Today. Oh, how I suddenly hate you.
I woke up this morning, glad to have had the chance to sleep in for a change. Laying in bed, listening to the sounds of my house, my dog whining because he's aware I'm up, my son's gentle snoring as he continues his trip to dreamland. My world -- for the moment -- is peaceful.
I get up, make breakfast and later, lunch. I spend some time on my computer and time with my son. We snuggle on the couch and watch Cinderella, commenting on how much we hate the bad guys in the movie and cheering when good triumphs yet again.
I take my son to visit with his dad. I come home and pot some of my new plants for the season. A calming endeavor, to be sure. Hands covered with dirt and life springing on my patio, I head inside to clean up.
And in the midst of that clean up, I realize and remember: six months ago today is the last time I saw my Mom alive. Almost to the exact minute, at the time I make the discovery.
Six months ago since I visited her and she told me, "Mar, I'm done," and I reassured her that we loved her and wanted her to stay, but if she needed to be done, I would make sure my Dad and son were okay. Told her that I wished I could take her pain and illness from her and that if I could, I would. Got tired of her not being able to eat the food the hospital brought to her, so I went and bought her a strawberry smoothie at the cafeteria. And, while it wasn't great, she actually ate half of it, as I spoon fed it to her. Then got into an argument with my Dad because he didn't feel it was a healthy meal. To which I said it was better than no meal at all. And Mom was trying to play mediator and get us to stop fighting. And I was selfish enough to let my feelings get hurt and cry in front of her. As she lay there, in pain. Dying. God, I am a terrible child. She told my Dad the smoothie was good and asked for more. Dad, realizing it was the most she'd eaten in one sitting in about a week, succumbed and even continued feeding the smoothie to her after I had to leave.
Six months since I hugged my Mom, kissed her, told her I loved her and wished her, "Zostańcie z Bogiem." Polish for "Stay with God." I walked out of her hospital room that night and went out to buy some things that would make her hospital stay more comfortable. The next day, at 9:24 AM, I got THE call to get to the hospital. That was the longest drive ever and the most horrific.
But in remembering that it's been six months since I've been able to see my Mom, hold her hand, kiss her and tell her how much I love her has just made my day go down the drain. I'm a mess, wishing to see her one more time. To tell her all the things I never did, but wished I had. To hold on to her SO tightly and never let her go.
And I know I'm not the only person to lose someone they love. I'm not the first child to lose a parent or the first person to lose a loved one of any sort. I know that this grief, while mine and unique, is not the only grief ever felt by someone. And I feel selfish. And justified. And weak. I feel like I'm four years old again and yelling, "I want my Mommy!"
There are people who have it far worse of than I do and I know this. But today, I can't help but feel sorry for myself. Today, I wonder how I am ever going to move past this empty feeling in my soul. Today I wonder if there will ever be a day that her loss does not hit me in the solar plexus and leave me short of breath. I fear the answer to that last question is, "No." And I wonder how to move on. How do I act normal when my son comes home so that I don't bring him down with my grief? How do I not see things all over my house and not feel hit with a wave of grief as I remember when she gave them to me or I bought them while on a shopping trip with her? How do I let myself just BE without her around?
The thing is, I seek solace in things like looking at old pictures and family movies. They make me cry, but they help me remember her. My Dad can't.. we recently had our old home movies converted to DVD and my Dad can't bring himself to watch them yet. I understand that. He was married to her for 52 years. I cannot imagine the grief and pain he feels. He loved her SO very much. His eyes still lit up every time he looked at her. I feel like my grief is so small compared to his. And I reassure him that he doesn't need to watch the movies now, but when he is ready, I would like to watch them with him.
Some days go by and I don't cry at all. But I don't consider those "good days." Some days I cry off and on all day and I don't consider those "bad days." My world has been rocked and I am not always able to stay afloat. I wish I could, but I can't.
How do I deal with this grief? How do I move on? I have no answers. I wish I did.