. I was a teenager, so of course we butted heads a lot, but those arguments were later resolved with 7th Heaven marathons and eating ice cream on the couch. sometimes she would let me skip school and we'd have a girls day - we'd get lunch and go shopping or go to the movies. those were the best days.

the last memory I have of my mom is of her breathing in her last taste of sweet air, and then no more. I pleaded with her at her bedside during those moments... I begged her not to leave me... I told her I couldn't live without her... that I needed her more than anyone in the world... that it wasn't HER time to go yet. I pleaded, and I cried hysterically, and I fell to the floor. it was like a movie. it was surreal. it wasn't happening, it couldn't be happening. this couldn't be the last time I would ever see her blue eyes, and hold her warm hand, and tell her I love her face to face. but it was. she held on for a long time after I begged her to stay... I finally told her that it was alright - that I loved her and I didn't want her to feel any pain any longer, and that somehow I would survive without her and someday I would make her proud of me. I promised her that I would keep our family strong, and that I'd take care of my brothers. promised her that I would behave myself at next year's prom and that I would walk across the stage at graduation with my head held high. I would make her proud. and that was it. she took one deep breath, and then a few minutes later, another. I knew that one was her last. I could feel it. I felt her hands go cold and the life in her leave from her body

nevermind about that whole thing about not crying.

I wish I could say I dealt well with my mother's death, but I did the complete opposite. I became extremely angry and withdrawn. I acted out at school and in social situations, and rebelled from my father, who was now my permanent guardian. I partied a LOT. I never got into drugs, but I did more than my fair share of drinking, and it wasn't just "let's go out and have a good time" drinking. it was "I'm going to drink so much that I black out and forget all that's bad in my life" drinking. I was a disaster. it took a good year of anger and destruction for me to come to terms with her death - to make me realize that in order to deal with it, I had to let her go. it was difficult, but eventually I did. I was a peace with it. and I did behave myself at prom. and I did walk across that stage with my head held high. I hope I've made her proud.

if I could model myself after anyone, it would be my mother. she was the best person in the world to me. she was so care free, and always so happy. she loved her children more than anything in the world, and she'd so anything for us. her favorite colors were pink and yellow, and she had a strange infatuation with pink flamingos. she loved Florida, specifically Key West, and still rocked a bikini after having 4 kids. her favorite band was Aerosmith, and she had a huge influence on my love of 90s alternative music. she took me to my first concert - HFS's Christmas Nutcracker festival when I was in 5th grade. I got extremely offended when someone on stage screamed "Merry Fucking Christmas" and asked to leave... and we did.

sometimes I get angry with myself for being so content with being motherless. I get frustrated that I feel completely "normal" not having a mom, and I hate it. I have small container with some of her ashes in it. I refuse to dump them in the ocean, where she wished, because I'm still not ready to let her go. I'm so afraid that I'll forget her. I don't want to forget all the memories we created together as a family, as mother and daughter. my younger brother, who was 11 at the time of her death, doesn't remember her at all, and it makes me so sad for him... to not remember what a wonderful and caring woman she was. and obviously, my brother who was 2 at the time, certainly doesn't even know anything about her. we try to remind him and keep his memory fresh, but he has a new family now, and only refer to her as his "real mom" or his "angel mom." I just wish everyone could know her like I did. you couldn't help but smile in her presence. she was such a wonderful, bubbly, encouraging, and funny person.

god I just miss her so much. there are days when I wake up and I just want to stay in bed and cry and cry and remember her all day long. I just wish she were here. I wish I could have just ONE more day with her to tell her everything I wanted to tell her. I want to brush her hair and paint her nails and have a sleepover. I wish she could have seen me graduate high school, and see me all dolled up for prom. I wish she could have been there for both of my brothers' graduations and proms. I wish she could have met my husband, I wish she could have seen me walk down the aisle with my dad, and I wish she could be here for when we have kids one day. but she's not, and I know that. and I know it's just a pity party to think that way. I don't let these thoughts consume me... I let them out every now and then and it always seems to be around those 3 dates I mentioned up above.

I'm not sure what I'll do for Mother's Day this year. I may take a day trip to the beach, just by myself. I may just stay home and work on house projects. I may just lay in bed and cry all day. I guess it depends on how I'm feeling when I wake up Sunday. but I know I will be reflecting on my mom's life... on the good and the bad and the crazy. I'll always remember her smile, and her dedication to her family, and I only hope that I grow up to be half the woman she was.

if you got this far, thank you. I know this isn't a normal blog post for TBNT, but it was much needed for me.


  1. it may not be a 'normal' post - but it is the best thus far, and by that i mean that you let your TRUE self and feelings out and not many people get to see/know that side of you. I hope you go to the beach .. you haven't done that in a while and i'm sure you're mom would want you there over any other place. let her sun shine on you :)

  2. Well... thanks for letting me have a good cry, hun. Seriously.

    I feel everything that you feel (what you wrote about at least) except mine can't quite be as painful... because I lost my dad and not my mom. But I DO know all those feelings, I still have days where I just cry and I can't explain why - my most dreaded days are Halloween (my dad's birthday), the day he passed away in March and Father's Day. I still have a container of his ashes that I was supposed to "let go" of, but I can't, for the same reasons you can't. I will probably keep that container, unopened, forever.

    I'm sorry this weekend is going to suck for you - but know that I'm thinking of you and that you should do whatever you want that day and FEEL whatever you want.

    Sorry this was so long... <3

  3. Wow, you know how to pull at some heart strings girl. The beautiful things that you said about her have to be the greatest thing a mom could ever want her daughter to remember. You are an amazing and strong woman and I'm so sure she would be proud of you. I hope that you do whatever, and feel whatever you need to on Sunday. I will be thinking about you! XOXO

  4. This was such a touching and wonderful, but sad post. I'm sorry you lost your mom. I can't imagine what you go through with missing her. My best friend lost her mom and dad within a years time and I know how hard that has been on her. You just always have to remember the good times and know that you have an angel that loves you!!!

  5. i am so so sorry this weekend will be so painful for you..reading this post took all my energy NOT to cry (because you know what a slippery slope that is for me regarding this matter as well). meeting you was like a breath of fresh air for me because i finally didn't feel alone. you are, literally, the only other person i know whose mother is also dead. after hearing the story about the loss of your mom, and seeing how far you've come despite all that, helps me draw strength during the times where i, myself, feel weak. i am extremely proud to be your friend and to have you as a friend, so i know your mother is proud of you. you are an amazing human being, mandee, and anyone who knows you should feel privileged to have you in their life.

    i hope you find some sort of solace this weekend in whatever you do to remember your mother..i love you and keep your head up! =]

  6. thank you all so much for the love and support. it helped me immensely to be able to put all my feelings out there in the open, since I usually keep them pretty well hidden. it's amazing to know so many caring women! :)


I love getting comments from readers, so thank you for being so awesome!