It still hurts. So bad. Deep down and every single day. I want my mom back.
She was my one and only. She, that gentle, beautiful, kind and caring woman, brought me into the world. She nurtured me, guided and protected me from the moment I was placed in her loving arms. She was my best friend. She was the one person I could tell anything to, even the crazy, sometimes self-inflicted nonsense. And you know what? She never once judged me. Not even when I was 50 pounds overweight complaining that I was starving and needed a snack before dinner. She was genuine, supportive and unconditional. I know it to be true, I had the best mom in the world. And I aspire to be just like her when it comes to how I raise my kids.
She was the glue of my family. The one who held it all together. The backbone. Weekly get-togethers, magical Christmases and extra special birthdays, all happened because of her. And since she’s been gone, there’s definitely been a big piece missing from my life. These child-raising years that I’m currently immersed in have really got me thinking about her. More now than ever before. I mean, I’ve come a long way since the day she left. I couldn’t get out of bed for three weeks straight. But I still wish she didn’t have to go and I know she fought with all of her might to stick around for as long as she could. It just really sucks not having her.
I want to believe I’m more envious than jealous of all my friends who have their moms helping them out on their journey through motherhood. I felt so selfish (but hopeless and helpless, too) having a total breakdown the night before my best friend got married. It was late and we had just finished setting everything up for the big day when she turned to her mom and told her how much she loved her and how grateful she was to have her. That was enough to send me over the edge. My mom’s death was still pretty fresh and I couldn’t help but think of how she would never get to see me walk down the aisle. I’ve witnessed it time and time again. All these girls and their moms. “Oh, I’m just dropping the baby off at my mom’s so I can get my hair done,” or “My mom and I had coffee and it was great.” (Even though she just saw her mom at the weekly family dinner the other night!).
My mom had less than a year (yes, I’m grateful at least she got that) to experience being grandma (we affectionately referred to her as Gran-Grans) but she never got to meet her second grandson. I feel like I’m missing out, but what kills me is that my kids are missing out the most. I can only imagine how she would have enriched their lives. She was outgoing, she had a great sense of humour and she was unconditional with her love. Oh no. Here I go. Here come the tears…
When I’m about ready to bang my own head with a pot and poke my eyeballs out with a kitchen fork while my five-year-old runs around like a rabid T-rex and my three-year-old just pissed his pants for the second time in an hour and then dumped an entire bag of cotton balls in the toilet, I want my mom. When the house looks like a bomb went off in it and the laundry is guaranteed to take me an entire 24 hours to wash, fold and put away, I want my mom. When I haven’t had a single good night’s sleep in over five years and then awake for another early start only to countdown the hours until bedtime, it’s instances like this that I so desperately NEED her.
I want to ask her if my brother and I acted like the same crazy animals as my children sometimes do. Was I the same? Probably, although I know for a fact my brother was worse. Did she simply pour a glass of wine to cope, no matter what time it was? What tactics did she use to tame us wild beasts? And the potty training business, what was her method? And about the sleep thing, did she need toothpicks to keep her eyes open? These are all questions that will forever remain unanswered. I wasn’t even a year into motherhood before I lost her. I knew she wasn’t going to make it much longer so I spent as much time as I could at my parents with my new baby boy. I conquered breast-feeding with her assistance and constant words of encouragement. We laughed together at the cute sounds he made and marveled at his milestones like eating his first banana, saying ‘momma’ and ‘dadda’ and learning how to stand up by himself. He was taking his first steps the day my mom went into Huntsville Hospice. She passed away on March 11, 2012. She was only 58.
Everyone needs their mom. They are magical beings. They believe you can climb the highest mountain and touch the stars. Moms are there when you need a shoulder to cry on, reassurance that you’re doing a great job or when your fridge needs to be organized. They want to make things easier for you. It’s a deeply-rooted maternal instinct. They want to take care of their babies. And I miss my mom for those exact reasons. My kids want her too. They talk about her. They even kiss her picture. I feel like everyone has a mom right now but me. I know that’s pretty ridiculous because it’s certainly not at all true, but I can’t even help it.
In the big picture, things like spilt milk and dirty fingerprints all over my sliding glass door don’t matter. What matters is the quality time spend with my two kids while they’re still little. While they still want to cuddle and sleep with my sweater and have me read the same story again and again. Even though sometimes it’s hard not to think about the laundry piling up and the dishes in the sink and the unmade beds. Because, in a blink, it all becomes just a distant memory.
Here’s hoping I can be at least half as great as my own beautiful mother…
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