Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Anniversary of My Mother's Passing Is Coming Up.

And I really still miss her so.  The pain eased a bit as life went on, and the holidays were over, but now that it's almost the anniversary of her death (Mother's Day weekend of all weekends), I find myself getting meloncholy.  We have (if you follow the other blog) finished our flooring and backyard, and the time spent taking care of all of it is over.  So today, the first long day I had to myself in quite a few weeks, I was just sad.  I couldn't help myself.

I really just miss my mother and the ache after a year, has not gone away.  My mother was such an important part of my life.  I clung to her when she and my father got divorced when I was 15.  I looked up to her and she always knew what to do.  As she started to fail in the years prior to her death I learned to take care of myself. Actually when I moved away to Northern CA I learned to take care of myself. I learned to rely on myself to make ends meet, I learned to step out of my mother's shadow and live life.  My husband and I got married and adopted the girls and I became a mother myself.  I had to learn on the fly, and the girls had issues and I became a mother myself.   My mother said to me shortly before she died, how proud she was of the mother I had become.  I owe it all to her.  She was a stay at home mom for my school years till I hit high school and my parents divorced and she had to go out to work.  My mom went back and got her degree and she worked till retirement age.  But she was home all of my school years and my fond memories of baking with her, of her coming to my performances at school, shopping, movies, traveling, etc. are all there.  She was such a fun traveling companion and we continued to travel, even when I moved out on my own. 

In the later years, after she had her open heart surgery, life was not the same for my mom. She did not bounce back as others thought she would and she became a recluse, spending days in bed and sort of giving up. It was hard on me to see and I would feel upset and sad after phone conversations as she also developed some dementia.  My daughters loved her and continue to talk about Grandma, but I really wish they'd known the grandma she could have been.  She was a wonderful aunt to all of her nieces and nephews children (all in their 20's and 30's now) and I saw her grandma potential.  Unfortunately, by the time Dave and I were able to give her grandchildren, it was too late for her to enjoy them. 

I just feel today that I want to talk to you mom I want to hear your voice and to hear you say, "how are you lovey (she and my dad's pet name for me)?"  As we approach the year anniversary of her death, I am feeling the sad, achy feeling coming over me.  The I-don't-want-to-do-a-thing feeling.  I went through that for so many months after mom died, so I am trying not to dwell, but I felt that feeling of emptiness today.  That I-wish-she-was-here feeling.  I know not many people will understand it but it's there and I have to ride it out.  I want so badly to talk to someone about it, but I really don't have anyone to talk to about it, and that really makes me cry.  I have friends but they have their own struggles and weren't really there for me when mom passed away, so I don't feel like they would be there for me.  Dave really has no clue what to say, so he can't really help me, and my family don't really want to hear much about how sad I'm feeling so I learned to not really talk to them about it. I know if I called my female cousins they would understand, but one of them has a daughter getting married so I don't want to bother her.  I feel a bit alone right now, but that's to be expected.  I think people feel you should move on and that should be it, but it's hard sometimes because I just miss the sound of her voice, not the voice of the last couple of years but the voice I remember.  I love that voice and I miss it.

The good thing is that I know she's at peace, which is what she really wanted anyway, and I know that she has no pain of any kind.  So I try really hard to live with that and accept it.  I was doing pretty well, but now that the one year anniversary is upon us, I am feeling sad.  But I will go through this to get to the other side, as you do with grief, I think.  And I will make it. I made it through my uncle's (mom's brother) 90th birthday being the only member from my immediate family (alive) who was there and feeling very alone, and I can make it through this, too.

I love you mom, I miss you and I wish you were here daily.  You were a wonderful mom even through the years when I took care of you.  I never saw that happening so when it did, it was hard.  You were always so strong, and you struggled with anxiety, loneliness when you couldn't travel or go out with your friends.  I used to wonder how you gave up so easily. Maybe you were always down and depressed and I just never noticed before, or maybe old age depression and your onset of dementia was what changed you.  I just wish some days you hadn't given up, but then again I didn't have your physical struggle so I didn't feel your pain (even though I felt FOR you when you had pain).  My mother made it a year and almost a month to the date my brother died.  She said at his graveside service, "I'll see you soon son."  And I'm sure she did. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The first post......Part 1 (background)


I created this blog so I could write about my experiences of my mother, who passed away last year.  I miss her terribly at various times in my life, and I wish to remember certain things about her or find a way to express my feelings when I am missing her.

I hope if you have also lost a parent or loved one that you will feel comfortable sharing here as well. I will get some pictures up in this space soon, but would like to share a bit of background and share about the day my mother passed away.

My mother pretty much raised me growing up.  My parents were married 23 years until my dad, who was a merchant marine, and at sea for at least 6 mos out of the year, decided he did not want to be married anymore.  My mother must have had an inkling of this happening because she began when I was in Junior High, to go back to school and take on odd typing jobs for people while I was in school.  She was prepared when my father decided to leave and went back to work as I began my high school years.  I lived at home until I was 26, not really needing to move out as my mother was my best friend and I felt no need to leave home.  However, I was deep into my 20's life, and wanted to finally have my own space.  When an apartment became available through an older couple who rented out the apartments next door to their home (through a work friend who was moving back to GA) I took the opportunity to strike out on my own.  My mother was supportive.  I am sure it was hard for her, but as I saw her during the week and weekend she really wasn't alone too much.  Mom had retired and became involved with her Lunch Bunch group (the women from her high school she had grown up with), Bridge and knitting. She traveled as well.  So it worked out well.  Until I decided to leave my area of S CA to move to N CA.

I think that was hard for my mother.  She told me I needed to strike out on my own, but I know it was very hard on her and she kept up her activities, and my brother moved in for 5 yrs with her, but then when he married she was on her own for 5 yrs till he moved back in with her after his marriage broke up.  That was a hard time for her, as they really were not suited to living together and my brother became bitter over his marriage.  It was a hard time for her and her health began to decline a year or so after he moved in.  We found a way to get him out of her house and to another state and that was the end of his life as well, but that would be another story.........mom had open heart surgery but never really recovered from it. I was pushed to make her have the surgery and once she did, our adopted daughters came home that year and I could not come down to look after her for the first time in one of her surgeries/illnesses.  I felt horrible and she had a very hard recovery (at 80).

My mother's health declined as neither my brother or I lived near her and as her back issues and health issues stopped her from knitting and playing bridge, going to her beloved lunch bunch or seeing her friends much.  She became a bit of a recluse and after a series of falls, we had to get a full time caregiver in for her.  She paid out of pocket and then ran out of money.  That depressed her and when my brother died in the summer of 2011, she gave up entirely.  At his graveside service, she said to his urn, "see you soon, son."  I knew that she would give up.  She did.  She managed to make it to almost a year and a month to the day my brother died.

Coming up........part two.