Holy shit- that last entry kills me. “Someday I will look back on these days as a blissful steady stream of one good day after another.” Ya think???
I wrote that Mach 31st of this year. Amazing.
On March 12th my mom looked down at a magazine and heard a click click click in her neck.
On April 16th my mom was taken into the ER in Santa Monica because the pain in her neck had gotten so bad.
Later that week she was diagnosed with stage 4 advanced lung cancer. She had a tumor in her lung, on her neck, in her lymph nodes and one on her rib.
On may 29th we got the news that chemo was working- we were gonna be ok..
On July 5th our cat died.
On July 6th we moved.
On August first mom had a severe double stroke that rendered her near incapacitated.
And after two brutal months, on Oct 2nd mom died from complications of advanced lung cancer.
And so Chase, yes, you were right. You do look back on those days before the storm that has been 2007 as “a blissful steady stream of one good day after another.” And I miss that.
I ache for it.
Perhaps one day it will return, but for now it is gone and I am left struggling, muddling, just trying not to drown in sadness.
I was never particularly close emotionally with my mom, but we spent an awful lot of time together, and we have always been a super close family.
The last 6 months of her life however, I never left her side. I quit my job, moved in with her and my father twice- once for a month, another time for a few weeks. The rest of the time I was at her house by 7 am and didn’t leave till 10 or 11 pm. I drove her to the doctor, changed her IV, cooked and cleaned. Packed and organized. Paid the bills. And in the end I bathed her, brushed her teeth and shaved her head. I wiped her butt and got her dressed. Rubbed lotion on her depleted body and flossed her teeth.
It was at once beautiful and deeply deeply painful.
And her death brought me relief: that she was out of pain, and out of that miserable state of affairs her life had become. But now- with some time behind me- I miss that time. I miss it. Because even though she was a mere shadow of herself, at least she was still here.
And man oh man, I miss my mom.
It’s thanksgiving this week. And I can’t remember how to make the yams. I think I know- but I’m just not sure. I mean I made them with her so many times, but I never bothered to write it down. I just wasn’t ready.
It’s also my birthday this week. SO I’m getting a double dose of missing my mom this week.
And it’s brutal.
But you know? You just wake up, and breath in. And out. And you show up, and try to be present. And you do what you can. Try to pay attention and not be too flighty or spacey, I find baking helps.
But man I cry a lot. More than I ever had before- it’s just ridiculous. Without the slightest provocation. And that is exhausting… because I’m not a crier by nature.
But all these tears, they fall so hard and so often and so sincere.
But everyone says that time helps. And I guess it does. I am just doing what I can, and being honest about how I feel, trying to feel it now so it doesn’t come back to haunt me later (anymore than I’m sure it will always haunt me)
And just putting one foot in front of me and thinking that someday, that blissful steady stream of good days will return.
It’s just not today.
Finally some links:
The Team Carter Blog (where you can read about my mom’s illness if your so inclined)
My mom’s Colorado memorial
My mom’s LA memorial
My trip to Indiana
My trip to New Jersey
And this: is me and my mom